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Dust Explosion Protection

Dust
Explosion Protection

Content

1. General .................................................................................................................................................1
1.1 Explosion triangle...............................................................................................................................2
1.2 Efficiency triangle ...............................................................................................................................3
1.3 Guideline 94/9/EG (ATEX 95) Guideline 1999/92/EG (ATEX 137) ................................................4

2. Protection concepts..........................................................................................................................14
2.1 Primary explosion protection............................................................................................................14
2.2 Suppression .....................................................................................................................................16
2.3 Explosions pressure release............................................................................................................18

3. Explosion disengagement................................................................................................................19
4. Reimelt Rules for the prevention of dust explosions ...................................................................20
5. Design recommendations for individual aggregates ....................................................................21
6. Photos showing dust explosions ....................................................................................................29
7. References .........................................................................................................................................31

Dust Explosion Protection by H.-J. Sussann


Edition: 23.05.2003

Dust explosion protection


This document shall familiarize our employees and customers with the subject of dust explosion protection as well as to show REIMELT safety policy on dust explosion protection. Furthermore we want to describe by this breviary the execution of the guideline 94/9/EG as it is executed at Reimelt. We also give
hints for execution of the guideline 1999/92/EG (a user guideline).

1. General
Production and processing methods which create organic or chemical dusts are often closely tied to fire
and explosion hazards. The knowledge that dust can cause explosions has been known for more than
200 years. The first dust explosion which was defined as one happened on the 14th December 1785 according to records of the Turin academy of sciences in a flour storage facility in Turin/Italy.
In Germany for instance, every year approx. 350 to 400 explosions are counted, approx. 1 to 2 incidents
per day. The cause for this rapid increase is certainly related to an increasing humanization of the workplace and the corresponding clean-air measures.
The companies providing social insurance against occupational accidents and federal environmental
agencies ensure that work areas are equipped with suitable exhaust systems, this also inevitably increases the quantity of dust collection in filters and associated equipment.
In addition, the share of fines has strongly increased due to high-speed machinery and automated conveying systems.
Especially the volume of fine dust drastically increases the
risk of explosions. With the reduced dust particle size, the
surface area, hence, the impact of the explosion rises exponentially.
The disastrous effects of dust explosions can be considerably reduced or entirely prevented by primary explosion
protection measures as well as by protective measures
regarding the design.

Fig. 1:
Feed mill in Belgium
Destroyed by a dust explosion in 1994

1.1 Explosion triangle


In general, which factors must interact to cause a dust explosion?
Ignition Source

Fuel

Oxygen
Fig. 2: Explosion triangle

As shown in Fig. 2, three factors are necessary to cause a dust explosion:


Fuel
Oxygen
Ignition source
must be available in sufficient quantities and interact at the right point of time.
If only one of these three factors is absent, a dust explosion will not occur.
One effective measure is primary explosion protection for prevention of dust explosions. This explosion
protection concept is designed to prevent all three factors from coming together.
In particular, special care is taken to prevent ignition sources. Potential ignition sources could be, for example, mechanically or electrically generated sparks, frictional heat, static electricity, welding, or other
thermal influences.
Another protective measure is prevention through inertisation. The objective is to displace the ambient air
required for oxidization of the fuel with inert gas, e.g. nitrogen. In this case, all system parts must be filled
and purged with the selected inert gas. Experience shows that inertisation is a complex and expensive
method, since the maximum permissible oxygen concentration must not be exceeded at any time.
In most cases, it is impossible to prevent the presence of fuel, since the product itself or a byproduct of
the production process serves as fuel.

1.2 Efficiency triangle


Analog to the explosion triangle, up-to-date protection concepts must meet three major requirements:
Efficiency

Availability

Safety
Fig. 3: Efficiency triangle

efficient in running operation, requiring no maintenance


high availability, no false alarms, no restrictions on the production process
safe process, protection for man and machine

1.3 Guideline 94/9/EC Guideline 1999/92/EC


1.3.1 EC-contract
EC-contract
For alignment of the statutory orders of the member states for equipment and protection
systems which are designated for use in potentially explosive atmosphere.

article 95 (94/9/EG)
guideline with basic demands on safe
products

EC-guidelines
e.g.
guideline for machines

equipment safety laws


as used
in Germany

article 137 (99/92/EG)


guideline with minimum regulation for safety
and protection of the employees.

EC-guidelines

as
frame guideline safety at work

law for the protection of


labour

as used in Germany

Deadlines for the introduction of the guidelines


ATEX 95
The guideline 94/9/EG was passed on 23rd
March 1994 and was transfered into national
right with coming into effect on 12th December
1996 and with the 11th regulation of the device
safety law.
End of the transitional period is the 30th June
2003, afterwards it becomes binding!

ATEX 137
The guideline 99/92/EG came into force on 01st
January 2003.
Material and workplace which are already in use
have a transitional period of 3 years and must
correspond to the guideline on 30th June 2006.

1.3.2 Demand on the system operator according to ATEX 137:


1.3.2.1 Targets of the guideline:
Decree as foreseen in article 137 of the contract of minimum regulations for health protection and
safety of the employees which can be in danger because of explosive atmosphere.
Determination of specific regulations for improvement of health protection and safety of the employees
which can be in danger because of explosive atmosphere considering strictly the principles described in
the guideline.
Creation of an equivalent frame work in the EC referring to the explosion proof for the general industry as
it already exists for the mineral industry.

