If your company creates or handles dust during any phase of your process, you most likely are at risk for an explosion, and may not even know it! Since 1980 there have been over 350 REPORTED combustible dust explosions which have killed 133 people and injured hundreds more. And contrary to many people’s opinions and beliefs, dust explosions are preventable and avoidable.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which is an independent federal agency which investigates chemical accidents, has produced a video detailing a massive sugar dust explosion. This explosion occurred at the Imperial Sugar refinery northwest of Savannah, Georgia, causing 14 deaths and injuring 38 others. The explosion was fueled by massive accumulations of combustible sugar dust throughout the packaging building.

Here at SSI, by focusing on each and every application and process, we work with you to determine the most practical and cost effective method of protecting your process and facility, and in keeping with the most recent requirements of NFPA, OSHA, and your Insurance provider. But the first step is recognizing the risk, and understanding your options.

Explosion Testing:

As a subsidiary of Fike Corporation in Blue Springs, MO, SSI has access to an unmatched wealth of knowledge, experience, and technology. A leading explosion protection equipment manufacturer, Fike has a state-of-the-art explosion testing laboratory to help verify the correct protection strategies for your plant by defining the specific characteristics of your dust.

Our testing capabilities include but are not limited to:

  • Basic explosibility testing for Kst and Pmax
  • Minimum ignition energy
  • Flammability limits
  • Auto-ignition temperature
  • Large Scale, custom process simulations
  • And many more

For more information on explosion testing, click here.

Once we’ve identified the characteristics of your dust, we’ll take a detailed look at your process to determine the correct explosion protection techniques to adequately protect your vessels and processes.

Explosion Venting and Flameless Venting:

Explosion Vents are the most commonly used form of explosion protection. Fike is a leader in the development of effective, cost-efficient, ATEX certified explosion venting solutions. It is often necessary to locate process equipment indoors, making passive explosion venting difficult or impossible. Fike has developed several Flameless Explosion Venting solutions that allow you to safely and economically protect equipment, without the need to relocate process machinery or the use of expensive duct work.

Hygienic / Sanitary Explosion Venting:

From explosion venting to active explosion protection systems, Fike has the right high-performance products for all your sanitary, CIP/SIP and industrial applications.

Explosion Isolation:

Fike’s effective Explosion Isolation systems detect and mechanically or chemically block the flame pathways, preventing the spread of an explosion from one part of the process to another.

Explosion Suppression:

Fike Explosion Suppression systems are designed to detect and chemically suppress an explosion in its earliest (incipient) stages to prevent the development of destructive pressures or catastrophic explosions.

Explosion Protection Detection and Control:

Though sophisticated, the modular design, small size, global compatibility and pre-configured set-ups make Fike’s explosion detection and control system easy to install, program and use.

The bottom line is, until you have implemented one or more of the techniques outlined above on your process, YOU ARE AT RISK! SSI can help you develop the most cost effective, practical and reliable explosion protection approach for your specific process, and we look forward to working with you! For a copy of our “Explosion Protection Decision Matrix” to assist you in taking the first steps toward developing the right approach for your needs, click here.