The minimum ignition energy test is performed using ASTM E2019 as the guideline. This test is important because it tells you the smallest amount of energy that can be present in your process and still ignite your dust. This data is particularly important when you have applications like conveying, sieving, and pouring. Also, in housekeeping situations, the MIE can help you safely design collection equipment. Additionally, knowledge about the MIE level is important for establishing proper grounding and bonding protocols and designing ignition source avoidance methodologies.
If, after a review of your facility, you are only concerned about static-electric sparks, then the MIE test without inductance should be performed. If however, you are worried about sparks from electronic circuitry, other ignition sources or you wish to publish the MIE value on an Safety Data Sheet then the more conservative MIE method using inductance in the circuit is more appropriate (#3.2).
When testing your dust to find the minimum ignition energy (MIE), testing with inductance is a conservative approach that ensures you have the lowest value possible for your material. If there is any question about which form of the test should be used, you should consult a dust expert for guidance or use the conservative approach.
For more information on MIE or combustible dust testing, please contact Ashok Dastidar, PhD, MBA, Vice President, Dust & Flammability Testing and Consulting Services, Fauske & Associates, LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-887-5249