Dust Test

A dust test is used to determine whether the dust in your facility is combustible or not. These results will go towards your understanding of what does or does not make your dust combustible, and what types of equipment you may need to protect your facility.

A dust test is used to determine whether the dust in your facility is combustible or not. These results will go towards your understanding of what does or does not make your dust combustible, and what types of equipment you may need to protect your facility.

SEPTEMBER 2020 IS COMING: NFPA DUST TEST DEADLINE APPROACHING!

NFPA Standard 652 requires that if your facility produces dust, you have until September 2020 to get a dust test completed and to complete a dust hazard analysis (DHA). Our aftermarket team at Imperial Systems can work with you to have your dust tested.

NFPA Standard 652 covers the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust. Some companies produce only noncombustible dust. If you know your dust isn’t combustible, you still need to provide documentation showing that it’s not. For example, there’s lots of documentation that silica dust isn’t combustible. If not, you need a dust test.

HOW DOES A DUST TEST WORK?

When you send your dust off to a testing company, what do they do with it?

The first test is usually the “go/no go” test. This test determines the explosiveness of the dust. A “go” result means that under basic testing, the dust will explode. A “no-go” result indicates a non-explosive, but possibly still flammable, dust.

What’s the difference between flammable and explosive? An explosion, by definition, moves faster than the speed of sound. Explosive dust can generate a pressure wave able to move that fast. Flammable dust may create a fast-moving flame front, but it lacks the pressure or speed of an explosion.

The industry uses Kst as a standard measurement of dust’s explosiveness. A dust with Kst below 100 is considered a minor explosion. Below 200, the explosion is considered strong, and above 200, the explosion will be very strong.

This information can help prevent a lot of problems. LIT, for example, tells you how hot a surface (like an overheating bearing) can get before it will ignite a layer of dust. MIE tells you how your dust will respond to a spark or other ignition source. At a very high MIE (this is a measurement of temperature), the dust won’t ignite without a lot of energy input. At a very low MIE, dust will ignite from even a tiny spark or static charge.

WHAT COMES AFTER THE DUST TEST?

After your dust test shows that your dust is combustible, you will need to complete a dust hazard analysis (DHA). NFPA 652 does not specify who should do this, as long as they are “an expert” and their knowledge is satisfactory to the facility owners. Safety, maintenance, and shop floor managers can all be involved.

WE'RE HERE TO HELP

If you have concerns that your dust collection system may not meet safety standards, contact us and a service technician can help evaluate your system performance.

HOW TO SUBMIT DUST FOR AN NFPA 652 DUST TEST

Take samples from the dirty air side of the dust collector for best results. For an accurate measurement, empty the collection drum and then collect a recently pulsed sample. In a full drum, large particles may settle and leave smaller ones at the top.

If you don’t have a dust collector, you can collect dust from surfaces or machines in your shop. Just make sure the sample represents your general dust. Don’t collect damp dust or large chunks.

Ship your sample in a well-sealed container. Include an MSDS sheet and follow all MSDS transport precautions for that material.

Frequently Asked Questions

I already have a dust collector. Do I need to get my dust tested?

NFPA 652 is retroactive. It applies to all facilities, old and new, with combustible dust.

Is there a deadline?

The deadline for completing a dust hazard analysis is September 7, 2020.

I have multiple types of dust. Do they all need tested?

All dust must be tested unless there’s documentation of testing on identical dust.

What if I don't get my dust tested?

NFPA standards are not laws, but are followed by insurers, building codes, and fire codes.

Can Imperial Systems test my dust?

While we don’t test dust in our facility, we can send your sample to right place!

What does the combustible dust test tell you?

We can help you understand what all the number mean. Click here to read more.

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