1.3.2.2 Duties of the employer according to ATEX 137


The employer has the duty to draw up an explosion proof document and to maintain it up to date. The
document must define the measures necessary for health protection and safety of the employees.
Besides the preventive measures additional measures must be planned if necessary which will be effective when an ignition has already happened.
Basic rules for avoiding of and protection against explosions.
Avoiding of the formation of an explosive atmosphere.
Avoiding of ignition of an explosive atmosphere.
Diminishing of the results of an explosion so that the employees are not in danger.
All limitation/reduction of the explosion risks must be seen in the entirety.
Especially important are:
The systems, the materials used, the processes, and their possible interaction.
In case of ascertainment of a danger for employees during the planning stage suitable preventive measures and protection systems must be planned against these dangers.

Result:
As guarantee for improvement of health care and the safety of employees which can be exposed to the
dangers caused by an explosive atmosphere the employer has the juridical responsibility.

1.3.2.3 Zone division according to ATEX 137

Until now (valid until 30.06.2003)


Zone 10:
Dangerous explosive atmosphere existing long-term and often.
Zone 11:
Dangerous explosive atmosphere existing only short-term and occasionally.

New (obligation from 01.07.2003 on)


Zone 20:
Area where explosive atmosphere is existing in the form of a cloud of inflammable dust in the air always or long-term or often.
Zone 21:
Area where explosive atmosphere is appearing in the form of a cloud of inflammable dust in the air
sometimes during normal operation.
Zone 22:
Area where it is not probable that explosive atmosphere in form of a cloud of inflammable dust in the
air forms during normal operation, but if it forms during normal operation but if it appears it appears
only short-term.

1.3.2.4 Proposals for zone division according to ATEX 137


According to guideline 1999/92/EG article 2, existance of an explosive atmosphere is a basic condition for a ATEX
137 consideration, independent from an existing ignition source that means that first of all the burning, ignition and
explosion reaction of the material to be treated must be taken into consideration. If there is a burning, ignition and
explosion reaction of the material the occurrence of explosive atmospheres should be examined. These explosive
atmospheres are existing when there are material/air-concentrations in the area between the upper and lower explosion limit of the material. If this is the case, ATEX 137 must be applied.

ADVICE: The zone division proposals are based on the assumption that the material to be treated is a customary wheat or rye flour.

Other material demands another zone division!


division
referring to
EX-RL up to
30.06.03

zone division
referring to ATEX
137
effective 01.07.03

system part outdoor

no

no

Zone division may not be necessary outdoor


because of the weather compared to similar
situations in rooms. Detail check eventually
necessary.

Rooms where there are dust leading systems.

no

no

Devices dustproof in the long term.

Rooms where there are dust leading systems.

no

no

Silo interior (tangential feeding; discharge by


vibratory bottom).

10

21

Silo interior (tangential feeding; discharge by


fluidising bed or vibratory bottom).

10

20

Silo penthouse with installed cloth filters.

11

21

Silo penthouse with installed automatic filters.

11

21

no

no

no

no

Device dustproof in the long term.

11

no

Device dustproof in the long term.

11

no

11

22

Discharge hopper interior

10

20

Discharge hopper interior with equipment such


as slow running ( < 1 m/s) agitator a.s.o. Driving power HP < 4 kW.

10

20

Interior of stationary filters.

10

20

Interior of automatic top mounted filters.

10

20

system part

Silo penthouse with installed automatic filters.


Filters are supervised for filter break on the
venting side.
Silo penthouse with installed automatic filters.
Venting of the filter is lead outside.
Silo with closed silo skirt with installed devices
(e.g. fluidising bed with equipment)
Silo with closed silo skirt with installed devices
e.g. vibratory bottom with discharge hopper and
automatically supervised filter).
Silo with closed silo skirt with installed devices
(e.g. vibratory bottom with discharge hopper and
cloth filter)

remarks

Dustproof of the device is not guaranteed in the


long term but already small leaks are discovered
soon and removed. (see VDI 2262).
If the silos is only fed and/or discharged sometimes during operation period it can be presupposed based on a risk examination that explosive atmosphere does not appear often
Explosive atmosphere appears often caused by
bulk material discharge by means of air. If the
silo is filled or discharged often explosive atmosphere appears often also independent of the
kind of silo discharge.
Dustproof of the device is not guaranteed in the
long term. Dust deposit is possible. Dust is
settling in the whole room.
Dustproof of the device is not guaranteed in the
long term. Dust deposit is possible. Dust is
setting in the whole room.
Dustproof of the device is not guaranteed in the
long term but already small leaks are discovered
soon and removed (see VDI 2262).

Dustproof of the device is not guaranteed in the


long term but already small leaks are discovered
soon and removed (see VDI 2262).
Dustproof of the device is not guaranteed in the
long term. Dust deposit is possible. Dust is
settling in the whole room
Explosive atmosphere is probable caused by
frequent feeding and discharge.
Explosive atmosphere is probable caused by
frequent feeding and discharge.
Explosive atmosphere is always probable
caused by intake of very fine dust and the
frequent automatic cleaning of the filter elements.
Explosive atmosphere is always probable
caused by intake of very fine dust and the
frequent automatic cleaning of the filter elements

system part

division referring to EX-RL


up to now

zone division
referring to
ATEX 137

Devices and system parts which are operated with low pressure. 1-14.7 psi or under
1 bar.

no

no

Devices and system parts where the oxygen


concentration has fallen below the limit
because of inertization.

no

no

Conveying screw interior. Slow running


screw ( < 1 m/s). No fluidising bed upstream.

