Fauske & Associates (FAI), a leader in nuclear, industrial and chemical process safety, has one of the most comprehensive, state-of-the-art combustible dust hazards analysis (DHA) testing lab and education centers in the world. With regard to industrial and chemical process safety, FAI is at the forefront for dust explosivity/combustibility testing offering a wide range of services related to characterizing, preventing and mitigating combustible dust explosions and fire hazards. In addition to laboratory testing, educational training and on-site consulting services are a frequent customer request.
“Our updated lab gives us the ability to provide very fast, high quality output for our partners and clients,” states Ashok Ghose Dastidar, PhD, MBA, Vice President, Dust & Flammability Testing and Consulting Services. “We are ISO 17025 certified by LAB, which is similar to ISO 9000, but for testing labs. We have a variety of test equipment, including 20-L chambers, Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE) chambers, 1 Cubic Meter (1m³) Chamber, Minimum Autoignition Temperature of a Dust Cloud (MIT) and Hot Surface Ignition Temperature of Dust Layers (LIT) apparatuses. We also have a designated area for European (CEN) testing. FAI’s new overall lab size and individual room structure allows us to handle multiple samples with unique characteristics.”
FAI’s lab capabilities provide testing per ASTM and European (CEN) standards, which include common tests like the Explosion Severity Test - (KSt , Pmax and (dP/dt)max), Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE), the Minimum Explosible Concentration (MEC) and Limiting Oxygen Concentration (LOC). These standards are the basis of NFPA codes for combustible dust as well as the OSHA Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP).
“The 1 Cubic Meter (1m³) Chamber is the gold standard for establishing KSt and Pmax values for dust cloud explosions – while common in Europe, it is only the second unit of its kind in all of North America,” states Dr. Dastidar. “The laboratory provides the ideal educational/training resource center as FAI professionals can demonstrate for customers the proper way to sample, test and mitigate combustible dust and other hazards.”
Combustible dust hazards are common in industry and have gained additional exposure due to the OSHA Combustible Dust (NEP) which was re-issued as a result of the fatal accident at Imperial Sugar. FAI’s process safety professionals serve clients in a variety of industries including food products, pharmaceuticals, metal processing, wood/paper products, agriculture, textiles, plastics and many others.
Founded in 1980 by Hans Fauske (D.Sc.), Michael Grolmes (PhD) and Robert Henry (PhD), FAI became a wholly owned subsidiary of Westinghouse Electric Co. in 1986. FAI assumed early leadership roles in the acclaimed DIERS program for AIChE and the IDCOR program for the nuclear power industry. These activities led to state-of-the-art methodology and laboratory tools for characterizing chemical systems and computer models for analyzing severe accidents in commercial nuclear power plants used worldwide. Recognized worldwide for phenomenological modeling related to the prevention and accommodation of chemical and nuclear power accidents, FAI also provides advanced training and research in physics, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering, computer science and other fields. FAI has several fully staffed laboratories supporting: EQ, CHAMP, full-scale thermal/hydraulics experiments, and basic physical sciences. FAI has a 10CFR50 Appendix B Quality Assurance (QA) Program and is ISO- 17025/IEC, ISO-9001 and TickIT certified.
FAI is also recognized for conducting comprehensive plant evaluations. FAI’s Nuclear Systems Group helps its customers enhance the availability and reliability of their operating plants while maintaining regulatory compliance, extending plant life and reducing operation and maintenance costs.