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.

Published July 8, 2014

Combustible Dust Management Made Easy

Customer inquiry inspired us to develop the Combustible Dust Flowchart to help guide theFlow Chart decision-making process when dealing with a potentially combustible dust.  We realize that Combustible Dust is not a subject most people talk about every day. In fact, many people are unaware of what a combustible dust is, or how to go about appropriately managing a potential dust hazard. The Combustible Dust Flowchart walks through basic elements of the testing process, from the initial screening (to see if the dust is explosible), to the other tests that may be needed to give vital information to protect equipment or a facility.

The process of managing a potential dust hazard is made challenging by the fact that there are several different official standards that guide combustible dust management (like NFPA 654, NFPA 68, etc), and there are also several “rules of thumb” that are quoted by people that aren’t familiar with the nuances of combustible dust. For example, some people would say that if dust is larger than 400 microns, it is not explosible.  However, we have tested dusts as large as 800 micron and seen it explode! 

Another common statement is that if the dust layer in a given facility is less than a paper clip in thickness (or 1/32”), then it is “safe.” While this rule may work in some scenarios, it can be misleading as the explosion hazard from fugitive dust is a function of the minimum explosible concentration (MEC) of the material and the total surface area that the dust layer covers.  The important thing to note here is that there are many exceptions to the rule when dealing with dust, so proper testing and risk evaluation at a facility is essential to protect people and equipment.

This is not to say that NFPA codes and these general rules are not helpful in guiding an approach to a combustible dust. In fact, they are essential tools in managing dust concerns. However, the examples given above illustrate that the only real way to understand the hazards associated with a dust is to test the dust and to have an engineering professional determine how to apply the test data to a process. Fortunately, there are specific tests that can give helpful guidance about a dust’s behavior. For example, starting with a screening test will identify whether the dust is explosible or not. If the sample explodes during this screening test, then getting additional test information is important. Common tests like the Explosion Severity Test provide the KSt and Pmax values, which tell how powerful an a potential explosion could be; and tests like the Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE) inform clients how sensitive the dust is to electrical or electrostatic ignition sources.

Even after getting test data, we have many clients that still have questions regarding the application of test data to a given facility. To help with these questions, our Risk Management Group specializes in on-site hazard assessments to ensure that the facility is compliant with relevant NFPA and OSHA requirements relative to combustible dust.

Hopefully, you find this Combustible Dust Flowchart a helpful starting place as you walk down the road of combustible dust management.  Let us know what else would help?  

If you have any questions regarding this flowchart, or how to manage your combustible dust hazards, please contact Jeff Griffin at or us 630-887-5278.


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