How Dust Explosion Occurs and How It Can Be Prevented

How Dust Explosion Occurs and How It Can Be Prevented

Grain dust bin explosions have reportedly increased in 2022 from 2021 according to Purdue University. There were 9 reported incidents in 2022 compared to an average of 7.8 in 2021. How do dust explosions occur and how can they be prevented?

How Dust Explosion Occurs and How It Can Be Prevented

How Dust Explosions Occur

A typical fire is born via the fire triangle: oxygen, fuel, and ignition source. A dust explosion adds an additional element: dispersion of dust particles in sufficient quantity and concentration. When all four of these elements are present in a confined space, deflagration can occur. Deflagration is a type of rapid combustion that results in pressure rise that can cause an explosion. Explosions can occur within any process where a combustible dust accumulates, is produced or stored, is airborne, and can be triggered by a variety of energy sources. The initial explosion typically causes little damage. However, it will cause fugitive dust to dislodge and cause additional explosions. These secondary explosions can be catastrophic to your plant and your employees.

At-Risk Industries

The following industries commonly have identifiable dust hazards:

  • Agriculture
  • Chemicals
  • Food such as Candy, Sugar, Flour, Spices, etc.
  • Grain Elevators, bins, and Silos
  • Fertilizer
  • Tobacco
  • Plastics
  • Wood Processing and Storage
  • Certain Furnitures
  • Paper
  • Tire and Rubber Manufacturing
  • Textiles
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Metal Powder (Especially Magnesium and Aluminum)
  • And More

How Can Dust Explosions be Prevented?

Our goal is to ensure your plant is as safe as possible while maintaining process uptime. Our knowledgeable employees will perform a hazard assessment to your plant and identify any factors that may contribute to an explosion. Contact us to schedule your assessment today.

Any plant can encourage explosion prevention with simple housekeeping. Apex supplies Vac-U-Max Explosion Prevention Vacuums that make dust collection safe and easy.

Apex can also supply Rembe explosion prevention products such as the Q-ROHR Flameless Vent. Rembe products reduce the risk of potential dust explosions. If a dust explosion does happen to occur, Rembe vents and discs significantly lower the severity of the explosion.


Contact Apex to Learn More About Explosion Prevention and Safety

Call: 763-777-9525    Email:

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