Milk is 85-95% water. Under normal circumstances, it’s easy to scald but hard to burn. Milk powder, on the other hand, is an abrasive that ignites easily – even conveyed on nonconductive hoses, it can generate static electricity and start a fire
The ARIA database includes records of a number of fires at milk-powder plants, many of them a bit like this record of a very bad morning at a French dairy: at around 7:30 a.m., a supervisor noticed strange noises at the top of a silo in its milk powder production line. Just as the fire alarm sounded, he stopped the pneumatic transfer of the powder, and noticed a little smoke. Firefighters arrived at the scene and noted that the milk powder was melting, but without flame. With no flames visible, they decided not to hose down the silo but to extract the smoke instead. By the time the fire burned out, the silo’s filters were consumed and 500 kg. of milk powder blackened, which must be extracted from the top of the silo.
With the potential mess and danger of a disaster like that – and regulators’ concern that it doesn’t happen again -- no wonder several of our European customers now use the Trellvac AL EC hose to convey their milk powder.