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

What is an Onset Temperature, and How Should I Use it to Better Understand My Reactive Hazards?

Posted by Fauske & Associates on 12.15.23

Onset temperature is the lowest temperature at which a chemical reaction is occurring at a measurable rate. Unlike certain flammability related quantities, chemical reactions are essentially always occurring, and there is still non-zero rate of reaction even at low temperatures where measurement is not possible. In other words, there is not a temperature “switch” that initiates a reaction. Therefore, the reported onset temperature is highly dependent on the instrument sensitivity, the procedure utilized for collecting the data (i.e. the time-temperature history of the material), the type of instrument (e.g. how adiabatic an instrument is), and the specific kinetics of the reaction. Therefore, caution must be employed when applying information on the measured reaction onset to a real chemical process.

An example of the variation of observed onset temperature for various experimental procedures is shown in Figure 1. Presented are data from three Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) experiments conducted with varying heating rates. The DSC provides heat flow calorimetry data where the temperature of the material is controlled, and the resulting heat flow is measured. The observed onset temperature increases as the imposed heating rate increases, and this is expected in most cases. The experiment conducted with a 0.5°C/min imposed heating rate has an observed onset temperature around 160°C. The experiment conducted with an 8°C/min imposed heating rate has an observed onset temperature around 190°C. Differences in the observed temperature onsets depend on the kinetics of the reaction (e.g., reaction order, activation energy, autocatalytic behavior, etc.).

Figure 1 - DSC Thermograms Reporting Heat Flow vs. Temperature for Acrylic Acid at Varying Temperature Ramps

Figure 2 shows Advanced Reactive System Screening Tool (ARSST) adiabatic calorimetry data for acrylic acid. The ARSST is a low-phi adiabatic calorimetry instrument that typically operates with an imposed constant-power heating rate and in an open-system fashion where vaporization of the sample is suppressed by a superimposed inert gas backpressure. This experiment was conducted with approximately a 2°C/min effective heating rate. Here, the first deviation above the background heating rate is observable at approximately 120°C, which may be considered the observed onset in this experiment. This observed onset temperature is lower than what is depicted in Figure 1, illustrating the instrument and setup dependency on onset temperature.


Figure 2 - ARSST Adiabatic Calorimetry Data Reporting Temperature Rise Rate vs. Temperature for Acrylic Acid

It can be expected that when extrapolating this behavior to situations where materials are exposed to lower temperatures for longer periods of time (like ‘isothermal’ conditions that might be expected during storage or processing), the observed onset temperature will decrease. This can make it difficult to predict the behavior of large quantities of materials over longer periods of time. The “100 degree Rule” is a commonly assumed safety margin where 100°C below the observed DSC onset temperature is considered a safe processing temperature. As mentioned earlier, the variation in onset is dependent on a variety of things including reaction kinetics. It is therefore recommended to proceed with caution when applying this rule, unless prior experience on the kinetics of the specific reaction is available. In most cases, given enough time, and a large enough scale (which generally decreases heat losses), a reaction can reach completion at any temperature.

What isn’t described by onset temperature alone is the likelihood and consequence of a reaction occurring. More important than onset temperature for understanding a reactive hazard is the relationship between temperature and reaction time (e.g., how long will it take to reach peak reaction rates at a given temperature), as well as reactive rate of heat generation vs. rate of heat removal from the vessel/container at varying temperatures, time scales, and production scales. There are many ways to get the data necessary for understanding reactive hazards so they can be mitigated or prevented. The FAI team would be pleased to discuss your processes or concerns to help you develop a practical plan to evaluate the hazard and truly understand the risk.

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Topics: Thermal Stability, ARSST, Adiabatic Calorimetry, Reactive Chemicals


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