Nanosecured plateform to assess risks along the industrial lifecycle of nanomaterials

Abstract : Nanotechnologies, as drivers of technological innovation, bring about new nanomaterials (NM) that may be associated with risks that have to be evaluated and managed to enable their sustainable and efficient development. This growing-fast technology and the recent results published in the literature put into evidence that a major effort is now required to assess the safety parameters of NMs, especially they faculty to burn, explode and disperse in case of a loss of containment, in order to control the risks at industrial-level. Other parameters relative to the emission of NMs by end products at various stages of their lifecycle (wear, use, weathering, machining) should also be investigated. Such parameters are becoming critical to control the risks at industrial level, and have to be taken into account in the safety-by-design approach. In this perspective, INERIS, whose mission is to support the development of safe nanotechnologies, is setting up a new platform for its research and expertise. Located on the site of INERIS Verneuil-en-Halatte (France), the infrastructure of an area of 400 m², consists of four laboratories and associated facilities that are starting operating in August 2014. This nanosecured platform is dedicated to the metrology of nanomaterials and the characterization of their potential dangers, particularly in the context of the safety of industrial processes. Its major objectives are to: - characterize and understand the intrinsic safety parameters to reduce accidental risks during processes (e.g. flammability, self-heating, explosivity, electrical charging); - assess the release nano-objects from products throughout their lifecycle (e.g. machining, accidental fire, incineration); - investigate the dustiness and the dispersion of NMs to assess the risk of chronic exposure and the impact of an accidental loss of containment (e.g. dispersion models); - develop associated measurement methods and techniques to enable a safe, efficient and reliable operation of industrial units. In the current absence of reliable data about the toxicity of NMs, it is a real challenge to setup experiments in which NMs are voluntary put into high energetic processes, e.g. to generate dispersed aerosols and dust explosion. Proper safety barriers and containment devices are being implemented so as to enable the safe use of safety test apparatuses initially designed for non toxic micrometric powders, such as the ones used to assess the consequences of accidental scenarios (fire, exposure) in the laboratory itself, without generating an accident. In this paper, the main laboratories and pertaining safety tests of this platform will be described, together with the proper associate safety barriers and measures. From experimental observations, we will practically illustrate how this platform can help improving the safety of some typical industrial processes. The link with the work under progress within CEN TC 352 WG3 on the definition of "Protocols for determining the explosivity and flammability of nanopowders (for transport, handling and storage)” will be presented.
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Bruno Debray, Alexis Vignes, Jacques Bouillard. Nanosecured plateform to assess risks along the industrial lifecycle of nanomaterials. 4. International Conference on Safe Production and Use of Nanomaterials (Nanosafe 2014), Nov 2014, Grenoble, France. ⟨ineris-01855611⟩

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