Dust Collectors: Do We Need to Protect Against Explosions, and What are the Best Methods?

This article has describes the various NFPA standards that provide guidance for the safe management of combustible dusts and their respective prescriptive requirements with regard to explosion protection and isolation for dry dust collection systems. Where explosion protection is deemed to be the only practical method for reducing the risk of a dust cloud explosion to an acceptable level, various options are discussed and the pros and cons of each method are described. This article should provide those responsible for design and management of dust collection systems with guidance with regard to selection of the appropriate systems, based on the logistics involved.