1- What is non-sparking tool?
2- Why is it safe?
3- How to make sure that the tools are safe?
4- What non-sparking alloys exist?
5- What is the difference between the two?
6- How do I decide which alloy is the best option for me?


1- What is non-sparking tool?

It is a tool made of an alloy whose sparks never has enough energy to generate the explosion of an explosive atmosphere, and therefore, is completely safe.
 

2- Why is it safe?

Mainly because the alloys used have a very low coefficient of friction, which reduces the energy transferred to the particles that emerge from them, and therefore these sparks have heat level less than the minimum required for ignition the explosive atmospheres.
 

3- How to make sure that the tools are safe?

They are tested under extreme conditions, hundreds of times more stringent than those that may exist in a common explosive environment. Alloy samples are grinded at high speeds creating sparks that are directed to an explosive atmosphere. This particular atmosphere is created by selecting the most dangerous gas (which requires less energy for ignition), and the optimal mix of oxygen to enhance their maximum deflagration capacity. If after 100 repetitions in the atmosphere it has not deflagrated, the alloy is considered completely safe (as in a normal condition of use it would not reached not even a fraction of a friction speeds, or the optimum conditions of ignition).
 

4- What non-sparking alloys exist?

Although, there are some more alloy, the most widely known are copper beryllium (also called beryllium copper or Cu-Be) and aluminum bronze (also called Al-bron).
 

5- What is the difference between the two?

Although copper-beryllium alloy is priced between 20% and 40% higher than the aluminum bronze, also has superior mechanical and safety properties, which generally make it the most profitable decision.

- The Cu-Be alloy has a hardness of up to 40HRC, 40% higher than the Al-Bron, so it wears less and has a useful life 40% higher.

- The Cu-Be resistance is a 50% higher than the Al-Bron, therefore it allows for applying 50% more effort without tool breakage.

- The Cu-Be is completely non-magnetic. The Al-Bron, containing 3% of iron is slightly magnetic.

- The Cu-Be is even safer because its sparks have even less power than the Al-Bron, so its use is especially recommended in atmospheres listed in the group IIC.
 

6- How do I decide which alloy is the best option for me?

Basically the Cu-Be is the best choice in 90% of cases, as their best properties make it more profitable and safe. The Al-Bron is only competitive when the following four conditions are met simultaneously:

- The tool will be used very occasionally, not periodically.

- Great efforts will not be made.

- Not complete non-magnetism is required.

- Will not to be used in atmospheres of IIC group.

If all of these conditions occur at once, the Al-Bron may be the best option. But if only one of these conditions is not met, then the Cu-Be is the right decision.