Difference Between Flammable And Combustible Liquids
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What is the Difference between Flammable and Combustible Liquids?
Put simply, flammable and combustible liquids are liquids that can burn. The real difference lies within their flash point range, or lowest temperature at which vapours of the material will ignite when supplied with an ignition source. Flammable and combustible liquids are utilised in most workplaces, from manufacturing to retail and service entities. To ensure the safety of property, people, and the environment, both flammable and combustible liquids need to be handled and stored correctly at all times.
What are Flammable Liquids?
Besides just being ‘liquids that burn,’ Australian standards define flammable liquids as being:
“Liquids, mixtures of liquids, or liquids containing…show more content… But the vapour of flammable material, particularly in poorly ventilated areas, is prone to ignition at normal working temperatures. Similarly, combustible liquids release a flammable vapour when in environments above their flashpoint temperature. Vapours of both flammable and combustible liquids are virtually invisible. Don’t be fooled into thinking that combustible liquids are less dangerous than flammable…show more content… Spills travel fast and are easily absorbed into other materials, releasing flammable vapours into the air even after the spill has been cleaned up. Flammable and combustible vapours are often denser than air, spreading them far from the liquid and allowing them to pool in areas such as trenches and basements. If ignighted, a flashback can occur, where the fire travels along the vapour fumes to the liquid.
If an ignition source is present spray mists of both flammable and combustible material will ignite. Both combustible and flammable liquid fires tend to burn fast and are very hot, releasing clouds of thick, black, toxic smoke.
As above, flammable and combustible liquids present a significant fire hazard, and in turn, present major health and physical dangers, such as burns, inhalation of dangerous gasses and so on. Should vapours, or even the liquid of either flammable or combustible liquid combine with other incompatible chemicals, there is a substantial risk of further chemical