Combustible Dust Testing

How do I know if my dust is combustible?

Combustible dust being tested.The starting point for evaluating combustible dust hazards in your facility is understanding the risks of your specific dust. Variations in moisture content, particle size, particle shape, or composition can affect the explosiveness of a dust in significant ways.  Therefore, both OSHA and NFPA have set forth guidance that all materials that may be considered combustible should be tested in order to clearly identify and assess the hazard.

Our experts can assist you in determining what samples to test and what tests should be conducted.  Once testing is completed, a formal report is generated and our experts can help with analyzing the data.

The tests below are most commonly used to fully characterize the risks associated with your dust and can be grouped as shown below:

Will the dust cloud ignite?

Combustibility (Go / No-Go) Screening - Initial screening to determine whether a dust will ignite. Uses a dust cloud dispersed around a strong ignition source.

How strong is the dust explosion?

Dust Explosion Severity (Kst & Pmax) - Useful for determining parameters which are the basis of design for mitigation strategies such as deflagration venting and suppression

  • ASTME 1226 – 2010 - Determines values necessary for designing protective measures, such as deflagration venting
  • EN14034 - Part 1:2004 - Determination of the Maximum Explosion Pressure (Pmax) of Dust Clouds – Part 2:2006 - Determination of the Maximum Rate of Explosion Pressure Rise (dP/dtMax ) of Dust Clouds
  • For more information about Kst and Pmax see our Dust Explosion section.

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How easily will the dust ignite?

Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE) - Useful for determining the minimum energy required by electrostatic discharge to ignite a dust cloud

  • ASTM E2019 - Standard Test Method for Minimum Ignition Energy of a Dust Cloud in Air
  • EN13821:2002 - Potentially Explosive Atmospheres - Explosive Prevention and Protection - Determination of Minimum Ignition Energy of Dust/Air Mixtures

Minimum Ignition Temperature for Dust Cloud (MIT-Cloud) - Useful for determining the minimum ignition temperature of a dust suspended in a cloud

  • ASTM E1491 - Determines Safe Operating Temperatures at Which a Dust Cloud Will Not Autoignite
  • EN50281-2-1:1999 - Electrical Apparatus for Use in the Presence of Combustible Dust - Part 2-1: Test Methods - Methods for Determining the Minimum Ignition Temperatures of Dust

Minimum Ignition Temperature for Dust Layer (MIT-Layer) - Useful for determining the minimum ignition temperature for a layer of dust on a hot surface

  • ASTM E2021 - Identifies Dangerous Operating Temperatures at Which a Dust Layer Will Self-Heat
  • EN50281-2:1999 - Electrical Apparatus for Use in the Presence of Combustible Dust - Part 2-1: Test Methods - Methods for Determining the Minimum Ignition Temperatures of Dust

What are the limits of explosibility?

Minimum Explosible Concentration (MEC) - Useful for determining the minimum amount of a dust suspended in air that will support a deflagration

  • ASTM E1515 - Identifies the Minimum Hazardous Concentration of a Dust Cloud that will Sustain Combustion
  • EN14034-3:2006 - Determination of Explosion Characteristics of Dust Clouds - Part 3: Determination of the Lower Explosion Limit (LEL) of Dust Clouds

Limiting Oxygen Concentration (LOC) - Useful for determining the minimum oxygen concentration capable of supporting a deflagration, needed for the design Inerting Systems

  • EN14034-4:2004 - Determination of Explosion Characteristics of Dust Clouds - Part 4: Determination of the Limiting Oxygen Concentration LOC of Dust Clouds

All of our dust explosion mitigation testing is performed in accordance with the applicable standards from the American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Standards Organization (ISO).

For more information on Dust Testing Services, please contact us by calling us or filling out the contact form below. 

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