Proceedings PaperSafety Of Fibre Optic Systems In Flammable Atmospheres
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Historically the safety of fibre optic systems, of the types used in industrial process applications where there could be flammable atmospheres, has been accepted implicitly. During the last 18 months this acceptability has been questioned, particularly in view of the rapidly increasing optical power available in fibre optic systems. This paper describes initial work undertaken on behalf of OSCA (the UK Optical Sensors Collaborative Association) to establish whether optical fibre systems could be a source of ignition, and, if so, what the significant parameters are. Early studies had suggested that small particles heated by optical radiation emerging from a fibre, particularly if the radiation was focussed, could theoretically constitute a potential source of ignition.