What is Combustible Dust?
At present there is no universal definition for combustible dust. The OSHA NEP defines it as “particulate solid that presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations, regardless of particle size or shape.”
The NFPA defines it as “any finely divided solid material that is 420 microns or smaller in diameter that presents a fire or explosion hazard when dispersed and ignited in air.”
Most solid organic materials, as well as many metals and some nonmetallic inorganic materials, will burn or explode if finely divided and dispersed in sufficient concentrations.
Dust Explosion Pentagon
Five basic elements are needed for an explosion:
- Fuel to burn (combustible dust)
- Oxygen to sustain the fire (air)
- Heat from an ignition source (spark)
- Dispersion of a high concentration of dust into the air (deflagration)
- Confinement of the dust within an enclosure or structure (explosion)
Learn more about combustible dust and making the safe choice for your facility with our Interactive Guide.
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