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NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

Identifying Materials & Equipment

In this picture, two fine gauze screens separate the flame of the lamp from the surrounding methane-air mixture. (Picture courtesy of Koehler Mfg. Co.) The MESG concept is based on early versions of the Davy lamp, invented in 1815 by Sir Humphrey Davy. These lamps were used in underground coal mines. Ignition of the methane-air mixture in a mine was prevented by the fine gauze screens that separate the flame used for illumination from the surrounding methane air mixture. When methane was present, small amounts would burn within the gauze, next to the flame, but would not propagate to the outside of the gauze. Further research determined that for each flammable mixture there was a maximum dimension of an opening that would prevent the propagation of a flame through the opening. It was found that this dimension could also be applied to flat-ground joints in enclosures of electrical equipment to keep the electrical equipment from igniting the surrounding atmosphere.
NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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