1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. PLEASE: Read the FORUM RULES BEFORE registering!

    Dismiss Notice

Are Sorbent Sheets Safe?

Discussion in 'SAFETY ISSUES & EQUIPMENT' started by 65Cobra427SC, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. 65Cobra427SC

    65Cobra427SC Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Washington
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    -Return to Top-

    This is only a thought at this point, but has anyone ever used Sorbent sheets (used to absorb oil) in places such as on a lathe drip pan, or in a drip tray under a milling machine? My main concern is if they can catch fire from sparks or hot chips. But I'm also concerned if there may be any other dangers I'm not considering. Thanks.
     
    Bill C. likes this.
  2. coolidge

    coolidge United States Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    846
    Trophy Points:
    113
    City:
    Battle Ground
    State:
    Washington

    -Return to Top-

    I'm curious to see the answer. Fire is probably my 2nd biggest concern, I have 2 fire extinguishers in the shop one medium and one large.
     
  3. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Former Vice President Staff Member Administrator

    Likes Received:
    19,407
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tyler, Texas
    City:
    Tyler
    State:
    Texas

    -Return to Top-

    That would be a good question for the manufacturer/reseller of absorbent materials. I'd email newpig and ask. They have good products, and should be able to answer that question with some authority. The products they offer must meet several OSHA and other regulations, so I would be very surprised if they weren't made of some flame retardant materials. Naturally, they have no control over what liquids you may dump on them, and that probably is the ultimate determining factor. The fairly low volatility of the average cutting oil may not present a problem, but I wouldn't want to offer my personal opinions on the safety of using them in such a manner.
     
  4. 65Cobra427SC

    65Cobra427SC Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Washington
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    -Return to Top-

    Good point coolidge. I have one in the connected storage/laundry room but always better safe than sorry... the quicker to grab, the smaller the fire. I'm going to get two more for the workshop. Thanks.

    I'll do that Tony. It didn't even occur to me until I was ready to add a roll to my cart with McMaster. Funny but at first I thought newpig was a member here, but a quick Google search and I found them. Never heard of them before so thanks for the suggestion. I'll post their response here.
     
  5. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Former Vice President Staff Member Administrator

    Likes Received:
    19,407
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tyler, Texas
    City:
    Tyler
    State:
    Texas

    -Return to Top-

    Sorry about that. I never thought you might think newpig was a member. I've bought a few things over the years from them. Their products aren't cheap, but they do have some unique items, and what I have used has been very good.
     
  6. 65Cobra427SC

    65Cobra427SC Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Washington
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    -Return to Top-

    That's okay... I thought it was hilarious because I kept telling myself no company would use that as their name. Then I searched Google, and Surprise!

    All the ones McMaster sells are made from polypropylene, same with the first one I looked at from newpig so I sent an email to both places. Very brief but asked about catching fire from sparks, hot metal chips, etc. Also asked if they had any noticeable odor. They could be the cats meow, but if they stink I don't want them in my workshop, ha.
     
  7. Jim1946 SB9"

    Jim1946 SB9" Steel Registered Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    3
    City:
    Prescott
    State:
    Arizona

    -Return to Top-

    I have used many different brands. Most don't have any smell unless you stick your nose in them. But at the normal arms length I don't recall ever smelling them. There are ones that are oil only and some that do oil and water and some that do water/glycol but not oil. The most recent ones I used were recycled newspaper and even had wood chips inside a polypropylene type cover they were for sure flamable. The grey/white ones aren't quite so flamable but have seen them ignited with slag from a cutting torch. So I wouldn't hesitate using them but probably wouldn't put them directly in the path of red hot chips. many small hobby lathes would struggle to make chips that hot to begins with.
     
  8. 65Cobra427SC

    65Cobra427SC Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Washington
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    -Return to Top-

    Hi Jim. I noticed there were versions which included other materials and it was obvious they would be flammable. With newpig I addressed the version that only used polypropylene, and with McMaster, that's all they sold. My lathe is a 12x36 so it's not huge but not a hobby lathe either. But I just purchased it so at this point I have no idea how hot the chips can get. But if there is any chance the polypropylene could ignite, I'll just pass on the idea. Otherwise I'll be constantly checking them to make sure they're okay... and that would drive me nuts. Regardless, I'll post what they say here so others can make up their own mind. Thanks.
     
    jererp likes this.
  9. GarageGuy

    GarageGuy United States Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    219
    Trophy Points:
    43
    City:
    Cary
    State:
    Illinois

    -Return to Top-

    It's just my opinion, but there shouldn't be anything in your chip tray except chips. Then there is nothing to catch fire. If the cutting oil doesn't burn when you cut with it, it certainly won't catch fire in the tray. I would be impressed if you could light it if you tried. When you clean out the chips in the tray, you can wipe down the chip tray to remove any excess oil. Again, just my opinion.

    GG
     
  10. 2volts

    2volts Australia H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    298
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Location:
    Elsewhere, where its always fine
    City:
    Perth, WA
    State:
    Outside US / Canada

    -Return to Top-

    do an experiment. see how hard/easy it is to get one to burn.

    pete
     
  11. 65Cobra427SC

    65Cobra427SC Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Washington
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    -Return to Top-

    Wanted to thank everyone for your input, but decided to scrap the idea altogether as I decided it wasn't worth the risk, especially for something that isn't a necessity. It was one of those ideas a friend brought up because he's a marine surveyor, but he did tell me to check into the product before I do anything. It sounded reasonable at first, but safety is more important. I posted mainly because I didn't have any to use as a test and what I did read online was either vague or over my head.