11

22

Conveying screw interior. Fast running screw


( > 1 m/s). No fluidising bed upstream.

10

20

Conveying screw interior. Fluidising bed


upstream.

10

20

Bag dumping stations, bagging station (area


around these stations).

no

no

Bag dumping stations, bagging station ( area


around these stations).

11

22

Bag dumping (side area, discharge by fluidising bed)

10

20

Bag dumping (side area, discharge by vibratory bottom)

10

21

Grinding systems (e.g. powdered sugar


grinding system)

10

20

Pneumatic conveying systems: Dilute-phase


conveying.

10

20

Pneumatic conveying systems: Dense-phase


conveying

10

21 (20)

Pneumatic mixer (side area, without moveable equipment)

10

20

Mechanical mixer (side area, low filling level


< 70%)

10

20

Mechanical Mixer (side area, high filling level


> 70%)

10

21

Interior of sifters (rotary sifters)

11

20

remarks
There is no oxydation mean such as oxygen
if the devices and systems parts are process
depending operated under vacuum during
the main process time. Contact an expert if
necessary!
There is no oxydation means such as oxygen if the devices and systems parts are
process depending operated under vacuum
during the main process time. Contact an
expert if necessary!
Explosive atmosphere is not often probable
because of the low peripheral speed.
Explosive atmosphere is probable because
of the high peripheral speed. Consider
ignition source.
Explosive atmosphere is always probable
because of the upstream fluidising bed.
There is no dust release around open
places as low pressure process, dust exhausts existing. Clean regularly.
Dust deposits are possible. Also small dust
deposits are removed. Zone 22 in the area
of 1 m around the outflow position to the
floor.
Explosive atmosphere is always probable
during the feeding process because of the
existing fluidising bed.
Explosive atmosphere is sometimes probable during the feeding process..
Explosive atmosphere is always probable.
Avoiding of effective ignition sources is not
possible as a rule. Contact an expert!
Explosive atmosphere is always probable.
Explosive atmosphere is only probable
during start and shutdown processes if
these processes are only effected sometimes according to the operation duration.
Explosive atmosphere is always probable
during the mixing and discharge process
because of the existing fluidising bed.
Explosive atmosphere is always probable
during the mixing process.
Explosive atmosphere is only sometimes
probable during the mixing process because
of the high filling level.
Explosive atmosphere is probable during
sifting process.

division referring to EX-RL


up to now

zone division
referring to
ATEX 137

Interior of sifters

11

21

Interior of vibratory discharge systems (vibratory bottom, MIC-DOS-discharge etc.)

11

22

Interior of fluidising beds

11

22

Interior of rotary discharge valves.

11

22

system part

remarks
Explosive atmosphere is only sometimes
probable during the sifting.
Explosive atmosphere is rarely probable
during discharge (before each filling and
during discharge of the upstream hopper
etc.)
Explosive atmosphere is rarely probable
during discharge (before each filling and
during discharge of the upstream hopper
etc.)
Explosive atmosphere is rarely probable
during discharge (before each filling and
during discharge of the upstream hopper
etc.)

1.3.2.5 Further information for the introduction of the guideline ATEX 137.
Systems put into operation before 01st July 2003 can be operated until the 30st June 2006.
Important:
Systems which correspond to the minimum regulations BetrSichV attachement 4A and which are operated safely can be operated safely also after the 30st July 2003! (e.g. Reimelt systems which were put into
operation after 12/1996 but which are used according to the regulations!)
If new systems are installed or put into operation after the 1st July 2003 only ATEX authorized devices
can be used. The zone division must be executed according to the new zone division concept.

1.3.3 Demand on the construction and use of devices for the determined use in areas in danger of
explosion (ATEX 95)
Devices are machines, equipment, stationary or moveable installations, control and equipment parts as
well as warning and preventive systems which by themselves or in combination produce or transfer,
store, measure, control, transform or consume energies or which are designated to work material and
which have their own potential ignition sources and therefore can cause an explosion.

1.3.3.1 Basic requirements for devices referring to ATEX 95 Appendix II:


Principles of the integrated explosion safety (see EN 292-2).
Devices and safety systems must be designed and produced considering all possible faults.
Special examination and maintenance conditions.
Environmental conditions.
Marking of the devices.
Instruction manual.
Further requirements for the design/manufacturing, material selection, risks from software etc.
Further requirements for devices, subdivided in device group and device category
(Reimelt device group II).
Further requirements for safety systems.

1.3.4 Device group II per ATEX 95

group II
(explosive atmosphere of gas/air or dust/air mixtures, mist or vapors)
category 1
G
(gas)
(zone 0)

D
(dust)
(zone 20)

category 2
G
(gas)
(zone 1)

D
(dust)
(zone 21)

category 3
G
(gas)
(zone 2)

D
(dust)
(zone 22)

For devices which guarantee a


very high level of safety.

For devices which guarantee a


high level of safety.

