Scaling of dust explosions

Project aim

Despite tremendous research efforts in the last 30 years, dust explosions continue to pose a serious threat to the process industries. The aim of this project is to investigate the effect of scale, turbulence, and ignition energy on the explosion severity of dust explosions using different types of fuels. Explosion tests are carried out in a 20 L sphere and in a 1 m3 vessel.


Experimental results obtained so far have underlined the weaknesses of the experimental procedures used to determine dust deflagration severity parameters (KSt, Pmax), as well as the limitations of the cubic law used to scale dust deflagration severity. A better understanding of the mode of combustion of the different dusts (organics, chemicals, metals) is essential to explain the discrepancies observed experimentally.  Next phases include completion of MIE/MAIT tests with metal dusts, completion of tests with different dusts (other than metals) using lower ignition strengths, investigation of dust dispersion in 20 L sphere and/or 1 m3 vessels by recording the dust dispersion process using high-speed video, use of dust burners in order to see the potential benefits vs. closed vessels 

Publications are in preparation about metal dusts deflagration hazards (review), ignition induced hybrids, scaling of metal dust explosion severity.


The researcher is employed by Fike The experiments have been using the equipment available at Fike.

Dr. ir. Saul Lemkowitz (TU Delft) and Prof. Dr. S. Hochgreb (Cambridge University, UK) are advisors of the project.


Involved People:

Facilities used: