Given the instability of organic peroxides, which as compounds can decompose spontaneously and sometimes explosively, safety is primary for their handling, transportation and storage. Arkema provides safety practices and procedures to insure safe handling.
Organic peroxides are relatively unstable compounds which can decompose spontaneously and sometimes explosively.
Such decomposition can be caused by:
- heat or fire: organic peroxides are thermally unstable and sensitive to heat. Above the SADT (Self Accelerating Decomposition Temperature) the reaction becomes uncontrolled and violent.Organic peroxides are generally flammable and burn vigorously.
Decomposition can also be caused by hot material being added to an organic peroxide, or by the peroxide being put into a hot recipient.
- mechanical effect: some organic peroxides are able to decompose as result of mechanical shock (impact and friction).
Thermal sensitivity and shock sensitivity are evaluated by standardized European tests
- contamination: organic peroxides can show hazardous reactions in contact with other chemicals because of contamination. Contamination can be caused by a large number of chemicals.
Particularly oxidizing and reducing agents, and polymerization accelerators such as cobalt octoate or dimethyl aniline may cause instantaneous decomposition which can be violent and accompanied by fire, depending on the product.
In addition to chemicals, peroxides can be contaminated by contact with metals, such as mild steel, brass or copper, particularly in divided form, and with rust, ash or even dust.
Organic peroxides show decomposition reactions, the rate of which depends on temperature and concentration of the product, grade of confinement, type of diluent and kind of molecular structure.
Therefore, organic peroxide transportation, storage and handling conditions must always respect the Self Accelerating Decomposition temperature.