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Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Combustible Dust Hazards Are Far More Common Than You May Think

Posted by Kimberly Stover on Fri, Apr 01, 2016

Most people are amazed that the dust from a number of everyday materials can become explosive under the right conditions: grains, sugar, metals, plastics, coal, coffee creamer, corn – just to name a few.

Because of this potential for explosion, dust hazards exist in many different industries:

  • Food processing
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Automotive
  • Textiles
  • Cosmetics
  • Refining

combustible-dust-explosion-hazards.jpgDust clouds created by these everyday materials have caused some of the worst industrial accidents in history. Usually, energized electrical equipment or a flame is the incentive for dust suspended in the air to catch fire and explode, setting off a chain reaction throughout the entire plant. Federal investigators have estimated that there have been more than 281 dust explosions over the past 25 years, resulting not only in the destruction of property, but in the loss of profits, jobs and  - worst of all - hundreds of injuries and deaths.

However, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), every one of those injuries and deaths could have easily been prevented with effective housekeeping, workforce training, and preplanning. (View the CSB’s in-depth Combustible Dust video)

KPRC 2 out of Houston, Texas recently investigated the dangers of combustible dust in the workplace. See the full report by investigative reporter Bill Spencer. 

One of the quickest and most inexpensive ways to prevent and control dust hazards is through pressurization via a purge and pressurization system. Housing electrical equipment in a pressurized cabinet suppresses the ability for the explosion to occur.

Pepperl+Fuchs Bebco EPS® offers a full range of purge and pressurization systems classified for dust applications that can easily and properly protect workers and plants from potentially devastating situations  From standard pneumatic systems to fully automatic control units, our purge systems provide reliable protection in the most demanding environments.

   Product    Classification   Dust Group   Certifications
   1000 series    Class II, Div. 1 & 2 -Type Y, Z   E-G   UL, cULus, CSA
   5500 series    Class II, Div. 2 - Type Z
   Zone 22 – Type Ex pz
  E-G
  IIC
  UL, cULus
  ATEX, IECEx
   6000 series    Class II, Div. 1 - Type X
   Zone 21 – Type Ex px
  E-G
  IIC
  UL, cULus
  ATEX, IECEx
   6500 series    Zone 21 – Type Ex px   IIC   ATEX, IECEx

Learn more about how you can safeguard your people and your plant from deadly hazards such as dust explosions by downloading our whitepaper Preventing Dust Explosions for Hazardous Class II Applications: Download: Preventing Dust Explosions   for Hazardous Class II Applications

 

Topics: Purge/ Pressurization Systems

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