A flame arrester is a safety device installed on a nozzle on top of a tank when the flash point of the stored product is lower than the possible tank temperature.
A majority of the time, a “vent to atmosphere” pressure / vacuum valve is installed on top of the flame arrester. A flame arrester is also used as in-line safety device where combustible gases are transported through low pressure pipe lines to actual combustion, as in an incinerator or flare or where combustion fumes are vented through piping to atmosphere where lightning can cause a flame.
Flame arresters should be designed to stop tank farm fires caused by lightning, sparking, a flame arrester must act as a barrier (stop a flame), a flame holder (contain the flame at the barrier), and dissipate heat in order to prevent auto ignition on the down side of the flame arrester.
Flame Arresters are designed to inhibit flame propagation in gas piping systems and to protect low pressure tanks containing flammable liquids. They protect low flash point liquids from externally caused sources of heat and ignition, providing increased fire protection and safety.
The flame arrester consists of two main components, the arrester bases and the flame element housing. The bases serve as the connecting interface to the piping system. The housing accommodates the flame element and is instrumental in stopping the flame passage.