Flour dust poses a serious risk for combustion or explosion. Dust explosions in grain and milling industries usually start inside process equipment like mills, dryers, conveyors, mixers, storage silos and hoppers.
Flour explosions are typically caused by the build-up of flour particulates over time. The danger lies when airborne flour dust comes into contact with a spark from an ignition source, such as a faulty wiring circuit, which ignites the flour in the air. Fast and reliable early detection of the ignition process is critical in flour and grain mills. Fire must be detected at each stage of production including cleaning processes, waste disposal, grain blending, milling, coating and addition of additives and supplements, packaging and storage, bulk transportation, and shipping containers.
Flour dust explosions can cause catastrophic events ranging from equipment damage to loss of life and injury.
Grain dusts like flour are highly combustible fuel sources that can easily burn or explode upon contacting an ignition source such as:
- Overheated motors, gears and bearings
- Misaligned cover belts
- Welding, cutting
- Power surges
System components at risk: