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Controlling Dust Explosions caused by a Static Ignition

Controlling Dust Explosions caused by a Static Ignition
Dust explosions within hazardous area processing environments are not a new occurrence, and nor is static being a potential source of ignition in many sectors of processing industries.

The earliest recorded dust explosion was at Giacomelli’s Bakery in Turin, Italy in 1785 where flour dust generated during normal operations came into contact with a mounted lamp.  Flour can become combustible if it’s too dry and builds up a static charge.

Five elements are required to initiate a dust explosion – Fuel, Oxygen, Ignition, Dispersion and Confinement. A dust explosion requires two additional elements in the form of dispersion of dust particles in the right concentration and confinement of the dust cloud itself. Dispersed airborne dust burns more rapidly and confinement allows for pressure build up. With the additional two elements in place, all five are aligned, increasing the likelihood of an explosion. By definition, combustible dust is any fine material that has the ability to catch fire and explode when dispersed with air. By their very nature dust explosions emit an energetic force creating powerful waves of pressure that damages and causes significant harm to plants and people. Those that are unfortunate enough to be a victim of a dust explosion will often be burned by the intense heat within the dust cloud, injured or even killed by falling structures.

Dust is a hazardous by-product in many industries, from those handling powders to companies engaged in more sophisticated manufacturing processes. Dust explosions can occur in any industry handling combustible dusts, not exclusive but including Coal, Wood, Waste recycling (paper), Agriculture, Chemical and Metal processing.

Read the full article to learn more about the dangers of dust explosions and how any fine material has the ability to catch fire and explode when dispersed with air.  You can also view the latest animation for Newson Gale’s Earth-Rite® MULTIPOINT II static earthing system which has been designed to ground interconnected plant assemblies and piping providing system interlocks and visual indication ensuring employees’ safety.

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Newson Gale, a HOERBIGER Safety Solutions Company, enjoys an outstanding market position in electrostatic grounding for hazardous areas. Headquartered in Nottingham, United Kingdom, the company is represented in over 50 countries around the globe. Newson...

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