    McMaster sent me a reply last night... yes, they responded at 10:03 PM on a Sunday night... and said "Our polypropylene sorbents are not considered flammable but may burn at high temperatures. I attached the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the oil-only sorbent, which shows specific information on page 3 about the flammability properties for this product."

    I'm going to upload the file in case anyone wants to take a look, but not only did they include the SDS sheet, they actually put a red border around the appropriate section on page 3 (that company never ceases to amaze me). The product is odorless and appears to be highly stable with a melting point of 350-F and a flash point of 1157-F, but that's just the product itself and my concern is having it within fairly close proximity of the cutting tool while being partially saturated with oil. But GG has a good point about having only chips in the tray. So I plan to wipe up any fluids each time I use the machine and dispose of the rag in a proper fire container.

    I'll still post if I get a reply from newpig or find out anything else interesting.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. 65Cobra427SC

    65Cobra427SC Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Washington
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    -Return to Top-

    Ended my previous post and received a reply from newpig...

    Our mats are designed to melt in a fire rather than burn so you may just have some melted mats to deal with. For high temperatures I recommend the Recycled Fiber Mats as they can handle higher temperatures.

    http://www.newpig.com/pig/US/pig-recycled-fiber-absorbent-mat-roll-mat276?cm_cat=shop_by_product

    I noticed those mats are made from Polyester so I did a little more searching but there were too many variables I didn't understand... which really means my brain has reached it's capacity.
     
  13. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Former Vice President Staff Member Administrator

    Likes Received:
    19,407
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Tyler, Texas
    City:
    Tyler
    State:
    Texas

    -Return to Top-

    Nice to have vendors respond in a timely manner. Thanks for passing it on.
     
    Philco likes this.
  14. Bill C.

    Bill C. United States Active User Active Member

    Likes Received:
    152
    Trophy Points:
    63
    City:
    Clarksville
    State:
    Indiana

    -Return to Top-

  15. 65Cobra427SC

    65Cobra427SC Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Washington
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    -Return to Top-

    In that section though they're referring to sorbents which have absorbed hazardous materials. But the bottom line is no matter what liquid it absorbs, it won't suppress the properties of that liquid. So if the liquid is a fire hazard, it's still going to be a fire hazard. That document was an interesting read by the way. Thanks for the link.
     
  16. Scruffy

    Scruffy Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    139
    Trophy Points:
    43
    City:
    RichwoodOhio
    State:
    Ohio

    -Return to Top-

    I've got some out in the shop, I'll do a little experiment. I think 65cobras right. If you soak oil up the oil will burn

    Thanks ron
     
  17. 65Cobra427SC

    65Cobra427SC Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Washington
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    -Return to Top-

    Please be careful. Don't want Scruffy to go Puffy :grin:
     
  18. 65Cobra427SC

    65Cobra427SC Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Washington
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    -Return to Top-

    Now that I have most of my tools, a roll around tool cabinet is around the corner. I noticed McMaster sells Work Surface "Leak-Resistant" Sorbent Pads (These pads combine a paper surface with a coated underside to protect work surfaces from stains and harsh chemicals. Color is white.) Not thrilled about the white color, but thinking of using them to line the bottom of a couple drawers in the cabinet. I'd think this would be safe... as long as I keep the drawers closed when using the machines... but figured I would check in case anyone thought otherwise. Thanks.
     
  19. joshua43214

    joshua43214 Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

    Likes Received:
    456
    Trophy Points:
    63
    City:
    columbus
    State:
    Ohio

    -Return to Top-

    Couple of thoughts.
    I am with GarageGuy, nothing in the chip pan but chips. I occasionally lose a paper towel into the chip pan and it just makes cleaning the chips up even more of a chore. I put a large aluminum baking sheet under the ways on my lathe and it catches pretty much all the oil and the majority of the chips. I do not have to worry about oil going down the drain in the pan and onto the floor and clean up is simple.
    On the mill I just use a brush and sweep everything into a box. I do have a hose and an old gallon can under the drain to catch the oil though. I just sweep the chips into the box, vacuum up the rest, and use the brush to sweep the oil to the drain.

    Fire safety is something to be concerned about, but it should not be a concern on the mill/lathe. Sparks from grinding is something worth devoting worry over though. I've seen a few people set themselves or their surrounding on fire using a grinder...
     
  20. 65Cobra427SC

    65Cobra427SC Active Member Active Member

    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    28
    City:
    Washington
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    -Return to Top-

    Thanks for the info Joshua. Every little bit of information I get helps prepare me. Both machines are up and running after several fixes and safety upgrades here and there. Purchased a lot of tools over the past month so I'll be getting a tool cabinet in the next couple days. I read about the baking sheet under the ways before and one is in place already. The room is next to the laundry room which has a fire extinguisher in one of the cabinets, but thanks for bringing them up. I added 3 more to my list for the next time I head out. I'll place one each along the far right wall, far left wall, and on the back wall between the lathe and mill. Also forgot about oil drainage on the mill so I'll take care of that as well. I'm getting there, ha. Thanks.
     

Share This Page