For devices which guarantee a


normal level of safety.

Designated for the case that an


atmosphere in risk of explosion is
often or always probable.

Designated for the case that an


atmosphere in risk of explosion is
probable.

Designated for the case that an


atmosphere in risk of explosion is
rather rare or happens only shortterm.

1.3.4.1 Detailed information about these device types:


Category 1 devices and protective systems:
Devices of this category must guarantee the necessary very high level also if two faults occur independent from each other or 1 of minimum 2 protective measures which are independent from each other fail.
Certification by a named authority!

10

Category 2 - devices:
Devices of this category must guarantee the necessary high level of safety also if repeatedly faults of the
device or other faults occur.
Documentation must be deposited at a named authority!
Category 3 - devices:
The devices of category 3 meet the necessary level of safety, if foreseeable probable ignition sources
which can occur during normal operation will be avoided.
Self-certification without involvement of a named authority!
1.3.5 Classification proposal of devices in categories according to ATEX 95
device or aggregate

device according to
ATEX 95
yes

rotary sifter with plastic sifter basket

no

in case of ATEX, which category


category 1

category 2

rotary sifter with plastic sifter basket


and screen-d-tect

rotary sifter with metal sifter basket

Conveying screws < 1 m/s

Conveying screws > 1 m/s

Rotary discharge valve (different


types of construction)

Two-way diverter valve (PS-line)

Two-way diverter valve (PS-line)

Vibratory discharge devices without


equipment in the dust leading area

Fluidising beds with Siperm membrane and Conidur membrane of


different material properties

Pneumatic mixer with equipment (fast


running lump breakers)

Hopper agitator < 1 m/s and/or


HP < 4 kW

Hopper agitator > 1 m/s and/or HP


> 4 kW

Jet-Filter

advices, remarks a.s.o.

category 3
The machine is designed according to the proposal from
IVSS. It must be checked if temperatures arise which can
serve as ignition sources caused by shaft glands or by
defective bearings.
The machine is designed according to the proposal from
IVSS. It must be checked if temperatures arise which can
serve as ignition sources caused by shaft glands or by
defective bearings. In addition the electrical installation in
the dust leading area of the machine could become
ignition source. This must be checked.
The machine is not designed according to the proposal of
the IVSS. Because of the material combination stainless
steel beater and stainless steel sifter basket , ignition
danger is arising caused by the peripheral speed of the
paddles ( > 1 m/s). There is danger of ignition.
The conveying screw is designed according to the
proposal of the IVSS. It must be checked if temperatures
arise which can serve as ignition sources caused by shaft
glands or by defective bearings
There is danger of ignition because of the peripheral
speed of the screw shaft.
Rotary discharge valves are used as a protection element
(as decoupling factor) and are therefore automatically
subject to ATEX95! Existing certificates which are
subject to Ex-RL must be rewritten!
Diverter valves are not subject to ATEX 95 as they have
no ignition source in the dust leading areas.!
Diverter valves could be used as protection element (as
decoupling, analogue to the rotary discharge valves) and
are therefore automatically subject to ATEX 95! It could
be useful to have such valves in the program. Check!
These devices are not subject to ATEX 95, as they have
no ignition source in the dust leading area.
Fluidising beds are not subject to ATEX 95, as they have
no ignitions source in the dust leading area. Attention!
Electrostatics must be considered!
There is danger of ignition because of the peripheral
speed of the lump breakers. It must also be checked if
temperatures arise which can serve as ignition sources
caused by shaft glands or by defective bearings
These agitators are designed according to the proposal of
the IVSS. It must be checked if temperatures arise which
can serve as ignition sources caused by shaft glands or
by defective bearings
There is danger of ignition because of the peripheral
speed and/or high driving power of the agitators. It must
be checked if temperatures arise which can serve as
ignition sources caused by shaft glands or by defective
bearings.
Jet-Filters are not subject to ATEX 95 as they have no
ignition source in the dust leading area.
Attention! Electrostatics must be considered!

11

device or aggregate

device according to
ATEX 95
yes

Mechanical mixer without equipment


Mechanical mixer with equipment;
mixer tools > 1 m/s and/or HP > 4
kW.

in case of ATEX, which category


Kategorie 1

Kategorie 2

advices, remarks a.s.o.

Kategorie 3

Mechanical mixer with equipment;


mixer tools < 1 m/s and/or HP < 4
kW.

Fast running mechanical grinders


(e.g. powdered sugar grinders)

no

Fittings, hand valves, ball valves,


slide gate valves, valves

Level indicator for bulk material

Sensors and switches for pressures


and temperatures for bulk material

The machine is designed according to the proposal from


the IVSS.
There is danger of ignition because of the high peripheral
speed of the mixer tools and/or high driving power of the
machine . Category 1 or 2 is subject to the zone
division of the mixing room (free mixing volume!)
There is no danger of ignition because of the low peripheral speed and/or high driving power of the machine. It
must be checked if temperatures arise which can serve as
ignition sources caused by shaft glands or by defective
bearings
There is danger of ignition because of the high peripheral
speed of the grinding tools and/or high driving power of
the machine. Category 2 because of the normally low
volume of the grinding rooms and the high level of
turbulences during the grinding process.
These devices are not subject to ATEX 95 as they have
no ignition source in the dust leading area.
Attention! Electrostatics must be considered.
Depends on the zone of the dust leading area. If the
device is installed in a zone separation wall, the device
must be suitable for both zones. These devices should
generally be designed by Reimelt for being installed in a
zone separation wall and should be suitable for the zones
1/2/3.
Depends on the zone of the dust leading area. If the
device is installed in a zone separation wall so the device
must be suitable for both zones. These devices should
generally be designed by Reimelt for being installed in a
zone separation wall and should be suitable for the zones
1/2/3.

