How To Avoid Combustible Dust Explosions

Mar 9th 2018

How To Avoid Combustible Dust Explosions

What Is Combustible Dust? 

Combustible dust is a collection of particles that, when combined in a certain manner, present fire danger.  OSHA identifies combustible dust as “a solid material composed of distinct particles or pieces, regardless of size, shape, or chemical composition, which presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations.”

These particles are finely ground pieces of metal or organic matter. It can also be larger sized pieces, such as flakes, chips, or chunks. It can even be a mixture of all of these particles. 


How Can Combustible Dust Cause An Explosion? 

Combustible dust causes explosions because the finely ground, combustible particles are suspended stagnantly in the air of an enclosed location. This high concentration of combustible materials doesn’t mix well with oxidizing gases, such as oxygen.

The particles and oxidizing gases alone won’t cause a combustion. There must be a source of ignition, such as a spark of electricity. For example, any device that is plugged into a socket could be an ignition.

When these factors align, combustible dust causes an explosion. 


Common Industries That Encounter Combustible Dust 

Sugar. Coffee. Grain. Flour. Starch. Titanium. Aluminum. Magnesium. These are examples of everyday items that are considered combustible materials. Mythbusters once did an experiment about  the combustion of powdered coffee creamer. Check it out to see some damage this can cause!

These materials are often absolutely essential to the success of a business, especially an industrial one.

Environments that are particularly susceptible to combustible dust explosions are labs such as metalworking, pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, mechanical, woodworking, composite, chemical, food and beverage, and more.




Solutions To Combustible Dust Explosions 

Implementing Quality Air Filtration 

Business owners can quickly eliminate the fear of an explosion by reducing the dangerous conditions of the environment. The solution to a combustible dust explosion is to eliminate the elements of the explosion itself.

One simple way to prevent an explosion is to keep the air moving. Explosions happen in enclosed environments with stagnant air. An enclosed location means the particles are limited to move within certain limits. A high quality air filtration system means particles are constantly moving in and out of the room, which generates movement and, therefore, prevents stagnation.

What does a quality air filtration system look like?

A quality air cleaner system includes pieces such as dry or wet dust collectors, mist eliminators, a filter system that removes contaminated particles, fume extraction kits, and filters (to state the obvious).


How To Implement Quality Air Filtration 

As a business owner or operator, you can help avoid a combustible dust explosion through a well thought out air filtration system. First and foremost, it’s important to keep your team safe. Secondly, it’s important to meet OSHA and EPA standards for clean air.

One way to find the right solution for a quality air filtration system is to work with a commercial air filtration expert to find the right clean air system for your business.

Now introducing: Bisco Enterprise. Established in 1974, we have more than 40 years of experience developing systems that solve the issue of combustible dust explosions. We begin with a thorough evaluation to identify your pain points and then send our experienced and collaborative team mates to help you through the process. We truly value your input along the way so that you can rest assured that the products used and solutions developed are most optimal for you.

We work with renowned suppliers to bring quality products at reasonable prices. Combustible dust is an incredibly dangerous element of industrial work, and we don’t want it to be a burden to implement a solution.

Ultimately, we provide ongoing support for the solutions and the products. Your air matters to us, and we want to give you the best through your entire experience.


You can prevent combustible dust explosions in your facility with a quality air filtration system.  Connect with Bisco today for Top Rated National® Commercial Air Filtration and Dust Collection Products.