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Journal Articles Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries Year : 2012

When solids meet solids: A glimpse into dust mixture explosions


Mixing an inert solid or a less flammable compound with a combustible dust can be regarded as a direct application of the inherent safety principle of moderation. An experimental investigation was carried out to determine the evolution of the ignition sensitivity and the explosion severity of such various mixtures as a function of their compositions. It demonstrates that the introduction of small amounts of highly combustible powders (such as sulphur or nicotinic acid) to a less flammable dust (such as microcrystalline cellulose or carbon black) can strongly influence the ignition sensitivity as well as the explosion severity. It has notably been shown that the ignition sensitivity of solid/solid mixtures significantly rises up when only 10–5%wt. of highly flammable dust is introduced. Simple models can often be applied to estimate the minimum ignition energy, minimum ignition temperature and minimum explosive concentration of such mixtures. Concerning the dust explosivity, three cases have been studied: mixtures of combustibles dusts without reaction, dusts with reactions between the powders, combustible dusts with inert solid. If the evolution of the maximum explosion pressure can be estimated by using thermodynamic calculations, the maximum rate of pressure rise is more difficult to predict with simple models, and both combustion kinetics and hydrodynamics of the dust clouds should be taken into account. These results were also extended to flammable dust/solid inertant mixture. They clearly show that the concentration of solid inertant at which the ignition is not observed anymore could reach 95%wt. As a consequence, the common recommendation of solid inertant introduction up to 50–80%wt. to prevent dust explosion/ignition should be reconsidered.

Dates and versions

hal-01967728 , version 1 (01-01-2019)



Olivier Dufaud, Laurent Perrin, David Bideau, André Laurent. When solids meet solids: A glimpse into dust mixture explosions. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 2012, 25 (5), pp.853-861. ⟨10.1016/j.jlp.2012.04.011⟩. ⟨hal-01967728⟩
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