Special advice
This proposal only describes the dust leading area of a device. If the device is put in a dust leading environment or the customer defines the position of the device as Ex-Zone (e.g. zone 22), so the above
mentioned assessment must be executed again under this point of view. If necessary motors,
switches, sensors, actors and initiators must be chosen again referring to the zone (e.g. zone 22 category 3 devices).
1.3.6 Temporary regulation of ATEX 95
Devices and protection systems which correspond to the regulations valid on 23rd March 1994 may be put
into operation until the 30st June 2003.
The authorities which care about the evaluation of the conformity of the equipment which has been put
into operation before 1st July 2003 must take into account the results of the already executed examinations and controls which are subject to the regulation (valid on 23rd March 1994) about electrical systems
which are located in hazardous rooms.
1.3.7 Necessary coordination between system operator and system designer
The system operator must define the Ex-zone based on the zone definition. ATEX 137!
Based on the zone definition by the systems operator the system designer must define/select the devices
(machines, protection systems a.s.o.) ATEX 95!

12

1.3.8 Classification of the device categories to the Ex-zones.

device group
II
demands

1
redundant
protective
measures

categories
2
simple
protective
measures

gas-Ex-zones

zone 0

zone 1

zone 2

dust-Ex-zones

zone 20

zone 21

zone 22

3
safe during normal
operation

1.3.9 Useful references

Internet:

http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/atex/guide/guide_de.pdf
http://www.bgn.de/Fachartikel/Akzente06_01/Bindend/Atex.html
http://www.de.osha.eu.int/legislation/verord/GSGV-11.html
etc.

VDMA:

Positionspapier zu ATEX

DIN EN-Normen: DIN EN 1050 / DIN EN 1127-1 / DIN EN 13463-1 / DIN EN 13463-5 / etc.

VDI-Richtlinien:

Explosion safety regulations:

Suppliers:

VDI 2263 Blatt 1-5 / VDI 3673 / etc.


BGR 104

E&H-Broschre Anlagensicherheit durch Explosionsschutz.


etc.

13

2. Protection concepts
To meet these requirements, several protection concepts are available:
Prevention of ignition sources as primary explosion protection measures
Suppression systems
Explosion pressure relief as protection for man and machine through design measures

2.1 Primary explosion protection


The concept of preventing ignition sources should be given the highest priority in all applicable cases.
Therefore, design measures or secondary measures, as listed under 2.2 and 2.3 are a must when the
product frequently changes or the minimum ignition energy of the products is <10mJ . Also, if the
product has a tendency towards self-ignition, the protection concept of Prevention of Effective Ignitions
Sources is by no means sufficient.
REIMELT systems are standard designed according to the concept of Prevention of Effective
Ignition Sources. REIMELT gives a lot of thought to this standard, but also spends a lot of capital to
realize the measures prescribed in the relevant technical codes and standards. Currently, these codes
and standards list 13 potential ignition sources.

Hot Surfaces
Maximum ambient temperature =
outside temperature on hot summer days
Minimum glow temperature
=
e.g. 450 C (explosion characteristics)
Minimum ignition temperature =
e.g. 370 C (explosion characteristics)
2/3 * ignition temperature
=
246 C
Glow temperature - 75 C
=
375 C according to VDI 2263
2/3 x ignition temperature - 75 C must not be reached at any point in the system.
Electrical equipment in zone 11 type of protection IP 54
Electrical equipment in zone 10 to include type examination certificate plus observation of the relevant
regulations for zone 11.
Conveying air temperature system related <120 C. Dust layers are prevented through operational measures as far as possible in accordance with VDI Guideline 2262 Dust control at the workplace. Please
inform our customers about this important point.
Shut-down procedures initiated by the control system will not increase surface temperatures.
Due to operational measures, welding and cutting operations are not executed, unless the permissibility
of such operations has been examined in detail first.

Flames and Hot Gases


Due to operational measures, flames are excluded. The conveying air temperature is limited to 120 C
due to the system. The temperature of the dehumidifiers must be monitored.
Mechanically Generated Sparks
Effective ignition sources due to mechanically generated sparks during pneumatic conveying of e.g. steel
screws are excluded in compliance with E 2.3.3 of Ex RL. Due to operational measures cutting operations
are not performed, unless the permissibility of such operations has been examined in detail first. Screw
compressors with suction filters are not equipped with rotating parts in the conveying pipe or silo. The
circumferential speed of rotating equipment < 1 m/s.

