Safety Spray Shields Are Not Created Equal!

Are you tasked with purchasing Safety Spray Shields for a new project, renovation project, or simply having to replace shields that have reached the end of their useful life.

It is important to understand that while the design and dimensions of a shield may remain constant when fitting a particular flange-size or valve-type, the material that the shield is constructed of, along with the quality with which the shield is manufactured, determines if the shield will meet the safety needs of your application.

There are several determining factors that must be considered when selecting the right safety spray shield for your project, including 1.) the type of fluid flowing through the pipe; 2.) the operating temperature; 3.) the pressure of the fluid flowing through the pipe; and 4.) the environmental conditions in which the safety shield will be installed.   Other factors that can be considered on certain applications includes: 5.) the shield cost, and 6.) the color/aesthetics of the shield.

  • Fluids can range from being highly acidic, such as battery acid (0 pH)…to pure water (7 pH)…to highly alkaline, such as liquid drain cleaner (14 pH). Not all safety spray shield materials are capable of handling these different extremes in pH; and where some are capable, some may be limited to reduced concentration levels.
  • In addition to fluid type, determining the minimum and maximum operating temperature is an important part of material selection. Materials are available for temperatures ranging from -450o F to 2,000o F.
  • You guessed it….in addition to fluid-type and temperature, the maximum pressure must be taken into consideration. Lower pressures (<1,500 psi) can be accommodated by fabric shields (ie…PTFE, vinyl, polyethylene, or polypropylene, etc…), while pressures up to 3,000 psi can be controlled by stainless steel shields.
  • All shield materials can handle all environmental conditions, although some may handle them better than others. For harsher the conditions,  more durable materials should be considered.
  • Shield prices are mainly dependent on material cost and difficulty to manufacture. As a rule of thumb: stainless steel and 100% PTFE top the high end of material cost, Premium and Standard PTFE are in the middle, and Vinyl, Polypropylene and Polyethylene are the most economically priced. Where cost should always be considered in business decisions, assuring that the Safety Spray Shields you purchase can handle the fluid, temperature, and pressure of your piping system to adequately protect employees, property and the environment, must be your primary consideration.
  • Safety Spray Shields can come in various colors and styles.   Companies may elect to install vibrant colors to signify “warning areas”, or different colors to distinguish different areas of a plant, etc…   Other aesthetic alternatives for safety shields are solid shields vs. see-through shields.  There are many alternatives, so it comes down to what best suits your needs.

The above information was written to offer general information and guidance when purchasing Safety Spray Shields.   Where your operations, or applications, requiring safety spray shields will be specific to your needs and may require more in-depth research to determine “what is the right shield for you?”, Drake Specialties’ sales professionals are ready to assist you.   Give us a call today at (337) 886-3161, or visit our website at