Spark Control with Engineered Fabrics

Engineered Fabrics are an integral part of complete Bulk Material Handling Solutions

Compounds and materials used in the manufacturing of finished products run the range from inert to explosive. Because of this, it is vitally important to match the static and compound characteristics of flexible fabric connections, liners and filters to the correct composition for the required application. Failure to do so could result in explosive damage to your facility. When an ignition source contacts explosive dust the problems can multiply rapidly and become life threatening.

Correctly Determine if your Fabrics and Filters require grounding

It is imperative that attention be given to selecting the correct flexible fabric sleeves and to the filter media used in dust collection systems to properly limit the possibility of static discharge. Depending on air to dust ratios, materials and compounds can be inert at one ratio yet dangerous at another. Generally, the more oxygen available, the greater the chance of ignition. Many materials that are normally benign will ignite if exposed to an ignition source at the right material to air ratio.To minimize the threat of sparking and ignition, fabrics that have metal threads woven into them maintain continuity between the pipes they connect. Proper grounding is an essential part of sound bulk material handling practices. Dust Filters with a metal encased exterior and a ground strap can minimize a possible source of static discharge ignition.

Explosive Dust requires a well thought out set of solutions

When you require replacement fabric flexible connections, fabric basket liners and fabric sleeves, please contact us to discuss your application to make sure you are getting engineered fabrics that are correct for your application. While proper grounding is extremely important so are ignition detection devices and alarms, explosion venting, flame suppression systems, fast acting valves and blast deflection solutions. Further Reading – We have addressed Explosive Dust in a prior blog post which follows below;

Increased interest in OSHA Directives regarding Explosive Dust?

April 26, 2010

Last week, we were invited to a customer site to review the results of an OSHA visit for dust issues and to determine the curative steps to achieve compliance. This appears to be trending upward. In the last six months we have noted an increase in OSHA dust related Customer Site visits and an increase in Customer requests to provide equipment and expertise to address combustible dust issues. Simply read the national news to see that due to combustible dust explosions in recent years, safety agencies are taking a heightened interest in Combustible Dust Control.

Additionally, there is a  Meeting Summary Report that was issued on February 9, 2010. This report summarizes key discussion points during two stakeholder meetings that OSHA convened pertaining to its rulemaking on combustible dust. The two 3-hour meetings were held on December 14, 2009, at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center in Washington, D.C.

You can read the above mentioned event’s OSHA report at:

Doesn’t OSHA already have a program for Combustible Dust? The existing OSHA Combustible Dust Emphasis Program (effective date 03/08/2008)  addresses these categories

  • Metal dust such as aluminum and magnesium.
  • Wood dust
  • Coal and other carbon dusts.
  • Plastic dust and additives
  • Biosolids
  • Other organic dust such as sugar, flour, paper, soap, and dried blood.
  • Certain textile materials.

You can read the current Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (Reissued) at:

O.A. Newton has expertise in these areas to assist you. If you are interested in having the existing Dust Handling Systems at your facilities reviewed for an Explosion Relief Retrofit, please contact O.A. Newton directly. We provide Engineered Material Handling Solutions to a Global Customer base.

Greg Mareski, Business Development Manager, O.A. Newton, Engineered Material Handling Systems.

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