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Our Solutions: Testing


Combustible Dust & Powders

Our UK laboratory generates explosion severity test data for your combustible dusts. This test generates useful data for any dust that can form a flammable atmosphere. It also determines maximum explosion pressure and provides four key values:

  1. Pmax – The greatest peak pressure achieved throughout a test series.
  2. dP/dtmax – The greatest achieved rate of explosion pressure rise.
  3.  Kst – A dusts explosion severity.
  4.  St Class – Classification of dusts into classes to help with selection of protective equipment (i.e. explosion supression and vent sizing).

The Explosion Severity test will aid in characterising, preventing, protecting and mitigating combustible dust explosions.

The Sigma-HSE Advantage

Sigma-HSE is your single solution provider for a full range of combustible dust & powder flammability testing.

Our dedicated team of experts are committed to helping you ensure that your dusts and/or powders will not generate a combustible dust explosion so you can maintain workplace safety and comply with the regulators.

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Frequently asked questions

BS EN 14034 parts 1 & 2 / ASTM E1226

The explosion severity test is conducted to determine the maximum pressure (Pmax), maximum rate of pressure rise (dP/dt)max and the dust constant Kst value of an ignited combustible dust, dispersed in the air, as a dust cloud.

Working through a range of potentially combustible dust concentrations, powders are dispersed into a 20L explosion vessel (sphere) using dry compressed air. These suspended dust clouds are then exposed to a large 10 kJ chemical source of ignition and the following dust explosion pressure is monitored, measured, and recorded, using high-accuracy piezoelectric transducers.

Testing is conducted over a wide range of combustible dust powder concentrations that enable explosibility curves of Pm, dP/dt & Kst to be generated, along peak values.

Data produced via the 20-Litre demonstrates what the maximum dust explosion pressure would be under optimum concentration.

Data generated by the explosion severity test is predominantly used for either the design of dust explosion protection systems (venting, containment, or suppression) or to confirm if a material is appropriate for processes within an established hazard protection system.

How to get your combustible dust & powders tested

Receive quick and accurate explosion severity testing data in just a few simple steps.

Contact us

Get in touch with one of our experts so we can learn more about your specific process, unit operations and combustible dust testing requirements. We'll then generate and send you a customised quote.

Prepare & ship

Prepare your combustible dust samples and ship them to one of our laboratories (UK or India).

Dust Testing, Analysis & Reports

Once we've received your potentially combustible dust or powder samples, we'll begin testing and analysing. We'll then create and send you a custom in-depth report detailing the potentially hazardous properties of your materials.

Post-Project Support

If you need support after receiving your report, our after-project support team will be on hand to assist you with any questions you may have about your combustible dust or powders. We can also aid you in your understanding of what combustible dust explosion hazard prevention measures will be most suitable for your processes.

We also undertake the following combustible dust tests to simulate a primary dust explosion, secondary dust explosion and/or dust ignition:

Test your explosive dust and powders for their explosion severity

Whether your process uses wood dust, coal dust or metal dust, getting your hazardous materials tested is an important step to prevent a combustible dust explosion, flash fire or other process-related hazards. Get in touch to learn more about how we can assist you in keeping your process plant and unit operations safe from combustible dust and powder explosions.


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