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Non spark tools provide safety in various environments.

Interesting Fact:  Many believe that the Hindenburg disaster was caused by a static spark igniting the flammable outer fabric of the airship, rather than the hydrogen gas inside.

Interesting Fact:  The human body can store a static charge of between 20,000 and 25,000 volts.

What are non-sparking tools?

These are special tools made of non-ferrous materials to decrease the risk of sparking while being used.  They are used in environments where sparks could potentially ignite materials such as around solvents, liquids, or gases.

How are non-sparking tools made?

They are basically made the same way as traditional tools, but with different materials that are less likely to cause sparks.  Depending on exactly what type of specific tool is being discussed, they will be manufactured using the same machinery as ordinary tools.  Most of the materials used in non-spark tools are a little softer than the widely used tempered steel, so they have to be made with methods that make sure the materials are hardened as strongly as possible.

What materials are used for non-sparking tools?

Non-sparking tools are usually made of titanium, brass, bronze, or copper-aluminum alloys.  Many of these materials are also far less vulnerable to corrosion than ferrous alloys used in ordinary tools, which makes them last longer in harsh environments. This is especially the case in areas with strong solvents or high humidity levels. Non-sparking alloys are also non-magnetic, which makes them more suitable for sensitive electronic work.

What are the OSHA requirements for non-sparking tools?

OSHA has created numerous documents discussing the use of non-spark tools.  They have created a small book titled "Hand and Power Tools" that addresses the use of each of them.  Specifically it states that whenever working around flammable materials, non-spark versions must be used.

What are non-magnetic tools?

In addition to avoiding the creation of a spark, many of these materials also are non-magnetic.  This added feature is needed when working on machines that can be damaged by magnetism such as medical scanners.

Special hand tools for hazardous locations

All standard hand tools are also made in non-spark versions.  Depending on the location of the job and what work needs to be done, there are various options available.