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Spark detection system prevents dust explosions

Supplier: ProDetec By: Ron Raymond
19 November, 2012

Anything that has been transformed into fine particles can explode. Unfortunately, all too often it does.

Every year, many serious fires and explosions occur in industrial plants as a result of dust. Yes, dust. Fine inflammable material is explosive! The statistics speak for themselves. Dust explosions lead to considerable material damage and long production shutdowns. Every year there are also accidents with fatal consequences.

In order for a dust explosion to take place, the material must have a low moisture content, the dust particles must be of a certain size and the amount of fine particles per unit of volume must lie within certain critical values. An ignition source is also needed such as flames, sparks, embers or hot bodies.

The temperature needed for ignition is much lower than most people think. Almost all organic material in the form of a dust cloud will ignite at temperatures below 500° C - approximately the same temperature as a newly extinguished match.

The actual explosion does not normally occur in the conveying line in which the fine particles are being transported, but in high-risk zones such as filters, silos and cyclones. In other words, places where dust concentrations can vary considerably and easily attain critical values.

A good way to protect against fire and dust explosions is to ensure that ignition sources cannot end up in these high-risk zones. Firefly offers a unique protection system which detects and neutralizes ignition sources within milliseconds.