Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Chatham, VA Arkema site acrylate drum fire on Tuesday

Via WSLS: 

Arkema, the chemicals company whose Chatham site was affected by the fire, issued a statement regarding what caused the chemical fire Tuesday afternoon.

Officials said it involved the overheating of one of their products, an acrylic building block used in products like coatings and adhesives.

The acrylic building block was stored in drums inside of the building, but when the product inside the drums overheated, it caused a polymerization reaction. That means the small building blocks formed into a long chain of molecules, causing overheating and polymerization in some of the drums nearby.

Arkema officials said they, along with local fire crews, are working to cool the materials to reduce potential polymerization.

(Reports indicate no one was injured, which is great.) Glad I'm not the warehouse manager at this site! 

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