Mining Publication: Flammability Limit Measurements for Dusts in 20-L and 1-m3 Vessels
Two types of flammability limits have been measured for various dusts in the Fike 1-m3 (1000-L) chamber and in the Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL) 20-L chamber. The first limit is the minimum explosible concentration (MEC), which was measured at several ignition energies. In addition to the three dusts studied previously (bituminous coal, anthracite coal, and gilsonite), this work continues the effort by adding three additional dusts: RoRo93, lycopodium, and iron powder. These materials were chosen to extend the testing to non-coal materials as well as to a metallic dust. The new MEC data corroborates the previous observations that very strong igniters can overdrive the ignition in the smaller 20-L chamber. Recommendations are given in regard to appropriate ignition energies to be used in the two chambers. The study also considered the other limiting component, oxygen. Limiting oxygen concentration (LOC) testing was performed in the same 20-L and 1-m3 vessels for gilsonite, bituminous coal, RoRo93, and aluminum dusts. The objective was to establish the protocol for testing at different volumes. A limited investigation was made into overdriving in the 20-L vessel. The LOC results tended to show slightly lower results for the smaller test volume. The results indicated that overdriving could occur at that ignition energies of 2.5kJ in the 20-L vessel would yield comparable results to those in the 1-m3 vessel using 10.0kJ. The studies also illustrate the importance of dust concentration on LOC determinations.