Dust explosions are NOT FUN!!!

by Z-man51

Oh yeah, been there, done that, lost the t-shirt. I was caught in a similar event when a local cabinet shop burned. It had a wood chip/dust collector behind the shop and the fans were still running even though the shop and breaker boxes were fully involved. We were approximately 30 feet away when we think an ember was sucked into the collector and BOOM! Luckily no-one was injured, just shook up by the concussion which was pretty bad. Thank God for bunker/SCBA gear as we would have suffered at least second degree burns without it.
It's not just wood chips/dust that can cause an explosion: flour, sugar, corn and even regular dust can explode if conditions are just right. Even metals such as aluminum and magnesium can explode or burn if the particles are fine enough. That is something you do not want to be anywhere near as you will be burned.
One thing our instructor showed us to show the effects of a dust explosion was to take a cup of powdered coffee creamer and throw it up in the air above a small fire. It will flash so rapidly that you'll understand what a dust explosion can do. BTW, don't try this at home. It is dangerous.

Posted on Jun 14, 2017, 10:20 PM

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  1. Unfortunately a regular occurrence in the Corn Belt. Dave H, Jun 15, 2017
    1. Bigger fun with coffee creamer!. Salda007, Jun 15, 2017
      1. They did it wrong.... Snowtroll, Jun 16, 2017
        1. Re: They did it wrong.... Dave H, Jun 16, 2017

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