The Collection of Wood Dust Requires More Safeguards Than You May Realize
Dust collection for applications involving wood dust is more complex than many process and facility managers realize. Just because the dust collection system being used has always “gotten the job done” does not mean it is still good enough, or even acceptable.
Much has been learned about the dangers of combustible dust since the Imperial Sugar refinery disaster, which occurred over a decade ago. As a result, numerous regulatory requirements have been enacted to prevent future fires and explosions. In fact NFPA 664, specifically addresses the prevention of fires and explosions in wood processing and woodworking facilities.
Unfortunately, many operation owners and managers have put off keeping up with necessary changes, or are simply unaware they exist. If your operation involves wood dust and regulatory compliance has not yet been a priority for you, now is the time to put safety at the top of your list.
Here is a quick rundown on what you need to know about wood dust applications:
Spark Detection is Required Regardless of the CFM
Spark detection is required for all wood dust applications regardless of CFM. Spark detection and extinguishing systems use inferred sensors to detect sparks in the main dirty air inlet duct of a dust collector. Immediately upon spark detection, a water mist is sprayed into the duct to extinguish the spark.
A High Speed Abort Gate is Required for Any Project Over 5000 CFM
High speed abort gates are designed to divert process air in the event of a deflagration. Any project over 5000 CFM now requires an abort gate to be tied into the system’s spark detection system. The abort gate would be triggered if an ignition source were to be detected. While abort gates do not react quickly enough to be NFPA compliant as an outlet isolation device, they will divert burning debris and smoke to keep them from entering the building. Do not wait to bring your facility up-to-date with wood dust safety solutions.
Glacier Technology brings extensive experience and expert knowledge in the area of wood dust collection system design and development, as well as experience in successfully navigating OSHA and NFPA requirements.