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There is an inherent danger of a dust explosion when combustible dusts are handled in industry. This is proven by the many explosions which have resulted in substantial losses and often in fatalities. To counteract danger it is important to know the safety characteristics of the dust deposits or dust cloud. Based on the test methods used, it can then be decided which of the available protective measures should be applied. A distinction has to be made between preventive and design measures for the explosion protection.
Preventive measures avert a dust explosion by:
• preventing the formation of an explosible dust/air mixture, • inerting or removing oxygen, and • eliminating effective ignition sources.
Design measures will not prevent a dust explosion, but they will limit consequences to an acceptable level.
• explosion-resistant design for the maximum explosion pressure, • explosion-resistant design for the reduced maximum explosion pressure in conjunction with explosion pressure venting or explosion suppression, and • means to divert the explosion from entering peripheral equipment.
A general overview is given of all protective measures and the necessary decision making criteria.
dust explosions, protective measures, prevention, inerting, pressure venting, suppression
Ciba-Geigy Limited, Central Safety Service, Explosion Technology, Basel,