Electronic Stirrer/Hot Plate Malfunction Inside Glove Box

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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Electrical, Laboratory, Glovebox & Containment Systems

Two researchers noticed an electronically controlled combination electric stirrer/hot plate located in a glove box at ORNL was in the "Off" position, but the hot plate surface was hot. The researcher immediately unplugged the hot plate. In this case, the researchers exhibited one of our safe work principles "a healthy respect for what can go wrong?" which resulted in no consequence of the failure of the hot plate.

Earlier this year, a malfunctioning stirrer/hot plate in a chemistry laboratory at ORNL
spontaneously malfunctioned, energized the hot plate to its maximum temperature which in turn, heated a chemical mixture in a round bottom flask resulting in a deflagration and fire. See ORNL LL: Deflagration and Fire from Malfunctioning Lab Stirrer/Hot plate at https://opexshare.doe.gov/lesson.cfm/2014/6/24/4332/Deflagration-and-Fire-from-Malfunctioning-Lab-StirrerHot-plate/

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