But the method wasn't very effective when it came to the suppression of flames, and spreading flames facilitate the propagation of explosions and often cause serious damage. The method also produces massive pressure losses in the affected systems, which also severely restricts the widespread use of such diverters.
But DIN EN 16020:2011 has now created a way of using explosion diverters safely. The testing procedures that it specifies with the design regulations and the detailed catalogue of requirements that it contains clearly set out the demands that such diverters must satisfy, if they are to be used in protective systems.
But what can the standard deliver when massive losses of pressure in this "pipe in pipe" system put the cost-effectiveness of such diverters into question? Classical geometries defined in the standard produce pressure losses of up to 1500 PA, which would require huge additional fan performance to compensate.
However, new flow-simulation programs now make it possible to reduce pressure losses with standard-compliant designs by over 60% to 550 Pa.
This means that, technically, the loss of pressure has been reduced to the levels that can be achieved with non-return valves – which for many years have been broadly accepted as cost-effective decoupling systems.
Explosion diverters may also be employed to provide cost-effective bidirectional safety and protection.