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Lorchem Learning Center | Combustible Dust | Explosion-Proof Vacuums

Combustible Dust Poses A Very Real Threat To Your Facility

Hazardous locations (HazLoc) are areas where a fire or explosion hazards may exist due to the presence of flammable gases, vapors or liquids, combustible dust or ignitable fibers or flyings. Most people are familiar with the explosion hazards of common fuels (i.e. gasoline, kerosene) but many are unaware of the hazards posed by combustible dusts. Because many gases and vapors are odorless and invisible, special methods and equipment have been developed for handling, processing and detecting these flammable substances. Dust, on the other hand, is a common byproduct of many ordinary manufacturing processes and is so common in our everyday lives that we tend not to treat it as an explosion hazard. History has proven, however, that combustible dust can cause deadly and devastative explosions.

The Dust Explosion Pentagon

Fuel, oxygen and heat—this combination of elements will produce a simple fire but is not enough to create an explosion. Add two more elements, dispersion and confinement, and you have the 5 elements needed to start an explosion.

The 5 basic elements needed to start an explosion:

1. Fuel to burn (combustible dust);
2. Oxygen to sustain the fire (air);
3. Heat from an ignition source (spark);
4. Dispersion of a high concentration of dust into the air (deflagration);
5. Confinement of the dust within an enclosure or structure (explosion).

Traditional plant maintenance methods like sweeping and blowing down with compressed air only make the situation worse by spreading the combustible dust around and making it airborne. This actually increases your chances of a combustible dust explosion.

That's why specialized industrial vacuums are now generally accepted as the best way to combat combustible dust and other explosive materials. 
View the Nilfisk CFM line of explosion-proof vacuums.

Minimize Your Combustible Dust Risk With Proper
Cleaning Procedures

 Combustible Dust and the Dust Explosion Pentagon

 Contact us to learn more.  We can help you choose the right explosion-proof vacuum for your needs.


News, Articles and Whitepapers

"When the Dust Settles: Combating Combustive Dust in Food Manufacturing" - PDF Download

"Fired Up: Combustible Dust Raises Explosive Issues" - PDF Download

Combustible dust has been the culprit of deadly work-place blasts for decades, but it wasn’t until an explosion in 2008 that killed 14 people at the Imperial Sugar Refinery in Port Wentworth, GA, that the issue began getting the attention it deserved. OSHA stepped in, reissuing its Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program. OSHA's Maintenance and Housekeeping Guidelines for Combustible Dust.

    ©2012 Lorchem Technologies, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved.

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