Flame Propagation and Quenching in Pipes and Ducts Handling Combustible Dusts

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A technical basis is required for determining when pipes or ducts are too small in diameter to permit the propagation of combustible dust deflagrations. This must be evaluated considering the characteristics of the equipment system (pipe/duct diameter and length), properties of the combustible dust, and operating conditions (pressure, temperature, flow rate, etc.). The knowledge will permit establishing rational protection requirements in NFPA’s various combustible dust fire and explosion prevention standards. The user stakeholder community is currently at risk for expending resources for explosion protection on pipes potentially too small for the risk of deflagration. There is also a lack of knowledge around conditions influencing the explosion propagation through piping, especially small diameter piping. Having a clear understanding of all the testing to date would allow analysis to see what conditions and parameters will affect the explosion propagation and also point out where there are knowledge gaps.

This project will provide technical data for NFPA Technical Committees/Correlating Committee on Combustible Dusts to make better guidance on potential standards changes for the dust standards.

Research goal: The purpose of this project is to identify the parameters affecting the explosion propagation involving combustible dusts within pipes and determine the conditions under which combustible dust deflagration will not propagate (quench) within a piping or ductwork system through a comprehensive literature review.

Download the project summary. (PDF)