Combustible Dust Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify dust explosion and reactivity hazards

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Gas and Vapor

Laboratory testing to quantify explosion hazards for vapor and gas mixtures

Classification of hazardous materials subject to shipping and storage regulations
Testing and consulting on the explosion risks associated with devices and processes which use or produce hydrogen
Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Thermal Stability

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

Adiabatic Calorimetry
Data demonstrate the consequences of process upsets, such as failed equipment or improper procedures, and guide mitigation strategies including Emergency Relief System (ERS) design
Reaction Calorimetry
Data yield heat and gas removal requirements to control the desired process chemistry
Battery Safety

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

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Cable Testing
Evaluate electrical cables to demonstrate reliability and identify defects or degradation
Equipment Qualification (EQ)
Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions
Water Hammer
Analysis and testing to identify and prevent unwanted hydraulic pressure transients in process piping
Acoustic Vibration
Identify and eliminate potential sources of unwanted vibration in piping and structural systems
Gas & Air Intrusion
Analysis and testing to identify and prevent intrusion of gas or air in piping systems
ISO/IEC 17025:2017

Fauske & Associates fulfills the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 in the field of Testing

ISO 9001:2015
Fauske & Associates fulfills the requirements of ISO 9001:2015
Dust Hazards Analysis
Evaluate your process to identify combustible dust hazards and perform dust explosion testing
On-Site Risk Management
On-site safety studies can help identify explosibility and chemical reaction hazards so that appropriate testing, simulations, or calculations are identified to support safe scale up
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 safely handle the effluent discharge from an overpressure event

FATE™ & Facility Modeling

FATE (Facility Flow, Aerosol, Thermal, and Explosion) is a flexible, fast-running code developed and maintained by Fauske and Associates under an ASME NQA-1 compliant QA program.

Mechanical, Piping, and Electrical
Engineering and testing to support safe plant operations and develop solutions to problems in heat transfer, fluid, flow, and electric power systems
Hydrogen Safety
Testing and consulting on the explosion risks associated with devices and processes which use or produce hydrogen
Thermal Hydraulics
Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions
Nuclear Safety
Our Nuclear Services Group is recognized for comprehensive evaluations to help commercial nuclear power plants operate efficiently and stay compliant
Radioactive Waste
Safety analysis to underpin decomissioning process at facilities which have produced or used radioactive nuclear materials
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 and Parts for the DSC/ARC/ARSST/VSP2 Calorimeters

Products and equipment for the process safety or process development laboratory


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


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


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.


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

Recent Posts

Seismic Walkdowns & Process Safety Management: Nuclear to Industrial?

Posted by Fauske & Associates on 02.11.15

By Sara Peters, Fauske & Associates, LLC


“I feel the earth move under my feet”…isn’t that how the song by Carole King goes? Today’s topic isSeismic_-_Jens_ultrasonic_gauge-1 seismic events.  Seismic events occur when waves of energy move through the crust of the earth resulting in a most unnerving shaking sensation and often are accompanied by devastating amounts of destruction.

Most frequently, when we hear the term in discussions, it is in relation to earthquakes. But, really any type of event that can in effect cause the earth to move can produce similar waves. Depending on their strength, these events can challenge the structural integrity of any building, industrial facility or otherwise, and, therefore, its overall safety. 

For example, growing up in Illinois, I have witnessed firsthand the effects of tornadoes such as November 2013’s F4 storm in Washington, IL, the F2 storm in Springfield, IL in 2006, or perhaps you remember the much discussed F5 tornado that hit Plainfield, IL in 1990. All were massive demonstrations of destructive forces powerful enough to shatter seemingly strong and impenetrable structures, reducing them in the blink of an eye to nothing more than matchstick piles of rubble.  And, I have also felt the rolling energy of an explosion and the ‘sonic boom’ produced by a passing plane that caused the room to vibrate and the windows to shake.

