Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Combustible Dust Characterization

Will it burn? Here is an excellent view of a combustible dust magnified over 1500X with the aid of a scanning electron microscope (SEM), the pictomicrograph provided by Phenom is 125 microns in height. So how many microns does a dust particle have to be in order to be considered a combustible dust? Electron microscopy can be quite useful in characterizing combustible particulate solids and the combustible dusts that are generated in the manufacturing process.

Theres many particles that will not pass through a 40 Mesh U.S Standard Testing sieve and would be inappropriately characterized as non-combustible. Such particles could be agglomerates that can be formed by triboelectric attraction or hydrogen bonding of hydrophillic particles . Does your manufacturing process generate agglomerates such as flocks in the manufacturing process?

In December 1995, the Malden Mills combustible dust explosion and fire destroyed the facility and injured 37. The Chemical Safety Board determined that static electricity ignited nylon flock fibers. What is the resistivity and minimum ignition energy (MIE) of the dust generated at your facility?

Can anyone guess what combustible dust is in the picture.? Just name it in the comments section and I'll let you know if you are correct. The winner will receive a free combustible dust report with the specific names of all the NAICS subsectors listed in Appendix D of the recent OSHA Combustible Dust NEP.

'Photo Credit: Phenom

Information Scanning Electron Microscope

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