14

Electrical Apparatus
Electrical apparatus are designed according to VDE 0165/9.83, Part Z. Operational measures ensure that
the proper state function is regularly monitored.
Electrical Compensation Circuits
Equipotential bonding is designed in compliance with VDE 0165/9.83.
Static Electricity
According to ZH 1/200 Guideline for the Prevention of the Danger of Ignition caused by Electrostatic
Charges, all conductive parts are grounded to prevent spark discharges. Based on experience, brush
discharges will not ignite dust/air mixtures. Lightening-like discharges in silos are not to be expected according to VDI 2263.
Lightning
High-voltage protection equipment is to be provided by the customer in accordance with the general provisions governing the protection of equipment against high voltage/lightening, especially the paragraph on
explosion hazardous operational areas and storage areas.
Electromagnetic waves 104 Hz to 3.1012 Hz
N/A
Electromagnetic waves 3.1011 Hz to 3.1015 Hz
N/A

Ionizing radiation
N/A

Ultrasound
N/A

Adiabatic compression, shock waves, flowing gas


N/A

Chemical reactions
N/A
Should the concept of Prevention of Effective Ignition Sources not be sufficient, design measures are
required which we will now review in more detail.

Since inertisation is usually a very expensive and complex protective measure, it shall not be
discussed in detail.

15

2.2 Suppression
Explosion suppression utilizes a recognition system which detects an explosion in the early stages and
interrupts its propagation through the rapid dispersion of an extinguishing medium (powder or water). The
extinguishing medium is dispersed in the equipment to be protected via several high-pressure extinguishers.
Once the extinguishers have been activated, they must be refilled by the service personnel. The entire
system, including the connected pipelines, must be cleaned before production can be started up again.
This means downtimes and, therefore, loss of production, because explosion protection is not effective
anymore until the suppression system is ready for operation again.
The advantage of explosion suppression systems is that they can also be used for dust explosions with
toxic dusts and independently from the place where the equipment to be protected is located. Furthermore, the equipment must only be designed for a maximum gauge pressure of 1 bar (VDI 2263). Therefore, this protective measure is also well suited for existing systems which were not designed for higher
pressures!

Fig. 4: Rate of pressure rise in the course of an explosion with/without suppression in a vessel (optimum
concentration)

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Explosion suppression systems (Fig. 2) consist of a sensor unit which registers a starting explosion, pressurized extinguishers and a control/monitoring unit. Via this control/monitoring unit, the valves of the extinguishers are activated when the sensor unit registers a starting explosion and the extinguishing medium is dispersed in the vessel.

Control unit
Sensors
Extinguishers
Alarm
Activation of
shut-off
Emergency shutdown of the
system

Fig. 5: Elements of an explosion suppression system

The contents of the extinguisher is discharged into the equipment to be protected in as short a time as
possible (Fig. 3) and evenly distributed. By this action, the explosion flames will be extinguished and the
max. explosion pressure to be expected in the area of Pmax = 7 to 10 bar will be reduced to Pred 1 bar
(see Fig. 1).

Ignition

Sensor
registers
starting
explosion

Start of
suppression

Suppression

Suppression

End of suppression

Fig. 6: Effectiveness of an explosion suppression system (schematic representation)

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2.3 Explosion pressure relief


Explosion pressure relief is a safe and economical measure for the protection of all types of dust processing systems. This safety concept allows our customers to protect even large volume vessels, e.g. silos, at
a reasonable price and is virtually maintenance-free.
It is the objective of explosion pressure relief to release the maximum expected explosion pressure (Pmax)
via a relief area into the open air so that the reduced pressure (Pred) is below the pressure resistance of
the vessel. The size of the relief opening is determined by the shock-pressure tightness of the vessel. For
the calculation of this variable, refer to VDI 3673!
Explosion pressure relief also allows the protection of very large vessels or systems with very low pressure resistance values.
For the realization of explosion pressure relief measures, several different possibilities are available.
For systems where the process or manufacturing requires that they be set up inside production halls, it
must be ensured that the propagating flames are released into nonhazardous open-air areas. This measure, however, results in costs for exhaust ducts in addition to the loss of valuable operating space.

The quench pipe allows the explosion pressure to be released into the room with no spreading of dust or
flames. Burnt and unburnt particles are retained by the integrated dust filter, thus avoiding an explosion.
Systems can be protected without complex and expensive exhaust ducts. Thus, system parts may be set
up to meet optimum process criteria. With the quench pipe, the required relief area is much smaller than
the required area for using an exhaust duct.

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3. Explosion disengagement
In all applications where dust explosion hazardous vessels and equipment in systems are connected via
pipes, there is the risk of propagation of a dust explosion through these pipes to other locations.
During this propagation of an explosion, turbulence, displacement and supercharging effects could either
cause excessive explosion pressures or even detonations. To prevent the propagation of an explosion
through connecting pipes, it may make sense to separate specific system parts from the effects of a possible explosion by using suitable devices, i.e. explosion disengagement.

The use of such disengagement equipment is always required in the following cases:
When the unprotected system section which could be, for example, depressurized must be safely
separated from the protected section of the system where effective ignition sources and, thus, explosions must be anticipated.
or
When vessels are connected through longer pipes so that flame jet ignition or high pressure peaks
must be anticipated. This is especially problematic, if a large vessel releases pressure into a small
one, or when a vessel with a higher pressure resistance is connected to vessels of smaller pressure
resistance.

Depending on the area of application, system parts can be separated by using e.g. rotary valves, suppression barriers, rapid action valves or diverters.
To establish the connection between above described measures and reality, the following pages list the
measures recommended by REIMELT for application with its systems.

