Dust Explosions explained

To understand how a dust explosion occurs there are certain factors that has to be present all at once. The dust explosion pentagon graphic in this article will help you understand.


The factors are: 1) Combustible dust which usually settles on a surface, 2) dispersion of dust particles by some "event", 3) confined dust cloud 4) ignition source such as a spark or a flame 5) oxygen in the air.




In work environments that consist of enclosed spaces such as storage silos, mixers, dryers, mills etc it is especially a hazard that needs to be considered. 


Some combustible dust hazard materials are:


  • | Plastics
  • | Wood
  • | Sugar
  • | Flour
  • | Grain
  • | Rubber
  • | Textiles
  • | Pharmaceuticals
  • | Pesticides
  • | Egg whites
  • | Powdered milk
  • | Potato
  • | Cornstarch
  • | Rice 
  • | Aluminium
  • | Bronze
  • | Magnesium
  • | Zinc


to name but a few, there are many more.


Dust explosions are not to be taken lightly. It is often deadly and can result in a secondary explosion which can cause even more damage. In the next article we will look at what you can do to prevent dust explosions

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