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Why do industrial dusts risk exploding?

“In addition to being hazardous to human health, the dusts produced during industrial processing stages can even generate explosions if not disposed of properly. In assessing the degree of the risk of fire and/or explosion, certain elements must be taken into account.

Written Friday, by Nicola Tagliabue
Wood processing

Workplace safety and protection becomes particularly important during the early stages of industrial processing, when dusts are generated as a result of material and product handling operations.

Based on their degree of flammability and relative risk of generating explosions, the hazard levels of powdery substances are classified on a specific chart.

The main elements that are taken into account when assessing the risk of dust flammability and explosion at the workplace are generally the following:

  • the chemical composition (organic, etc.) and the degree of fineness (particle size) of the dusts
  • the amount of oxygen present in the air and the concentration of moisture (the humidity level of the air generally tends to reduce the flammability/explosion threshold)
  • the ambient temperature and pressure at the workplace (the higher they are, the greater the hazard)
  • the lack of a good extraction system and the presence of a persistent cloud of dust in the air
  • the presence of flammable gasses in the air for reasons associated with the work processes.

The risks of dust fires and explosions are present in a wide range of industrial sectors (the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, etc.) and require manufacturers to adopt suitable and efficient air purification systems that will allow dusts to be stored in complete safety.

Due to the delicacy and dangerousness of the issue, it is extremely important that these manufacturers turn to air filtration experts who are capable of offering the greatest guarantees in terms of industrial air filtration and purification, like SO.TEC (which has been successfully operating in the industrial dedusting sector for over 25 years).

Nicola Tagliabue

Author Nicola Tagliabue

Managing Director at SO.TEC Srl

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