Lifecycle Physical Hazards of Polystyrene Foam Board

Global Congress on Process Safety
2010 Global Congress on Process Safety
Global Congress on Process Safety
March 21, 2010 - 8:00pm
Polymer Foam Boards have been widely used for individual home and general building, from roofs and/or walls down to foundation, for example. On the other hand, these Boards have significant physical hazards, because flammable blowing agent has come to be used, replacing nonflammable CFC chemicals due to their global warming potential. Moreover foamed polymer itself is combustible. Hence it is necessary for Polymer Foam Boards to contain sufficient amount of retardants, with additional countermeasures to prevent fire. This paper presents lifecycle physical hazards of Polystyrene Foam Board, where brominated retardants and blowing agents are used. Firstly, these hazards are identified based on actual Polymer Foam incident/accident records in Japan. Secondly, these records were analyzed, and possible incident scenarios for Polystyrene Foam Boards were extracted based on their lifecycle flow. Thirdly, blowing gas from 2 kinds of Foams, EPS and XPS, heated at 50°C and 70°C for 1 hour,were detected by gas chromatography, while incident/accident records did not refer to Polystyrene Foam types. The results are concluded that exhaustive ignition source management is necessary for Polystyrene Foam Boards handling, while air ventilation to flammable gas is essential at indoor storage sites and/or underground construction sites.
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