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4. Rules for the prevention of dust explosions at REIMELT :

4.1 General rule:


Consequential prevention of effective ignition sources wherever possible!

4.2. Additional protective measures are required in the following cases:


If the minimum ignition energy of the handled dust is < 10 mJ (CAUTION: increased temperatures
reduce the minimum ignition energy!).
If the products show a tendency towards selfignition.
If the prevention of effective ignition sources is impossible, e.g. high-speed machinery as sugar
grinders, rotary sifters, etc.
If all 13 published ignition sources cannot be safely excluded.
example:
Crystal sugar: Crystal sugar has a high specific resistance
elektrostatic charging is theoretically possible
electrical discharges could occur in conical piles
Constructive explosion protection is necessary

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5. Design recommendations for individual aggregates


(in case of protection systems and/or devices with own potential ignition source these devices must have a corresponding authorization referring to ATEX 95=.
5.1 For outdoor silos and indoor silo systems if the explosion pressure can be released
into the open air:
Maintenance-free three-piece rupture disks
The protection of systems with rupture disks is a very economical possibility of explosion pressure relief.
The advantage of the dished three-piece rupture disks is their accurate activation pressure.
Their low-mass design allows fast explosion pressure relief and, thus, reduced explosion end
pressures (Pred).
Due to their special design features (dished, three-piece), three-piece rupture disks are very
rugged pressure relief devices. Their nearly unlimited service life offers the highest degree of
efficiency, availability and safety.
This allows the pressure resistance of vessels or silos to be very low due to the reduced explosion end pressures, making the design cost-effective.

Three-piece rupture disk


rugged
maintenance-free
accurate activation pressure
unlimited service life
economical

Fig 7: Three-piece rupture disk

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5.2 For indoor silo systems (< 25m3 volume each silo) or other large units if pressure relief

into the open air is economically not feasible:


Our customers increasing demand for a pressure relief system with no flame propagation can
be met by our quench pipe.
The quench pipe allows the explosion pressure to be released into the room with no spreading
of dust or flames. Burnt and undamaged particles are retained by the integrated dust filter, thus
keeping the material from supplying the explosion.
The quench pipe guarantees safety from secondary explosions in the outer room. Extensive
testing at international test facilities has proven safety under the most extreme conditions.
Systems can be protected without complex and expensive exhaust ducts. Thus, system parts
may be set up to meet optimum process criteria. With the quench pipe, the required relief area
is much smaller than the required area for using an exhaust duct.

Fig.:8

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5.3 Continuous pneumatic conveying equipment

The probability that explosive dust/air mixtures occur depends on the applied conveying method, e.g. dilute-phase conveying, strand conveying, slug conveying.
With continuous pneumatic conveying systems, the protective measure Prevention of Effective
Ignition Sources is generally considered to be sufficient.
When applying the concept of Prevention of Effective Ignition Sources, it must be ensured that
no hazardous electrostatic discharge processes occur, e.g. by using conductive materials
and by grounding conductive components,
pressure generators, e.g. fans, are located in areas without product (clean-air side),
the temperature of the conveying air shall not create ignition hazards,
(The characteristic values selfignition temperature and ignition temperature should be considered in particular. Since the minimum ignition energy is temperature dependent, a high
conveying air temperature can be an additional ignition hazard.)
no hazardous friction and impact processes are created by impurities carried along by the
conveying system,
(In general, friction and impact generated sparks do not pose an ignition hazard. This is especially applicable if the minimum ignition energy of the conveyed dust is >10 mJ).
no effective ignition sources can enter continuous pneumatic conveying equipment.
(Experience shows that in many cases there is no immediate danger of igniting explosive
dust/air mixtures through glowing particle nests inside continuous pneumatic conveying systems. However, the possibility of ignition sources entering and transferring via the equipment
should be considered.)
In most conveying phases, continuous pneumatic conveying equipment has a very low dust
explosion risk. In particular, this can be attributed to the reduced probability of occurrence of
explosive dust/air mixtures and the increased minimum ignition energy through turbulence.

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5.4 Oscillating conveyors

With oscillating conveyors, the generation of explosive dust/air mixtures is usually not anticipated.
In general, only electrostatic charges may present effective ignition sources.
Hazardous electrostatic discharge processes must therefore be prevented. This is ensured, for
instance, by using conductive materials and grounding all conductive parts.
.

5.5 Screw conveyors

The occurrence of explosive dust/air mixtures inside screw conveyors cannot be excluded.
Possible ignition sources in particular are:
hot surfaces through friction and grinding processes,
increase in temperature due to blockage of product,
electrostatic discharge processes. The occurrence of effective ignition sources increases as
the circumferential speed increases.
Possible protective measures to prevent effective ignition sources are as follows:
reduce circumferential speed, (based on experience, no hazardous friction or grinding processes are to be expected if the circumferential speed is 1 m/s.)
avoid indoor storage
prevent impurities from entering the equipment
prevent dangerous blockage of product, e.g. through overload protection, stop valves
avoid dangerous electrostatic charges, e.g. by using conductive materials and grounding all
conductive parts.

