Overlooked Aspects of Combustible Dust Design & NFPA Requirements

IAC is excited to co-sponsor the PBS Dust Collection Webinar, "Overlooked Aspects of Combustible Dust Design", being presented on Wednesday, January 25th, 2023.  In addition to what you'll learn by attending this PBS presentation, please take a look at IAC's resources on the subject of "Overlooked Aspects of Combustible Dust Design"

Dust explosions are a real and serious hazard in industrial facilities with the potential to cause large-scale destruction and loss of life. The key to mitigating dust-related risks is designing, engineering, and maintaining a safe environment.

IAC has built dozens and dozens of air pollution control systems with properly designed explosion mitigation equipment.  
Most recently, some of our best success stories have been helping customers with existing INDOOR air filtration systems that were installed before the current NFPA requirements bring their facility into compliance.  This includes a lot of items such as:
  • Having a Dust Hazzard Analysis (DHA) performed at your plant
  • Exposition proof drums for hopper discharge
  • Inlet isolation gate retrofits
  • Outlet isolation gates
  • Ductwork redesign
  • Complete replacement and redesign

Our customers don't need to contact multiple resources for help. All of these things are items that IAC can provide our customers. 


What is the NFPA?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is the leading organization when it comes to dust management and safety; they have published a series of standards to protect industrial workers and their environment. The NFPA recommends that combustible dust concentrations should be minimized in the production area and kept below the Minimum Explosible Concentration (MEC). The MEC is the concentration of dust that, when suspended in air, can cause it to ignite and explode. In addition, NFPA requires that combustible dust should not accumulate in the work area or HVAC systems. Filters must be regularly changed and clean-up is required after production.

What are the NFPA 654 Requirements for a Dust Hazzard Analysis?

When setting up the combustible dust design for an industrial building, NFPA 654 requires that a facility conduct a combustible dust hazard analysis (DHA). This analysis must identify all potential sources of dust with combustible properties, as well as evaluate the potential consequences of an explosion if one were to occur. Facilities must also develop and implement a combustible dust control plan that includes effective management practices, dust prevention measures, proper housekeeping, dust collection and containment systems, and combustible dust control areas.

Note: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is in process of combining six combustible dust standards, including NFPA 654, into one consolidated standard, NFPA 660

Combustible Dust - How Concerned Should You Be?

By definition, combustible simply means able to be burned easily and dust’s most basic definition is a fine powder from a particular substance which has tendencies to build up in buildings and on surfaces that have not been recently cleaned.  While at home, dust on the top of a picture frame poses no threat, it can be cleaned with the swipe of a finger.  However, in manufacturing settings, dust composed of countless properties can coat surfaces and hang in the air posing not only threats to one’s respiratory system, but, depending on the substance, give rise to dangers such as explosions and sweeping fires that threaten lives and infrastructure.

IAC's Dust Hazard Analysis Services

One of our most popular service offerings is a dust hazard assessment (DHA). An IAC combustible dust specialist will travel to your facility, walk your plant, and create a detailed report.  Once you have the report, you are free to implement any suggestions for change and improvements in the manner that best fits your company's needs and budget.  Of course we'd like to be your go-to for equipment and services, but nothing in the report will be biased toward selecting IAC.  Our customers appreciate our straight forward, common sense approach to addressing their needs, and we want to keep it that way.

  • Visit our Services page to learn more. 

Example of How IAC Helped a Customer with the DHA & How it Improved their Operation and Employee Health  

Many of IAC’s customers work with dangerous and hazardous materials. When creating solutions for handling harmful materials, IAC works quickly to help these organizations create safer processes for their employees and production. IAC did this recently by taking a few fast measurements and rapidly creating a custom component to eliminate the spread of a harmful powder in an ingredient facility, which took numbers from three and a half times the exposure limitation to less than 10% of the threshold.

Here are additional resources for topics related to Combustible Dust Control:

Reach out to IAC today and put our experience to work for you!  We can help you meet production rates, keep production costs down, and ensure a safe working environment for your staff.

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