SysTech offers both cost effective and compliant explosion protection and prevention solutions. SysTech Design and IEP Technologies, through our knowledge and experience, can help you navigate frequently updated Recommendations and Standards to ensure that your manufacturing processes and workers are protected from the threat of a combustible dust or hybrid (vapor and dust) application explosion and explosion risk minimized.
Industrial explosion protection systems and prevention is what we do…
Since the 2003 US Chemical Safety Board hearings and the 2007 OSHA Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP), Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) has risen to a top priority for plant safety reviews. This has resulted in an ever-increasing demand for effective explosion protection systems and a growing awareness of workplace health and safety hazards.
What are the mechanics of a dust explosion occurring in a dust collector?
To address the combustible dust explosion issue NFPA has recently released Standard 652, Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust, 2016 edition. Official document scope is “This standard shall provide the basic principles of and requirements for identifying and managing the fire and explosion hazards of combustible dusts and particulate solids.” This Standard places responsibility for knowledge of the dust (the Dust Hazard Analysis) squarely on the facility management with a retroactive date of October 2018 to comply.
Combustible dust management includes protection against primary explosions within a process and against secondary explosions resulting from inadequate housekeeping or nuisance dust accumulation. The primary explosion will shake loose other dust that has accumulated, most often, on horizontal surfaces. When this dust becomes airborne, it also ignites. This secondary dust explosion is often more destructive than the primary one.
Explosion mitigation should be investigated for the following processes and equipment (not an all-inclusive list):
- Conveying Equipment – Elevators, Pneumatic Ducts, Separators, Vapor Control
- Processing Equipment – Coaters, Cookers, Dust Collectors, Dryers, Paint Booths, Sanders
- Pulverizing Processes – Ball Mills, Cage Mills, Flakers, Granulators, Grinders, Shredders
- Storage Vessels – Bins, Cyclones, Flammable Liquid Storage Areas, Hoppers, Tanks
Explosion protection systems address containment or mitigation of potential explosions through the following means:
- Explosion Venting – Relieves the vessel/enclosure pressure and redirects or arrests the fireball associated with an explosion (Compliant with NFPA 68)
- Explosion Suppression System – Suppresses potential explosions through the discharge of chemical agents (Compliant with NFPA 69, 654, and 652)
- Explosion Isolation – Prevents explosions from propagating through ductwork and spreading throughout the facility or to other pieces of equipment (Compliant with NFPA 69 and 654)
- Combustible Dust Testing – Part of the Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) as outlined in NFPA 652
- Static Charge Dissipation – Eliminating the ignition hazards of static electricity
Active or Passive Explosion Devices
Explosion protection equipment and systems are defined as either active or passive in design. Passive devices do not require a detector to activate the device. Explosion vents or panels are passive as are mechanical isolation valves such as the ProFlap Plus III and the VENTEX valve.
Chemical suppression and isolation systems using PistonFire II Suppressor bottles are active as are slide gate knife isolation valves. In this case, when exlosion pressure builds and sensed, a remote detector sends a signal to the selected devices. An explosion protection system can be totally passive or active depending upon the facility regulations and position of the protected equipment within the facility. Typically, active systems will be a more defined design based upon equipment being located indoors or not being able to be properly vented to the atmosphere safely.
Whatever your final design and equipment selection, it is imperative to know who will approve or certify the system you select when your system is in operation. That party is defined as Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and they most often will refer to the latest version of the NFPA Standard.
Key Standards seen in industrial ventilation systems include the latest edition of:
NFPA 61: Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities – An industry specific Standard that is directed at protecting Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities. It focuses on methods of safely handling agricultural dusts, by-products, and related materials, through maintaining certain safely precautions in regards their storage, handling and processing.
NFPA 68: Standard on Explosion Protection by Deflagration Venting – This Standard defines methods for implementing explosion vents or systems to decrease pressures within a dust enclosure to minimize damage, should flammable vapors or dusts be ignited.
NFPA 69: Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems – This Standard serves as a design manual for designers or AHJs who are responsible for explosion prevention systems implemented on process systems that may produce flammable gases, dusts or hybrid mixtures within an enclosed environment such as a dust collector, receiver or elevator.
NFPA 77: Recommended Practice on Static Electricity – This document identifies processes that pose electrostatic discharge potential and offers practical measures to mitigate.
NFPA 484: Standard for Combustible Metals – This industry specific Standard applies to those manufacturers involved with processing, finishing, and recycling of metal or metal alloys that generate a byproduct of fugitive combustible powders or dusts and are capable of an explosion.
NFPA 652: Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust – This Standard defines the key elements of potential combustible dusts explosions or fires and the necessary mitigation procedures to avoid them. It acts in conjunction with industry specific Standards by allowing them to prevail in specification conflict.
NFPA 654: Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Solids – This NFPA Standard is written in regards to the prevention and mitigation of explosions or fires for all combustible solids in particulate sizes including dust, fibers, chips, and chunks.
NFPA 664: Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities – This industry specific Standard details mitigation techniques for the wood processing and woodworking industry to protect against fire and explosion.
Should your AHJ require additional documentation, SysTech can provide a Combustible Dust Testing and recommend a Risk Assessment Consultant to evaluate and document the existence or non-existence of dust hazards within your facility.
Explosion Protection Systems Manufacturers
We are your representative for IEP Technologies | HOERBIGER Safety Solutions (formerly Fenwal Protection Systems), the largest fire and explosion protection company in the world.
IEP Technologies | HOERBIGER Safety Solutions
IEP Technologies joined with HOERBIGER Safety Solutions and continues as the foremost authority on, and innovative developer of, explosion protection equipment and systems. Formerly, Fenwal Protection Systems, their history of supplying explosion protection systems dates back to1950.
Their knowledge of explosion mitigation is augmented by more than 20 years of industry experience with a full line of explosion panels both in rectangular and around configurations.
Newson Gale | HOERBIGER Safety Solutions
Part of the HOERBIGER Safety Solutions group of companies. Newson-Gale designs static control for hazardous areas through grounding and bonding. They develop and manufacture hardware solutions focused on eliminating the ignition hazards of static electricity in flammable and combustible atmospheres.
SysTech thru its knowledgeable manufacturers, offers the best in explosion protection systems and explosion protection services.
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