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A spark, ember, or smolder by itself is not that dangerous. For a fire or explosion to occur, there must be three essential ingredients - combustibles, oxygen, and an ignition source. If one of these three is eliminated, so is the potential for fire or explosion. In today's production plants, we often have all of the components that cause a fire or an explosion in the production process. If you havent had a fire, you just havent gotten the recipie right - yet! Dust/fume extraction systems and pneumatic conveyors significantly increase the danger of fires and especially explosions.
Once sparks or hot embers are created, the conveyor or pneumatic extraction system conveys these hazards to other areas of the plant. At this point, two of the three ingredients for the creation of fires and/or explosions are transported. When this conveyed danger meets a supply of combustible materials (filter cloth, deposited dust or the material in the separator or silo) the risk of fire, flash fire or explosion significantly increases. Increased environmental protection measures for dust emissions and tightened regulations for air pollution have led to the increased use of filter systems, and has increased the danger of dust explosions and fires due to the concentration of the combustible material in suspension within the vessel.
Because of the high cost of heating and cooling plant buildings, many air systems return the clean air directly back into the production facility. This practice, although energy efficient, presents a very dangerous scenario if the collector catches fire. This fire will be propagated via the return air duct into the plant structure with devastating consequences, and potential loss of life.
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