Explosion hazards of aluminum finishing operations

Jérôme Taveau, Simone Hochgreb, Saul Lemkowitz, Dirk Roekaerts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Metal dust deflagrations have become increasingly common in recent years. They are also more devastating than deflagrations involving organic materials, owing to metals' higher heat of combustion, rate of pressure rise, explosion pressure and flame temperature. Aluminum finishing operations offer a particularly significant hazard from the very small and reactive aluminum particles generated, and thus require high attention to details of operation and explosion safety management. This paper presents available statistics on metal dust explosions and studies the specific explosion hazards of aluminum finishing operations. The analysis of seven case studies shows that the proper design, monitoring and maintenance of dust collection systems are particularly important. Furthermore, the isolation of deflagrations occurring in dust collection systems, as well as good housekeeping practices in buildings, are critical safeguards to avoid the occurrence of catastrophic secondary explosions.

Keywords

  • Accidents
  • Aluminum
  • Deflagration
  • Dust
  • Finishing operations
  • Metals

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