Are Weld Fumes Combustible?

February 3rd, 2022

Weld fumes present many health and safety hazards for workers. Are combustible dust explosions among them?

Weld fumes are a complex mix of oxidized and unoxidized metals, welding gases and other materials. The exact makeup depends on the welding process and materials used. While the combustion risk of weld fumes may be low compared to other types of airborne particulate, the risk is not zero—especially if high concentrations of fumes are allowed to collect in enclosed environments such as ductwork or the dust collector filter chamber. In this whitepaper, we dig deep into the available scientific research on weld fume combustibility. Then, we explain how you can reduce the risk of a combustible dust explosion related to weld fumes. Download to learn: 

  • The chemical composition of weld fume and how it varies depending on consumables, base materials, the presence of coating and lubricants, shielding gas composition and welding methods. 
  • The factors influencing the explosive potential of weld fume, including the ratio of oxidized to unoxidized particles, particle size distribution and morphology, moisture content and the presence of inerting gases. 
  • A review of welding-related explosions and OSHA-reported safety incidents. 
  • The five elements of the “Dust Explosion Pentagon” that create the conditions necessary for a combustible dust explosion. 
  • How to test weld fume to determine its explosive potential. 
  • Important steps to take to reduce the risk of a dust collector fire or explosion. 
  • National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) standards for dust collector safety.

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