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September 18, 2013

Fauske & Associates opens combustible-dust-hazards testing lab

Gerald Ondrey

Fauske & Associates, LLC (FAI; Burr Ridge, Ill.;, a leader in nuclear, industrial and chemical process safety, becomes one of the most comprehensive, state-of-the-art combustible dust hazards testing laboratories and education centers in the world. With regard to industrial and chemical process safety, FAI is at the forefront for dust explosivity/combustibility testing offering a wide range of services related to characterizing, preventing and mitigating combustible dust explosions and fire hazards. In addition to laboratory testing, educational training and on-site consulting services are a frequent customer request.                            

The new facility will be up and operational by November 1, 2013. FAI will host a public grand opening of the facility in spring 2014. Tours and demonstrations will be provided.

“This new lab gives us the ability to provide very fast, high quality output for our partners and clients,” state Ashok Ghose Dastidar, vice president, Dust & Flammability Testing and Consulting Services. “We are ISO 17025 certified by LAB, which is similar to ISO 9000, but for testing labs. We have a variety of test equipment, including 20-L chambers, Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE) chambers, 1 Cubic Meter (1m³) Chamber, Minimum Autoignition Temperature of a Dust Cloud (MIT) and Hot Surface Ignition Temperature of Dust Layers (LIT) apparatuses. We also have a designated area for European (CEN) testing. FAI’s new overall lab size and individual room structure allows us to handle multiple samples with unique characteristics.”

FAI’s lab capabilities provide testing per ASTM and European (CEN) standards, which include common tests like the Explosion Severity Test (KSt , Pmax and (dP/dt)max), Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE), the Minimum Explosible Concentration (MEC) and Limiting Oxygen Concentration (LOC). These standards are the basis of NFPA codes for combustible dust as well as the OSHA Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP).

“The brand new 1 Cubic Meter (1m³) Chamber is the gold standard for establishing KSt and Pmax values for dust cloud explosions – while common in Europe, it is only the second unit of its kind in all of North America,” states Dastidar. “The new laboratory provides the ideal educational/training resource center as FAI professionals can demonstrate for customers the proper way to sample, test and mitigate combustible dust and other hazards.” 

Combustible dust hazards are common in industry and have gained additional exposure due to the OSHA Combustible Dust (NEP), which was re-issued as a result of the fatal accident at Imperial Sugar. FAI’s process safety professionals serve clients in a variety of industries including food products, pharmaceuticals, metal processing, wood/paper products, agriculture, textiles, plastics and many others.


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