Combustible Dust Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify dust explosion & reactivity hazards

Flammable Gas & Vapor Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify explosion hazards for vapor and gas mixtures

Chemical Reactivity Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify reactive chemical hazards, including the possibility of material incompatibility, instability, and runaway chemical reactions

DIERS Methodology

Design emergency pressure relief systems to mitigate the consequences of unwanted chemical reactivity and account for two-phase flow using the right tools and methods

Deflagrations (Dust/Vapor/Gas)

Properly size pressure relief vents to protect your processes from dust, vapor, and gas explosions

Effluent Handling

Pressure relief sizing is just the first step and it is critical to safety handle the effluent discharge from an overpressure event

Thermal Stability

Safe storage or processing requires an understanding of the possible hazards associated with sensitivity to variations in temperature

UN-DOT

Classification of hazardous materials subject to shipping and storage regulations

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Biological

Model transport of airborne virus aerosols to guide safe operations and ventilation upgrades

Radioactive

Model transport of contamination for source term and leak path factor analysis

Fire Analysis

Model transport of heat and smoke for fire analysis

Flammable or Toxic Gas

transport of flammable or toxic gas during a process upset

OSS consulting, adiabatic & reaction calorimetry and consulting

Onsite safety studies can help identify explosibility and chemical reaction hazards so that appropriate testing, simulations, or calculations are identified to support safe scale up

Mechanical, Piping, and Electrical

Engineering and testing to support safe plant operations and develop solutions to problems in heat transfer, fluid flow, electric power systems

Battery Safety

Testing to support safe design of batteries and electrical power backup facilities particularly to satisfy UL9540a ed.4

Hydrogen Safety

Testing and consulting on the explosion risks associated with devices and processes which use or produce hydrogen

Spent Fuel

Safety analysis for packaging, transport, and storage of spent nuclear fuel

Decommissioning, Decontamination and Remediation (DD&R)

Safety analysis to underpin decommissioning process at facilities which have produced or used radioactive nuclear materials

Laboratory Testing & Software Capabilities

Bespoke testing and modeling services to validate analysis of DD&R processes

Nuclear Overview

Our Nuclear Services Group is recognized for comprehensive evaluations to help commercial nuclear power plants operate efficiently and stay compliant.

Severe Accident Analysis and Risk Assessment

Expert analysis of possible risk and consequences from nuclear plant accidents

Thermal Hydraulics

Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions

Environmental Qualification (EQ) and Equipment Survivability (ES)

Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions

Laboratory Testing & Software Capabilities

Testing and modeling services to support resolution of emergent safety issues at a power plant

Adiabatic safety calorimeters (ARSST and VSP2)

Low thermal inertial adiabatic calorimeters specially designed to provide directly scalable data that are critical to safe process design

Other Lab Equipment (DSC/ARC supplies, CPA, C80, Super Stirrer)

Products and equipment for the process safety or process development laboratory

FERST

Software for emergency relief system design to ensure safe processing of reactive chemicals, including consideration of two-phase flow and runaway chemical reactions

FATE

Facility modeling software mechanistically tracks transport of heat, gasses, vapors, and aerosols for safety analysis of multi-room facilities

Blog

Our highly experienced team keeps you up-to-date on the latest process safety developments.

Process Safety Newsletter

Stay informed with our quarterly Process Safety Newsletters sharing topical articles and practical advice.

Resources

With over 40 years of industry expertise, we have a wealth of process safety knowledge to share.

Recent Posts

Combustible Dust Hazard (DHA) Research At A Full Scale Lab

Posted by The Fauske Team on 06.08.17

By: Ashok Ghose Dastidar, PhD, MBA, Vice President, Dust & Flammability Testing and Consulting Services, Fauske & Associates, LLC (FAI)

Dust explosions are a serious hazard in the process industries. They have led to the injuries and fatalities of plant workers as well as Combustible_Dust_copy.jpgdestruction of capital equipment and business interruption. They occur in a wide range of industries such as agricultural, metal processing, fine chemical, woodworking and pharmaceuticals to name just a few. The “dusts” we generally speak about in these incidents include powders that are being handled or manufactured but also byproducts of a manufacturing process. Fauske & Associates, LLC (FAI) have been involved in combustible dust hazards testing and consulting since the early 1980’s. We were one of the first labs in North America to have a spherical 20-L chamber for dust cloud explosibility testing. Today, after over 30 years, we are the preeminent laboratory testing facility in North America with world class facilities. We have grown from one 20-L chamber to four spherical units. We also have five Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE) testing apparatus as well as a one-cubic meter spherical explosion chamber. We perform hazard characterization using ASTM, ISO, VDI, IEC and CEN testing methods in our ISO 17025 accredited facility. However, we are not only a commercial testing facility. We do host and sponsor academic research as well.

During the 2014-2015 academic year we hosted three Post-Doctoral Students from the University of Ostrava in the Czech Republic conducting research on comparing dust explosibility parameters measured in the 20-L chamber with those measured in the 1-m3 chamber. This year, FAI have committed ourselves to a three-year research study headed up by Dr. Paul Amyotte from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada under a collaborative research grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Research will be conducted on a specific class of combustible dust known as marginally explosible dusts. These materials pose a unique challenge when designing dust explosion prevention and mitigation measures; while they appear to explode during laboratory-scale tests, their explosion characteristics in industrial-size facilities are less certain. Comprehensive investigation of this uncertainty is only possible by means of concurrent testing using standard laboratory-scale equipment and specialized larger-scale test chambers.

These marginally explosible dusts fall into two categories. The first one is materials that are susceptible to Overdriving. Overdriving is a dust cloud combustion phenomenon where the intensity of the pyrotechnic ignition source used to initiate the explosion in the 20-L test chamber may actually be enhancing the dusts combustibility. This can occur by either heating up the entire dust cloud making it more susceptible to ignition/autoignition or by directly burning the dust in the flame volume of the igniter (the “firecracker” used to initiate these experiments can take up to 50% of the volume of the 20-L test chamber). The second category is materials susceptible to underdriving. Underdriving can occur when the vessel walls of the the 20-L test chamber act as a heat sink and prevent/hinder dust cloud combustion propagation by quenching it out.

These phenomena have been observed in the 20-L chamber by several researchers. These two phenomena are not present in the 1-m3 chamber. The enormous size of the test vessel means that the ignition source (“firecracker”) only occupies a small portion of the chamber thereby minimizing the chance of preheating the dust cloud or that burning in the igniter volume will generate any appreciable pressure. Additionally, the enormity of the chamber means that wall quenching is minimized and dust cloud combustion propagation is allowed to progress and develop. The focus of the current study will be to characterize these phenomena. We, at FAI, are excited to begin this research as the results could help guide best practices on explosion mitigation strategies for these types of materials.

For more information regarding research or dust hazard analysis (DHAs), please contact Ashok Ghose Dastidar, dastidar@fauske.com, 630-887-5249. 

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