A slight confusion between two terms can bring havoc sometimes. The danger increases further when terms relate to the dangerous material. It can mean the distance between life and death! Two such closely related terms that people confuse are – Flash Point and Boiling Point. They relate to flammable and combustible materials. People are required to store these in flammable cabinets. These are protective materials. These are as mandatory as a chemical spill pallet (Australia). So what is the difference?
Flash Point vs Boiling Point
Both these points mean the temperature. But what temperature?
A flash-point is a temperature at which the liquid starts to form vapors. If the liquid is flammable, these vapors will ignite given any ignition source. The lower the flashpoint, the more hazardous the material is. This will require the use of appropriate flammable liquid storage cabinet. So how do you decide?
Different storage cabinet standards have been set for different flash points. Usually there are three classes. Also, know that flammable classes are different from combustible classes. You might need a different cabinet depending on the type of material. Combustible materials are harder to ignite. They require some effort to get burned.
A boiling point on the other hand is the temperature where the liquid starts to boil. The boiling point always remains higher than the flash point. For example, when you heat the water you always see vapors coming off much before the water starts to boil.
The higher the boiling point, the less hazardous the liquid.
So, now you know the difference between a flash point and a boiling point. But what about the hazard class they fall in? Because it is mandatory to choose the appropriate flammable liquid cabinet for a specific class, you need to know the class beforehand.
Flammable Liquids Hazard Classification
Flammable liquid requires a lower temperature to catch fire and combustible liquid requires a higher temperature.
The class has been divided based on flash point and boiling point.
The flammable liquids come under class 1, which further gets divided.
- Class 1A – Liquids with a flash point below 23 degrees Celsius (73° F) and a boiling point lower than 38° Celsius (or 100° F). This is the most hazardous class and the liquid catches fire at room temperature.
- Class 1B – Liquids with a flash point below 23 degrees Celsius (73° F) but a boiling point at or over 38° Celsius (or 100° F).
- Class 1C – Liquids that have a flash point ranging from 23 degrees Celsius to 38 degrees Celsius (or 73° F – 100° F).
Then comes the class of Combustible liquids. These liquids require a higher temperature to burn into flames.
- Class 2 – Liquids that have a flash points ranging from 38 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius (or 101° F – 140° F).
- Class 3A – Liquids that have a flash point ranging from 61 degrees Celsius to 93 degrees Celsius ( or 141°-199°F).
- And Class 3B – Liquids with a flash point over 93 degrees Celsius (or 200° F).
If you do not have a flammable or combustible liquid but yet have some hazardous chemical, you might need a chemical spill pallet Australia. Otherwise, always choose the best flammable cabinet. These cabinets follow the Australian Safety Standards. Always choose safety over money.