Combustible Dust | NFPA Standard 652
Combustible Dust: What You Need to Know
Combustible dust explosions can cause employee injuries, deaths and destruction of entire buildings. Combustible dust is one of the biggest hazards confronting a wide variety of industries. Because it is mostly unseen or otherwise sensed, it is easily unrecognized for the damage and injury it can cause.
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) defines combustible dust as “any finely divided solid material that is 420 microns or smaller in diameter and presents a fire or explosion hazard when dispersed and ignited in air.” Any combustible material can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. If such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, under certain conditions, it can become explosible. Left uncontrolled, dusts may migrate from the point of production/release, increasing the portion of the facility subjected to combustible dust fire and explosion hazards. Even materials that do not burn in larger pieces, given the proper conditions, can be explosible in dust form.
Specifics for Metal Dust
Revisions have also been made to NFPA 484 Standard for Combustible Metals. This applies to all facilities that process or finish metals and alloys potentially combustible, including aluminum, magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium, lithium and potassium. Machining, grinding, sawing and buffing these metals can create dangerous and explosive combustible dust. NFPA 484 outlines the requirements for safe management of combustible dust to mitigate hazards and reduce the risk of facility damage and worker injury. This standard describes the process of determining the combustibility of a metal, analyzing hazards, controlling ignition sources and handling nanometals and additive manufacturing. Special considerations should be given to cross-contamination of metals, especially aluminum and steel. This combination can be very dangerous and has resulted in many workplace injuries that could have been prevented. It is critical that an appropriate dust collection system is installed to manage the unique properties of metal dust. RoboVent offers custom solutions that ensure safety and clean air.
New for 2020
By September 7, 2020 you will need to complete a Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) of your facility per NFPA Standard 652. This standard shall provide the basic principles and requirements for identifying and managing the fire and explosion hazards of combustible dusts and particulate solids. The goal of this standard is to provide safety measures to prevent and mitigate fires and dust explosions in facilities that handle combustible particulate solids.
For more information click through the resources listed on the right side of this page. Also see below for Frequently asked questions. Let RoboVent help you understand what Combustible Dust is, how to prevent it and steps to ensure you are compliant for the NEW NFPA standard 652 that will be effective September 7, 2020. Make your facility safer for you and your employees. Contact a member of your RoboVent Solutions team to learn more.