J. Phys. IV France
Volume 12, Numéro 7, August 2002
Page(s) 31 - 44

J. Phys. IV France
12 (2002) Pr7-31
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20020264

Dust explosion vent sizing - Current methods and future developments

F. Tamanini

FM Global Research, 1151 Providence Hwy, Norwood, MA 02062, U.S.A.

Protection against dust explosion hazards is often based on venting. Most design methods, whether codified in consensus standards or representing technologies used by individual organizations, rely on empirical correlations with little scientific basis. Research results, on the other hand, are generally presented in a form that makes their application to practical problems difficult. There are obvious limitations associated with both approaches. In the first instance, there are uncertainties in the extrapolation of the design formulas beyond the range of the data. In the second, the proposed research tool can be too complex for the typical protection engineer and often require inputs that may not be readily available. The paper addresses two directions in which design methods can evolve to yield more advanced predictive tools for engineering applications. The first entails making use of simple models to identify parameters that better capture the features of the available data. As an extension of this approach, modeling can also be used in a predictive mode, if the phenomenon being simulated is sufficiently well understood. The second entails the development and eventual adoption of more advanced techniques, to address aspects of explosion problems that are currently well beyond the capabilities of available methods. This last step will be necessary for the technology to evolve from protection that is based on a generic explosion scenario to designs that account for the specific conditions of the postulated accident.

Key words: explosion venting; dust explosions; advanced methods.

© EDP Sciences 2002