How Can Your Facility Manage Combustible Plastic Dust?
When it comes to fugitive dust, you have a few options. With plastic dust, however, those options depend heavily on safety. You can remove the dust after it accumulates with blow down methods, like pressurized air. Of course, that’s pretty difficult to do safely and requires a strict (and often impossible) set of requirements to be within regulations. (See the National Fire Protection Association’s Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids NFPA 654, section 184.108.40.206 for the details on requirements and whether or not it’s even a possibility for your facility.)
You could also elect to clean the dust after it builds up. This option requires a significant workforce and regular maintenance. You should note you may need to shut down your facility’s production while you perform these cleanings, and pulling employees away from their regular tasks to complete it is commonly met with a drop in employee morale. You could hire an external cleaning crew, but that expense is pretty steep, and you’ll need to pay it frequently.
The final option is prevention. To keep dust from ever accumulating is the one that keeps your facility safe and compliant with dust management every second of every day. There isn’t ever a time when your facility is at risk for a combustible dust event, and a surprise inspection will never catch you with bad dust housekeeping practices.
No one wants a fire, but plastic dust has an added danger level that requires you to maintain constant diligence in preventing dust accumulation. With the possible toxic gasses released in the event of a fire melting the plastic dust, extra care must be taken to prevent fires from ever occurring. This need makes it especially appealing to, rather than clean up the dust regularly, prevent it from ever accumulating.
Dust control fans from SonicAire make the prevention of dust build up easy.
For more on your dust control options’ effectiveness, check out Ranking Six Combustible Dust Control Measures From Least to Most Effective.