What Is A Deflagration?

An explosion is defined as a rapid release of energy that produces potentially damaging pressures. There are two categories of explosions: detonations and deflagrations. A deflagration can be thought of as a subclass of fire where flames travel extremely rapidly in all directions away from the ignition source. Deflagrations differ from detonations because they are slower than the speed of sound, are typically confined within some sort of vessel, involve low explosives, and are quieter. The detrimental effect of a deflagration can vary greatly depending on fuel source and confinement stipulations when the ignition occurs. 

How Are Deflagrations Initiated?

Deflagrations require three things to initiate: a fuel source, an ignition source, and an oxidant. Combustible dust explosions require a concentrated and confined cloud of dust particles to be mixed with high levels of oxygen and then ignited via a spark. When these conditions are met within a vessel in a manufacturing facility without proper safety measures, deflagrations can cause devastating damage to said vessel and all interconnected equipment.

What Are The Possible Ignition Sources Of A Deflagration?

Deflagrations have a few possible ignition sources, including sparks, electrostatic discharge, mechanical grinding, mechanical impact, overheated equipment, and flames from things like welding torches.

How Can Deflagrations Be Prevented?

In order to prevent deflagrations from combustible dust explosions, manufacturing facilities that work with metal, wood, chemicals, grain, sugar, flour, textile fibers, or most other solid organic materials should have explosion detection, isolation, and suppression systems in place. Explosion isolation systems are used to instantly detect and mechanically isolate deflagrations, preventing them from propagating through the ductwork that is attached to the vessel where the ignition occurred. Explosion suppression systems are used to instantly detect and chemically suppress, or “put out”, the deflagration using highly pressurized nitrogen.

Contact Safety Systems Inc!

Contact Safety Systems Inc. today to learn more about deflagrations, combustible dust, and explosion protection systems! We provide explosion protection system recommendation, design, installation, project management, & commissioning services in the manufacturing markets of New England, the Mid-Atlantic, & Eastern Canada! Give us a call today at (888) 877-1778 or fill out the contact form on our website, and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible!