Fumes from chemicals and paint can cause death, illness and even explosions. Even if there's no mixing or pouring going on leaks and spills are possible and these can quickly create hazardous conditions.
Forced ventilation removes fumes and vapors from chemical storage areas. By preventing build-ups or pooling it reduces hazards and is often required by OSHA, NFPA or local codes. We offer a wide range of fans designed to meet the requirements for chemical storage areas. Whether you need to ventilate a storage cabinet, a storage room or a mixing/prep area we have the air handling fans you need.
When is ventilation needed, and how much?
Chemicals range from things like paint to highly toxic or flammable materials. Many are liquids at ambient temperature but give off fumes. By excluding air from a room these can cause asphyxiation and death. Ignition by a spark could cause a fire and in some cases, uncontrolled release could be an environmental problem.
A “rule of thumb” for ventilating a chemical storage area is to provide six full air exchanges per hour. However, requirements for specific chemicals may differ. Always refer to relevant codes for guidance on ventilating chemical storage areas. Note that chemical storage cabinets often should not be ventilated, particularly in the case of flammable chemicals, but again, seek specialist advice.
All fans we sell for chemical storage areas are explosion-proof. This helps ensure they meet OSHA and NFPA codes.
Both axial flow and centrifugal fans are used to ventilate chemical storage areas. Centrifugal fans are typically incorporated into ducting or pipework from a specific area, such as a storage cabinet. Axial flow fans may be mounted into exterior walls, panels and fume extraction ducting. In storage areas where complete air exchanges are not required, an air circulator fan may be enough to prevent build-ups.
Most of the fans we sell have cast aluminum blades that won't make sparks. Some chemical fumes could be corrosive so take this into account when selecting a ventilation fan.
These axial fans are mounted to a box-style enclosure with shutters on the external surface. They can blow air from a storage room into an adjacent space or to the outdoors. When not in use the shutters close to prevent rain and snow from entering and to help maintain environmental conditions inside.
These have the axial fan mounted to a square panel, and do not include a damper / shutter. This allows for easy mounting on a wall or other surface. Fans have different types of mesh or screen covering the area swept by the blades so choose a design appropriate for the area where it will be used.
Designed to provide clean make-up air, these include a filter and dampers/shutters. This creates a bulkier form factor than the panel and shutter-mounted fans. They create a positive pressure environment by blowing air into a room or enclosure.
Centrifugal fans are often preferred for situations that need low air volumes handling. Pressure blowers are designed to work against high static pressure whereas volume blowers deal with low static pressure. Quiet operation means they can be left running unobtrusively.
Designed for incorporation into cylindrical ducting, these can provide either make-up air or extraction. Some of these fans are direct drive, (the motor sits in the airstream,) while others are belt-driven with the motor mounted on the outer surface of the fan housing.
Similar in appearance to household oscillating fans, these provide air movement, but without an oscillating feature. They are useful for dispersing fumes in situations where they might otherwise accumulate to hazardous levels. Air circulator fans are a quiet and unobtrusive way of creating comfortable working conditions in a range of environments.
Ensuring safety with ventilation
Ventilation is often required in chemical storage areas. This is to keep workers safe, to minimize fire and explosion risks and for environmental protection. Always check local codes for requirements specific to your location.
With so many options available, selecting fans for a chemical storage area can be a daunting task. For help, call the experts at Industrial Fans Direct: 866 727 1060.