I&EC Research August 2018

Cover of I&EC Research journal from August 2018

“Metal Dust Explosion Hazards: A Technical Review”

Featuring Mark Shiflett and his doctoral student Nicholas Reding


Metal dust deflagrations continue to pose a critical threat toward safety in the metal processing industry. This paper begins with introduction of the fundamental requirements for an explosion and reviews the modern developments in explosion prevention techniques, while describing the challenges confronted with applying these techniques to nonstandard metal dust applications. Variability in several intrinsic properties associated with bulk solids conveyance (such as propagation behavior, degree of turbulence, particle size, and moisture content) contributes to metallic fuels having the increased potential to act as highly reactive explosion hazards. Upon ignition in a contained enclosure volume and propagation to interconnected vessels, metal dusts exhibit augmented explosion severity and sensitivity because of their large heats of combustion, higher burning temperatures, radiative heat transfer effects, and abnormally reactive interactions with water. These characteristics are specific to metal dust fuels and are not commonly demonstrated in organic combustion.


Nicholas S. Reding and Mark B. Shiflett. Metal Dust Explosion Hazards: A Technical Review. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2018, 57 (34), 11473-11482

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