Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Spark Detection Systems-Podcast #4

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Allen Wagoner, V.P. at Flamex and Bob Barnum, V.P Sales at GreCon Inc., discuss important aspects of spark detection engineering controls in lessening the probability and reducing the severity of combustible dust related fires and explosions at facilities.

Over the past year the Combustible Dust Policy Institute has found through media accounts over 130+ combustible dust related fires and explosions. Many of these incidents could have been prevented and mitigated with proper engineering controls as referenced in the NFPA Combustible Dust Standards. Concerning fire and explosion protection for process equipment, NFPA 654 lists several protection methods such as:

  • Oxidant Concentration Reduction
  • Deflagration venting
  • Deflagration pressure containment
  • Deflagration suppression
  • Dilution with non-combustible dust
  • Deflagration venting through a dust retention and flame-arresting device

In today’s podcast, we’ll discuss fire and explosion protection methods utilizing spark detection and extinguishment. Spark detection systems are used in dust collectors and pneumatic conveying systems to detect and extinguish sparks and embers.

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Photo Credit: GreCon
The applications listed above are for example only. Qualified personnel must design suitable pneumatic conveying, electrical, and plumbing systems to local regulations, plant equipment and requirements. The drawings shown below may not meet the needs all facilities, but these drawings demonstrate how spark detection systems can be used in similar applications with the appropriate design


NFPA 654 Combustible Dust Standard
Flame Detection Tutorial-Sense Ware
Infrared Radiation

Combustible Dust: Threat to First Responders

BlogTalkRadio host Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), at the Watering Hole will feature a discussion Friday evening 9:00PM PST, December 19, 2008 with John Astad and Justin Clift, Industrial Market Specialist at Hazard Control Technologies on Combustible Dust Hazards that are unknowingly present when emergency responders respond to combustible dust related fires and explosions in the manufacturing, non-manufacturing, utility sectors.

In the past, fire-fighter fatalities and injuries have occurred when responding to these incidents. These occurrences could have been prevented if responders understood the hidden and unknown dangers of combustible dust found throughout the diverse multitude of manufacturing facilities.

Currently a situational awareness is lacking nationwide that combustible dust also poses a potential explosive atmosphere in the same light as flammable gases, vapors, and mists. Instead of vapor cloud or BLEVE explosions that occur in the refining sector there are deflagrations and dust explosions in the manufacturing sector.

Listeners can call in live Friday evening toward the end of the show by dialing the Call-in Number: (646) 378-1513.


4th Annual Industrial Fire, Safety, and Security Conference (IFSS 2009) Combustible Dust Hazard Workshop Feb. 3-4 2009 Houston, Texas at the Reliant Center (next to the Astrodome) www.ifssevent.com

2. Global Malt Explosion-1 Fire-fighter fatality/7 injuries

3. Six Stockton, Ca firefighters slightly hurt in plant explosion

4. BlogTalkRadio


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