High Surface Dust Can Cause Dust Explosions

High Surface DustAs an industrial facility, you produce a lot of dust, and over time that dust collects and needs to be properly cleaned on a regular basis. Unfortunately, many facilities only think about cleaning areas that are visible and don’t realize there are dust, dirt and other debris above their heads just waiting to cause problems. High surface dust can create the largest dust explosion hazard and should be a regular part of combustible dust cleaning procedures.


Through the course of everyday production dust from the manufacturing process gets blown around landing on high surfaces. Since these areas are out of reach and typically out of mind, they are not regularly cleaned. This allows the industrial dust on the ceiling and rafters to continue to increases while the rest of the building appears clean. Seems pretty harmless, right? Unfortunately, this dust can be made of combustible dust which can act like a bomb. In fact, one requirement for a combustible dust explosion is for a contained dust cloud to be created, and the settled dust in high up areas creates the potential for this to occur.


Usually there is a small fire or explosion that happens with the ground level dust, and the shockwaves or the attempt to put it out disrupts the dust on high surfaces. This causes the dust to fall down creating a dust cloud over the whole building. This cloud reaches the initial ignition source, causing it to combust. These secondary dust cloud combustions have had enough power to lift entire roofs from buildings, buckle concrete floors, and demolish entire factories.


Adding ceilings and rafters to your list of industrial cleaning responsibilities will help prevent the risk of a combustible dust explosion. Not to mention chunks of this collected debris can enter the ventilation system and clog up the HVAC as well as pollute the air you breathe, causing employees to become ill and lower work efficiency.


Is high surface dust causing problems in your facility? Contact a Hughes Representative to find out how we can help you!

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