Electrostatic discharges can be a credible ignition source in facilities working with explosible powders. An explosible dust cloud atmosphere is .. Read more created when a critical amount of a dust is mixed with air. Ignition of that cloud can occur when the electrostatic discharge energy exceeds the minimum ignition energy (MIE) of the dust cloud. An electrostatic ignition source is a discharge, commonly referred to as a spark, resulting from the generation and accumulation of electrostatic charges. Accumulation of electrostatic charge on an object can result in electrostatic discharges. A flash fire or an explosion hazard therefore exists during the transfer, handling, processing, and packaging of many powders (and liquids), and precautions must be taken to prevent inadvertent ignition. This presentation will discuss the different ways electrostatic ignition hazards can arise when processing powders and the practical measures that can be considered to prevent and control them based on the requirements of NFPA 77: Recommended Practice on Static Electricity.
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