If you take nothing else from this page, remember that dust explosions occur every year, in the United States and around the world.
If you do not prepare preventative measures, you are at risk, as are your company, facility, and coworkers. This is not meant as a scare tactic, just simple truth.
Combustible Dust, It's Just Not Worth The Risk
Combustible Dust Hazards
Tips for on the Job Safety
Industrial work in any field has its challenges. The best way to face these difficulties is to learn about preventative measures before the risks become a reality.
Air Dynamics Industrial Systems Corporation has over two and half decades of experience with problem-solving in a wide range of hazardous industrial environments. Below are some helpful tips we have learned through the years, as well as links to important articles on workplace safety. Please use this resource to help protect yourself, your coworkers, and your employees.
Visit our FAQ page to see common issues we have experienced. For help with more specific questions and applications, feel free to call our design engineering professionals at 717-854-4050. We have the ability to create a tailored solution for our application.
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Identifying Combustible Dust Factors
Many kinds of dusts are capable of combustion (exploding). OSHA and the Department of Labor (DOL) have identified five factors that are present during a dust explosion/deflagration:
1. Combustible Dust
2. Containment of Dust
3. Dispersion of Dust Cloud
Through the combined effects of these factors, a dust deflagration will occur.
The depth of the dust is a major factor in the explosive nature of combustible dusts. OSHA has identified that as little as one thirty second of an inch (1/32”) of dust is all it takes for some dusts to form a dust cloud and deflagrate.
This is the depth of a paper-clip.
Dusts range in explosive capability categorized by a Kst Value. The Kst value is a numerical indicator to demonstrate the severity of a dust explosion. The value ranges from 0 (no explosion) to over 400 (an extremely dangerous explosion). Dusts are captured and tested in specific labs to determine the Kst Value.
Types of Combustible Dust
Each industry identified below has regular interaction with the combustible material. For each dust, if the proper precautions are not taken, a serious dust explosion will occur.
Below are assorted samples of combustible dust categories. More may exist and are not listed as this is not an extensive overview. For full disclosure of this information follow this link to go to OSHA's website and see their detailed guidelines on the various explosive dust.
House-keeping Procedures for Combustible Dust
OSHA has identified several critical steps to preventing combustible dust deflagration.
The first and most important step is identifying and understanding the explosive potential of the dust you have at your facility.
The second step should be a careful overview of current house-keeping procedures. OSHA and the NFPA have explicitly demonstrated proper implementation. Have you located areas where dust is accumulating in your shop or facility? Is this dust being cleaned with a non-static vacuum system or, in permissible areas, being swept and discarded safely?
If you have questions about your specific application, don’t hesitate to call our dust control specialists. We have over two and half decades dealing with all forms of combustible material. We design solutions that are meant to solve your challenge, not just a temporary fix. Whether you’re seeking a new solution, or a retrofit of an outdated system, Air Dynamics Industrial Systems Corporation can help you protect your employees, investments, and very possibly your life.
Below are links to OSHA's and NFPA resources. It is important to familiarize yourself with the information they provide as it could save you plant, your coworkers, or your life.
General Combustible Dust Information:
Feed and Grain Information: