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The rate of heat generation during combustion of a dust cloud in a vented industrial enclosure is influenced by several factors, including some that are entirely dependent on the actual industrial process. The key role played by the location of the ignition source in relation to the vent opening is emphasized. Recent experiments in a top-vented 236-m3 silo of length/diameter (L/D) = 6 revealed that the maximum explosion pressure increased by almost two orders of magnitude, with ignition at the silo bottom as opposed to at the top. The need for a new differentiated approach to dust explosion vent sizing is emphasized. In future, simple, general nomographs and formulas will have to be replaced by methods tailoring the vent to suit each specific application within an overall context of risk assessment. The lack of correlation between explosion violence predicted by existing closed bomb tests, and explosion violence in realistic full-scale experiments also calls for a differentiated approach to the violence testing problem.
dust explosions, explosion violence, explosion venting, explosibility tests, ignition sources, dimensioning, risk assessment
Chief scientist, Chr. Michelsen Institute, Fantoft, Bergen,