5.6 High-speed mills

High-speed mills, such as pin mills, hammer mills, impact grinding mills, must always be considered to be possible ignition sources. Therefore, suitable protective measures (inertisation,
design measures) against dust explosions as well as their propagation must be applied inside
the mill as well as in the upstream and downstream equipment.
In any case, impurities should be prevented from entering the equipment to minimize the risk of
ignition.
Only in special exceptional cases can the measure of Prevention of Effective Ignition Sources
be applied (e.g. if minimum ignition energy and ignition temperature of the processed dust are
extremely high).

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Exemplary design of a high-speed mill (schematic representation) for fluidizable products protected through explosion pressure relief devices

dust control
Exhaust pipe; alternative: quench pipe

Filter socks on
filter cages

Rotary valve

Mill

Clean air duct


Vent-ex valve, etc.

Rupture disk

Mill bunker

Rotary valve

Air
Product
Explosion pressure release
Fig.:9

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5.7 Rotary sifters with interior moving components

Contrary to rotary sifters without interior moving components, mechanically generated sparks
and hot surfaces must be particularly considered when using sifters with interior moving components.
With slow-moving components inside (v 1 m x s-1) and small motor sizes (HP 4 kW), experience shows that there is no danger of ignition to be expected.

Fig.:10

With higher speed components inside and/or larger drive sizes, explosion protection through
design measures or inertisation may be omitted in the following cases:
If design measures prevent effective ignition through mechanical sparks and hot surfaces,
e.g. by selecting suitable material combinations, such as screen structure made of plastic
(REIMELT standard).
If the distance between the moving parts is large enough to prevent impurities that may have
entered the equipment from initiating dangerous friction processes. By using impurities separators (e.g. prescreen), the size of the entering impurities can be limited.

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5.8 Mixer

Due to process engineering technology generally used with mixers, e.g. design features or high
filling levels, the occurrence of explosive dust/air mixtures is frequently limited. If this is the case, mixers can be safely operated by applying measures of Prevention of Effective Ignition
Sources. Otherwise, further measures must be applied (e.g. inertisation or explosion protection
through design measures).

Mixers without interior moving components


Mixers without rotating components inside are, for instance, spiral, drum, double-cone, asymmetric moved and air mixers.
Since this type of mixer design does not require mobile components, such ignition sources (e.g.
sparks or hot surfaces) can be excluded.
When applying the measure of Prevention of Effective Ignition Sources, it must be ensured
that
no ignition sources, e.g. glowing particle nests, enter the equipment
dangerous electrostatic charges are prevented by grounding (shunting resistance against
earth < 106 ) and by using conductive materials for lining
bearings which might reach into the product area are protected from heating up, e.g. by using air purged bearings or monitoring the temperature
with heated mixers (e.g. heating jackets or hot air flows), the temperatures are limited so that
no dangerous reactions (ignition of layered or turbulent dust, selfignition processes, disintegration processes) might occur.

5.9

Mixers with interior moving components

Contrary to mixers without moving components inside (item 8.1), mechanically generated
sparks and hot surfaces must be considered for mixers with interior moving components.
With slow-speed interior components (v 1 m x s-1) and lower driving capacities (w 4 kW), experience shows that there is no danger of ignition to be expected.
With higher speed components inside and/or higher driving capacities, explosion protection
through design measures or inertisation may be omitted in the following cases:
If the high filling level ( 70%) limits the occurrence of explosive dust/air mixtures.
If the mixing velocity is reduced (circumferential speed 1 m x s-1) during the filling and discharge process, and so-called choppers or disintegrators are not used.
If there is sufficient distance between the parts moving against each other so that they do not
touch under any circumstances, no matter what the operating mode.
If hot surfaces which could become effective ignition sources can be prevented through impurities separators.

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If no products are used which, under the anticipated operating conditions, such as thermal
and mechanical wear, tend towards selfignition.
If dangerous product caking is prevented by design measures or, if applicable, by appropriate cleaning methods.

Fig 11.: example for mixer with mobile components inside

28

6. Photos showing silos after dust explosions

29

This publication should make it possible to design state-of-the-art systems that are safe with
respect to dust explosions. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to
contact the experts at REIMELT any time.
Rdermark, den 16.03.1998

Dipl. Ing. H.-J. Sussann


30

7. References

Bia-Report 11/97.

VDI-Bericht 1717.

BGR 104 Band II.

BG Zucker Entscheidungs- und Manahmenkatalog 02/99.

Leitfaden Explosionsfhige Staub/Luftgemische und Strfallverordnung, Teil 1 Anwendungsbereich,


Stand 01/1997.

IVSS-Broschre des AK-2: Staubexplosionen; Stetigfrderer.

IVSS-Broschre des AK-6: Beispielsammlung; Staubexplosionen an Maschinen und Apparaten.

ZH1/200.

Broschre der Fa. Rembe-Brilon.

Reimelt-Werknormen.

31

Stand 23.05.2003

Global Presence

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Dietrich Reimelt Pulsnitzer Maschinenbau GmbH, Burkau / Dresden

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Reimelt GmbH, Rdermark

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Reimelt France, Venissieux / Lyon


Reimelt Corporation, Tampa, Florida
Reimelt GmbH Rep. Office, Hongkong

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Reimelt GmbH Messenhuser Strae 37-45


D-63322 Rdermark, Germany
Tel. (49) 0 60 74 / 691- 0
Fax (49) 0 60 74 / 60 31
email: info@reimelt.de
www.reimelt.de