Hazards Analysis, Code Compliance & Procedure Development

Services to identify process safety hazards and facilitate compliance with established standards and codes.

Combustible Dust Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify dust explosion and 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

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


Classification of hazardous materials subject to shipping and storage regulations

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents


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


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 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 griffin@fauske.com or us 630-887-5278.


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