Standard Historical Last Updated: Jan 08, 2020
ASTM E1226-12a

Standard Test Method for Explosibility of Dust Clouds

Significance and Use

5.1 This test method provides a procedure for performing laboratory tests to evaluate deflagration parameters of dusts.

5.2 The data developed by this test method may be used for the purpose of sizing deflagration vents in conjunction with the nomographs and equations published in NFPA 68, ISO 6184/1, or VDI 3673.

5.3 The values obtained by this testing technique are specific to the sample tested and the method used and are not to be considered intrinsic material constants.

5.4 For dusts with low KSt-values, discrepancies have been observed between tests in 20-L and 1-m3 chambers. A strong ignitor may overdrive a 20-L chamber, as discussed in Test Method E1515 and Refs (1-3).7

Note 5Ref (2) concluded that dusts with KSt-values below 45 bar m/s when measured in a 20-L chamber with a 10 000-J ignitor, may not be explosible when tested in a 1-m3 chamber with a 10 000-J ignitor. Ref (2) and unpublished testing has also shown that in some cases the KSt-values measured in the 20-L chamber can be lower than those measured in the 1-m3 chamber. Refs (1) and (3) found that for some dusts, it was necessary to use lower ignition energy in the 20-L chamber in order to match MEC or MIC test data in a 1-m3 chamber. If a dust has measurable (nonzero) Pmax- and KSt-values with a 5000 or 10 000-J ignitor when tested in a 20-L chamber but no measurable Pmax- and KSt-values with tests conducted using an ignition source less than or equal to 2500 J, it may be helpful to test the material in a larger chamber such as a 1-m3 chamber using at least a 10 000-J ignition source to further characterize the material’s explosibility in dust cloud form.


1.1 Purpose. The purpose of this test method is to provide standard test methods for characterizing the “explosibility” of dust clouds in two ways, first by determining if a dust is “explosible,” meaning a cloud of dust dispersed in air is capable of propagating a deflagration, which could cause a flash fire or explosion; or, if explosible, determining the degree of “explosibility,” meaning the potential explosion hazard of a dust cloud as characterized by the dust explosibility parameters, maximum explosion pressure, Pmax ; maximum rate of pressure rise, (dP/dt)max; and explosibility index, KSt.

1.2 Limitations. Results obtained by the application of the methods of this standard pertain only to certain combustion characteristics of dispersed dust clouds. No inference should be drawn from such results relating to the combustion characteristics of dusts in other forms or conditions (for example, ignition temperature or spark ignition energy of dust clouds, ignition properties of dust layers on hot surfaces, ignition of bulk dust in heated environments, etc.)

1.3 Use. It is intended that results obtained by application of this test be used as elements of an explosion risk assessment that takes into account other pertinent risk factors; and in the specification of explosion prevention systems (see, for example NFPA 68, NFPA 69, and NFPA 654) when used in conjunction with approved or recognized design methods by those skilled in the art.

Note 1Historically, the evaluation of the deflagration parameters of maximum pressure and maximum rate of pressure rise has been performed using a 1.2-L Hartmann Apparatus. Test Method E789, which describes this method, has been withdrawn. The use of data obtained from the test method in the design of explosion protection systems is not recommended.

1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Book of Standards Volume: 14.01
Developed by Subcommittee: E27.05
Pages: 13
DOI: 10.1520/E1226-12A
ICS Code: 13.230; 17.100