Anhydrous ammonia has made a lot of news lately - with an ammonia leak on the International Space Station and the recent devastating fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. Graphic Products, a leading manufacturer of industrial labeling systems, provides products and resources for those who work closely with this highly dangerous compound.
While investigations in Texas are underway, Graphic Products provides a one-stop safety resource - www.pipemarkers.com - for anhydrous ammonia pipe marking supplies, a wide range of labeling systems, and pipe marking literature, including a concise one-page guide which summarizes the requirements that need to be met when labeling ammonia pipes based on the standards of the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR).
Ammonia plays a large part in the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) boom underway in North Dakota and other Midwestern and eastern states. To supply this need, large contracts are being awarded for new ammonia factories, most notably a new $850-million ammonia plant to be built in Waggaman, LA, a $700-million ammonia plant to be built in St. James Parish, LA, a $1.4-billion plant in Iowa, and a $1.2-billion plant in North Dakota. Every pipe that carries ammonia needs to be properly labeled to let workers know what the contents are, the direction of flow, potential hazards, and preventative measures. Following the correct requirements and standards will ensure that the facility is ANSI/ASME- and OSHA-compliant.
To ensure identification when labeling anhydrous ammonia pipes, each pipe marker uses two markers to indicate liquid/vapor and one to indicate pressure level. The marker should be printed with black text on a yellow background to indicate that it is flammable.
“On behalf of our customers, we’ve developed an expertise in pipe marking over the course of more than 40 years and have introduced oil, chemical, and UV-resistant supplies used in pipe marking applications,” said Steve Stephenson, Graphic Products. “We’re constantly sourcing new supplies and labeling systems to accommodate a wide range of workplace environments.”
Graphic Products has also compiled several anhydrous ammonia safety training resources, including:
- The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration, www.IIAR.org
- The Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA), www.reta.com
- Garden City Community College ammonia refrigeration operator training, www.nh3gccc.com
- The Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Fertilization and Chemical Association offers a joint training program, www.agr.state.il.us/newsrels/r0312131.html