Bulk Solids Handling & Processing Innovations
Powders and bulk solids are handled and processed widely in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food, milling, dairy, agriculture, plastic, mineral, and other industries. Handling and processing of these dry materials presents unique fire, explosion, and toxicity hazards. Substances which are practically inert in consolidated form can become quite hazardous when converted to powders and granules.
Powder handling equipment manufacturers should be well aware of regulations governing machine safety and should take actions to ensure the safety of their products.
Powder handling equipment operators should be involved in the process and should be correctly trained. This not only involves operators, but maintenance technicians, cleaning staff, and anyone who comes into contact with the powder handling equipment.
Precautions must be taken in connection with processes, such as grinding, atomizing, conveying, collecting, drying, screening, grading, blending, weighing, and packing.
Handling and processing of dry materials / dusts present unique fire, explosion, and toxicity hazards.
Materials that are practically inert in consolidated form can become quite hazardous when converted to powders and granules.
Safe powder handling equipment must be designed for two things:
- to remove all of what is identified as 13 possible sources of ignition (primarily by making sure the equipment is grounded) and,
- by ensuring that the equipment is as easy to clean as possible.
Dusts can be created when materials are handled, transported, processed, ground, shaped and polished. They can arise through crushing, mixing, sifting, or screening dry bulk materials.
Combustible dusts are fine particles that present an explosion hazard when suspended in air under certain conditions.
Combustible dust explosions can cause tragic loss of life, injuries, and destruction of industrial buildings, and occur within milliseconds.
In many incidents, workers and managers are unaware of the potential for dust explosions or fail to recognize the serious nature of dust explosion hazards.
Five elements are necessary for a combustible dust explosion to occur: fuel (combustible dust), ignition source (heat), oxygen, dispersion and confinement of the dust cloud.
Different approaches to protecting against the ravages of the explosion are regularly used to limit this damage.
Good housekeeping is an essential first step toward mitigating dust explosion hazards.
The use of proper electrical equipment in hazardous locations is crucial to eliminating common ignition sources. Other ways of controlling ignition sources include:
The complexity of the processes that can lead to a dust explosion means that it is extremely difficult to assess the actual risks in dealing with combustible dust/air mixes. This makes combustible dust explosion protection very important. These are generally considered to mean avoiding or limiting the build-up of a hazardous explosive atmosphere.
Results of dust explosion testing can be used to determine the appropriate solutions to protect potential dust explosion hazard areas within facilities.
Dust explosion mitigation systems can be categorized into two main types of technologies, being:
Passive safeguards: passive safeguards react to an event
Active safeguards: detect and react prior to or during an event
Through the use of passive, active, or a combination of both safeguards, a custom explosion protection solution can be designed to mitigate or prevent dust explosion hazards specific to particular process needs.
Companies that manufacture explosion-proof equipment and systems for the global market must conform to applicable explosion protection standards.
ATEX (ATmosphere EXplosibles – French for Explosive Atmospheres) is the formal name given to the two European Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres.
There are two European Directives in place for the control of explosive atmospheres:Directive 1999/92/EC (also known as 'ATEX 153' or the 'ATEX Workplace Directive')
Directive 2014/34/EU (also known as 'ATEX 114' or 'the ATEX Equipment Directive')
ATEX is the European certification given to equipment tested and approved to be intrinsically safe in potentially explosive atmospheres.
Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX) cover a range of products, including those used in chemical plants, food manufacturing plants, flour mills, pharmaceutical production and other areas where a potentially explosive atmosphere may be present.
ATEX is not harmonized with NFPA combustible dust standards and not considered by OSHA an acceptable certification for electrical equipment used in hazardous locations.
Click here for more information about Equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX)
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 652, Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dusts, provides requirements for the management of combustible dust fire and explosion hazards and directs the user to appropriate NFPA industry or commodity-specific standards. The standard also ensures that crucial requirements are addressed consistently across industries, processes, and dust types.
Click here for more information about NFPA 652 - Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust
IECEx is a global standard to ensure explosion-proof equipment and systems are safe for use in countries that participate in the IECEx system. To be validated against the IECEx Certified Equipment Scheme, manufacturers need to obtain the Certificate of Conformity (CoC), validation of the technical report (ExTR) and the quality assurance report (QAR).
Click here for more information about the IECEx system
Because combustible dust issues are complex and incidents can be devastating, it’s important to use experienced, independent, and professional engineers to help design and install powder handling systems.
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SINFINES FACTORY is a solid reference for companies involved in the handling of bulk materials, from simple advice to customized engineering projects. More info >
Makes your business flow. Hethon is a worldwide specialist in powder and liquid dosing, especially for substances that are difficult to dose. More info >
Bulk solids handling, conveying, storage, feeding, dosing, discharging, filling solutions from single equipment to complete turnkey systems. More info >
CST is the world’s leading manufacturer of dry bulk storage silos and aluminum domes and vaults – all from one source. More info >
Manufacturer of rotary valves, diverter valves, and other related components for the bulk solids handling industry for more than 45 years. More info >
Providing custom engineering solutions, and the latest technology to manufacturers in the food, beverage, plastics, and chemical industries. More info >
For over 60 years we have provided protection solutions that can suppress, isolate and vent combustible dust or vapor explosions in process industries. More info >
Optimizes pneumatic conveying systems by reducing waste and cost, minimizing downtime, and improving productivity with high-performing components. More info >
Hydronix is the world's leading manufacturer of digital microwave moisture measurement sensors for a wide range of industries. More info >
Process automation systems for receipt-to-process bulk material transfer and Industrial Vacuum Cleaning Systems for high volume recovery of many materials. More info >
Weighing technology is one of the most important factors for the smooth running of your production processes and high product quality. More info >
Newson Gale; Manufacturers of static control equipment and solutions for hazardous area explosion protection in industrial processes. More info >
Global market leader in Screw Conveyors and amongst the most prominent players in the field of Bulk Solids Handling & Processing Equipment. More info >
Jenike & Johanson is the world's leading company in powder and bulk solids handling, processing, and storage technology. More info >
High-performance rotary valves and airlocks for metering, feeding, and airlock in bulk material processing and pneumatic conveying applications. More info >
Smart Elbow® deflection elbows stop material from impacting the elbow wall, preventing: abrasive wear, degradation & heat-related build-up & plastic streamers. More info >
Thayer Scale is a leading global manufacturer of equipment used for continuous weighing and feeding of bulk materials for a wide variety of industries. More info >
Eastern Instruments designs and manufactures a variety of devices that both measure and control the flow of industrial bulk solids. More info >
REMBE® is a safety specialist in explosion safety and pressure relief. It provides customers in all industries with safety systems for their plants and equipment. More info >
Coperion & Coperion K-Tron supply equipment and systems, such as extruders, feeders, pneumatic conveying & components. More info >
“Trusted by the best” Dinnissen has become a world leader in process technology in the world of powders, particles and granules.
More info >
Acmon Systems is an engineering company with manufacturing excellence specializing in the field of Premium Bulk Handling material solutions in a vast range of industry sectors. More info >
Kason Corporation is dedicated to solving the toughest screening, drying and cooling problems while holding quality, safety and reliability paramount. More info >
Flexicon equipment conveys, conditions, discharges, fills, dumps and/or weigh batches powder and bulk materials dust-free. More info >
Leading global provider of powder handling systems & process containment technologies for the pharmaceutical, chemical, food, and cosmetic industries. More info >