What is Combustible Dust?
According to NFPA 654, “As little as 1/32 of an inch of organic dust over 5 percent of a room’s surface area presents a significant explosion hazard.” Many substances can become explosive when in fine dust form. Grains, wood, coal, plastics, foams, pharmaceuticals, and certain metals (i.e. aluminum, zinc, iron, and magnesium) may become combustible. If these substances, or others like them, are in a concentrated cloud with an oxidizing medium, and there is a possible ignition source, there is a high risk of explosion. The possibility for explosions can be reduced by the removal of fine dust as it accumulates.