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Is Your Dust Explosive? | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jul 31, 2019 9:45:00 AM

Explosive DustTo help answer this question, NFPA has released NFPA-652 and 654. A combustible dust is defined as a finely divided combustible particulate solid that presents a flash fire or explosion hazard when suspended in air or the process-specific oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations. Basically, what this means is when the dust is in the air and its concentration is enough to cause a flash fire or propagate a deflagration or explosion if exposed to a spark or heat source, then it’s considered combustible.

Combustible Dust Testing

Unless you know for sure that your dust isn’t combustible, you should send the dust sample to a lab for testing. The lab will provide one of three responses – no reaction, combustible but not propagating, or propagating. Explosive Dust Testing

Usually the lab will initially do a Go/ No-Go test. If the dust doesn’t exhibit combustion, the testing will stop. If it does exhibit combustion, they will then do further tests and provide explosion properties ( Kst and Pmax) of the dust. The Kst tells you how quickly the explosion will propagate, while Pmax tells you the power behind the event.


Common Knowledge about Combustible Dust

  1. A combustible dust mixed with non-combustible dust may or may not pass the go / no-go test; therefore, if you have both in a mixture, get a test.
  2. Material that may not burn can still be combustible as a dust, unless you know for sure, getting a test is the safe bet.
  3. If you have made a process change that changes the composition, relative concentrations, etc. of the dust, then the combustibility of the dust may have changed and a new test should be done.
  4. If you have combustible dust in your facility, then a hazard analysis of the area must be done every five years.


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Topics: dust collector, combustible dust, NFPA 652, explosive dust

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