Combustible dust is a by-product that is created by manufacturing processes that work with combustible raw materials. When this combustible dust is inadvertently ignited by a rogue spark or other source, dust explosions can occur that cause damage to a facility, extended downtime, and even potentially deadly harm to employees. Combustible dust by-products can be produced from a wide variety of materials, and therefore can affect companies that operate in the manufacturing markets of many different industries. Some of the materials that can create combustible dust include metal, wood, chemicals, grain, sugar, flour, textile fibers, and most other solid organic materials. While some of these materials may not be combustible in their “whole” state, they may be able to burn or explode when the particles are the right size and in the right concentration. Combustible dust is extremely dangerous because it can cause devastating explosions within a manufacturing facility. For this reason, there are standards, regulations, and inspections required to protect against combustible dust explosions in a wide range of industries.
How Does Combustible Dust Lead To Explosions?
Combustible dust can settle on surfaces throughout a manufacturing facility, including on roofs, suspended ceilings, ducts, dust collectors, and other equipment. When a high concentration of combustible dust is present in an enclosed space like a duct, dust collector, tank, or other piece of equipment, there is potential for an explosion to occur. When these high concentrations of dust particles mix with oxygen, the particles can be ignited by a spark, friction, hot surface, static charge, metal ember, or any other ignition source. When a deflagration occurs within a duct or system, the resulting airwave will explode out of the enclosed space and mix with combustible dust that has settled on other surfaces, growing the explosion and causing maximum devastation. In order to prevent combustive dust explosions, all at-risk manufacturing facilities need to have functioning & effective explosion detection, isolation, and suppression systems! Combustible dust explosions can occur in a wide range of industries, including agriculture, food production, chemical manufacturing, textile production, metal processing, woodworking facilities, and much more!
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Contact Safety Systems Inc. today to learn more about explosion protection for dust hazards! We provide explosion protection system recommendation, design, installation, project management, & commissioning services in the manufacturing markets of New England, the Mid-Atlantic, & Eastern Canada! Give us a call today at (888) 877-1778 or fill out the contact form on our website, and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible!