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The tools and equipment such as drills, picks, hammers, pliers, wrenches, and spreaders usually made of iron and steel materials during their fierce action or fall due to misses,will generate sparks which are hidden sources of ignition, so these tools cannot be used in explosion hazardous areas.
Iron and steel materials have high strength and hardness and are suitable for manufacturing tools, but the strength and hardness of steel materials increase with the increase of carbon content.However, research on the mechanism of friction spark generation in steel materials shows that it is precisely the carbon contained in steel is the source of friction sparks.In order to eliminate friction and impact sparks of tools, people turned the direction of material to copper.
Copper is used as an explosion-proof tool material. Compared with steel, there are two significant differences:
1.Does not contain carbon. No oxygen-iron-carbon reaction chain, so no spark
2.The strength and hardness of copper are relatively low, and the thermal conductivity is higher than that of steel. When friction or impact occurs, local friction points will be plastically deformed to avoid friction energy concentrated on individual points. In addition, the material's high thermal conductivity，the heat generated by friction is quickly dissipated to the substrate to reduce the risk of hot and high temperatures at the point of frictional impact.
The above two points are the principle of explosion-proof tools.
However, the strength and hardness of pure copper is too low to be directly used as a tool, and appropriate metal elements such as beryllium, aluminum, titanium, and nickel need to be added to smelt into a copper alloy to increase its strength and hardness.
At present, various copper-based alloys such as beryllium bronze, aluminum bronze, and J892 copper alloy have been successfully used in explosion-proof tools in the industry.