The increase of events like earthquakes in recent years have lead to increased interest in seismic walkdowns to screen for seismic adequacy of systems as part of structural engineering programs. Particular ongoing interest lies in the wake of the impact of the disastrous earthquake and tsunami that occurred in March of 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.  While seismic walkdowns are required within the constraints of nuclear regulations, the usefulness of such walkdowns is not limited to just nuclear plant scenarios.

A component (e.g. pipe section, valve, control cabinet) is determined to be seismically adequate when its structural capacity is greater than the seismic demand. So, if you work in a facility that has potentially flammable, explosible or even toxic material, then an event like any one of those described above could pose a risk to the structural integrity of your facility and your safety plan.

Within the chemical industry, a good place to consider including such a walkdown to ensure that piping,  equipment, tanks and venting systems could withstand the load of a potential seismic event and to allow for optimal safety measures, would be as part of the Mechanical Integrity element of Process Safety Management (PSM).  The Mechanical Integrity element requires employers to have a written program to ensure the integrity of processes and equipment.

Per OSHA, “The major objective of PSM of highly hazardous chemicals is to prevent unwanted releases of hazardous chemicals especially into locations that could expose employees and others to serious hazards. An effective process safety management program requires a systematic approach to evaluating the whole chemical process. Using this approach, the process design, process technology, process changes, operational and maintenance activities and procedures, nonroutine activities and procedures, emergency preparedness plans and procedures, training programs, and other elements that affect the process are all considered in the evaluation.” 

As you can see, testing for structural safety is a natural fit. Seismic walkdowns should be conducted by qualified engineers with professional seismic training and access to necessary equipment (ultrasound, comparators, and modal equipment) that can be employed to effectively measure and document information regarding the seismic adequacy of equipment while on the walkdown.  For example, Fauske and Associates, LLC (FAI) engineers regularly undergo various professional seismic training (e.g. training provided by the Seismic Qualification Utility Group – SQUG).  Alternatively, we developed the FAI seismic screening methodology which provides an even more cost effective and conservative assessment approach. This methodology also allows us to analyze underground and buried pipe. Because we are both  a chemical process safety testing laboratory and engineering firm as well as a nuclear safety leader, our "hats" lend this side of our expertise to many areas of PSM.  

At this point, FAI's Manager of Structural Services & Vibration Jens Conzen aptly points out methodological limitations: "It should be noted, tornados, sonic booms and seismic events are not quite directly related.  They are different in nature and result in different consequences to structures and equipment.  Therefore, a good seismic design cannot necessarily protect you from the consequences of a tornado or a sonic boom.  A seismic event is more like a vibration phenomenon, whereas a tornado is a pressure (or missile impact) load and a sonic boom is an acoustic load.  

We find that walkdowns are a reliable method to assure that the as-is configuration can cope with the design basis earthquake.  Furthermore, a seismic engineering/seismic walkdown can provide good insight for the health of a system as well as the support systems.  The walkdown increases plant safety as the results will point out where areas are not adequate and where maintenance is needed. 

My opinion is that it is beneficial to conduct system walkdowns (similar to a seismic walkdown) on a regular basis (every 5-10 years).  The walkdown report will document and improve the system health and you may avoid costly repairs in the future.  Most importantly, you have assurance that your system is functioning and ready to deal with what it was designed for (i.e. the design basis earthquake in this case)."

So, whether you live in and active earthquake prone area or in the Midwest where super cell storms and spring go hand in hand, or even near an airport or quarry where the after effects of that sonic boom or frequent blasts could be rather common place, your facility safety can benefit from a seismic or a system walkdown to make sure that if the earth does move, you and your employees are a bit safer.

For more information on regarding seismic analysis and its industrial applications, contact us at

 Process Safety Management (PSM) Overview  

Topics: Process Safety, Nuclear


Is My Dust Combustible?

A Flowchart To Help You Decide
Download Now