Combustible Dust Cleaning and Removal Experts

combustible dust on pipe
Combustible dust on pipe

UScleanblast specializes in removing and cleaning combustible dust from factories, plants, industrial facilities, equipment and machinery where fine particles of dust accumulate and can result in explosions or fire.   We have special training, experience and equipment  that allows us to safely clean and remove particulates in complex industrial applications.

Combustible dust fuels tremendous explosions that can be avoided. Combustible dust and dust control is a major concern of many manufacturing and production facilities. Dust, particulates and debris is causing irreparable damage and costly repairs to expensive, sensitive equipment and machinery. In some industries, there are great concerns that combustible dust accumulation can create a serious fire and be a potential explosion hazard.

Combustible Dust Attributed to Industrial Explosions and Fire

combustible dust explosion at sugar refinery
Sugar refinery explosion caused by combustible dust in Kreamer Pennsylvania

In Kreamer Pennsylvania, a sawdust silo exploded. This was the 4th incident in this plant in seven years. An explosion in a foundry in Massachusetts took the lives of three and nine were also injured. Another example in 2003, a pharmaceutical plant in North Carolina had an explosion that killed 6 and injured 38. Just one month after, 7 lives were lost in an explosion in a Kentucky acoustics insulation manufacturing plant and 37 were injured. In Georgia a sugar refinery plant left more tragically 14 dead and 38 injured.  What do all of these explosions have in common? Combustible dust! If properly cleaned such tragedies can be avoided.

What is Combustible Dust?

Industrial facilities especially manufacturing ones generate dust during operations. When the dust becomes airborne it settles on surfaces throughout the facility. It is believed that 1/32 of an inch of dust covering more than 5% of a room’s surface can cause an explosion. In order for an explosion to happen, a “fire triangle” must occur. The other elements are oxygen and heat. When combined with other factors, these elements mix and cause a “dust explosion pentagon”

What kind of industrial dust is likely to be combustible?

There are different kinds of dust.  With each industry there is different type of dust. It is important to recognize what type of dust is found in each facility. Certain dusts are listed by OSHA as explosive dust. There are chemical dusts, plastic dusts, metal dusts, agricultural dusts, carbonaceous dusts, etc. Some require explosion proof cleaning with vacuums and equipment that we provide for the professional clean-up.

The fines for not cleaning your combustible dust in the facilities are far greater than the cost of cleaning. Recently a grain company was fined $293,000 in penalties for an eight of an inch deep dust in the facility.  We have posted an OSHA listing below, for your reference.

combustible dust expertsWhat can be done about Combustible Dust?

An expert in explosions caused by dust at the University of Michigan says there is only one way to avoid industrial dust explosionsclean up the dust.

The professionals at UScleanblast are highly trained and experienced, utilizing high reaching and high lifting mechanized equipment, along with ladders and scaffolding, and our technicians are able to safely access the work areas to allow maximum combustible dust removal. We are active Members of ISN, the leading Safety Organization – safety is our #1 goal for your company in eliminating the dangers and doing it safely. We work in compliance with OSHA Standards. We also offer duct cleaning, dry ice blasting, and indoor air quality care for the facility.

UScleanblast is trained in accordance to NFPA 654. NFPA 654 is the standard for the prevention of fire and dust explosions from the manufacturing, processing, and handling of combustible particulate solids and all other applicable regulatory requirements and standards.

Please contact for a free estimate or analysis of potential risk at your facility.

OSHA Combustible Dust Reference Sheet

Combustible Dust

Does your company or firm process any of these products or materials in powdered form?

If your company or firm processes any of these products or materials, there is potential for a ‘Combustible Dust’ explosion.

Agricultural Products
Egg white
Milk, powdered
Milk, nonfat, dry
Soy flour
Starch, corn
Starch, rice
Starch, wheat
Sugar, milk
Sugar, beet
Wood flourAgricultural Dusts
Beet root
Cocoa bean dust
Cocoa powder
Coconut shell dust
Coffee dust
Corn meal
Garlic powder
Gras dust
Green coffee
Hops (malted)
Lemon peel dust
Lemon pulp
Locust bean gum
Oat flour
Oat grain dust
Olive pellets
Onion powder
Parsley (dehydrated)
Peanut meal
Peanut skins
Potato flour
Potato starch
Raw yucca seed dust Rice dust
Rice flour
Rice starch
Rye flour
Soybean dust
Spice dust
Spice powder
Sugar (10x)
Sunflower seed dust
Tobacco blend
Walnut dust
Wheat flour
Wheat grain dust
Wheat starch
Xanthan gumCarbonaceous Dusts
Charcoal, activated
Charcoal, wood
Coal, bituminous
Coke, petroleum Lampblack
Peat, 22%H20
Soot, pine
Cellulose pulp
Chemical Dusts
Adipic acid
Ascorbic acid
Calcium acetate
Calcium stearate Carboxy-methylcellulose Dextrin
Lead stearate
Sodium ascorbate
Sodium stearate
SulfurMetal Dusts
Iron carbonyl Magnesium
ZincPlastic Dusts
(poly) Acrylamide
(poly) Acrylonitrile
(poly) Ethylene
(low-pressure process)
Epoxy resin
Melamine resin
Melamine, molded
Melamine, molded
(wood flour and mineral filled phenol-formaldehyde)
(poly) Methyl acrylate
(poly) Methyl acrylate,
emulsion polymer
Phenolic resin
(poly) Propylene
Terpene-phenol resin
cellulose, molded
(poly) Vinyl acetate/
ethylene copolymer
(poly) Vinyl alcohol
(poly) Vinyl butyral
(poly) Vinyl chloride/
ethylene/ vinyl
acetylene suspension
(poly) Vinyl chloride/
vinyl acetylene
Dust Control MeasuresThe dust-containing systems (ducts and dust collectors) are designed in a manner (i.e., no leaking) that fugitive dusts are not allowed to accumulate in the work area.The facility has a housekeeping program with regular cleaning fre- quencies established for floors and horizontal surfaces, such as ducts, pipes, hoods, ledges, and beams, to minimize dust accumulations within operating areas of the facility.The working surfaces are designed in a manner to minimize dust accumulation and facilitate cleaning.Ignition Control MeasuresElectrically-powered cleaning devices such as vacuum cleaners, and electrical equipment are approved for the hazard classification for Class II locations.The facility has an ignition control program, such as grounding and bonding and other methods, for dissipating any electrostatic charge that could be generated while transporting the dust through the ductwork.The facility has a Hot Work permit program. Areas where smoking is prohibited are posted with “No Smoking” signs.

Duct systems, dust collectors, and dust-producing machinery are bonded and grounded to minimize accumulation of static electrical charge.

The facility selects and uses industrial trucks that are approved for the combustible dust locations.

Prevention MeasuresThe facility has separator devices to remove foreign materials capable of igniting combustible dusts.MSDSs for the chemicals which could become combustible dust under normal operations are available to employees.Employees are trained on the explosion hazards of combustible dusts.Protection MeasuresThe facility has an emergency action plan. Dust collectors are not located inside of buildings. (Some exceptions)Rooms, buildings, or other enclosures (dust collectors) have explosion relief venting distributed over the exterior wall of buildings and enclosures.Explosion venting is directed to a safe location away from employees.

The facility has isolation devices to prevent deflagration propagation between pieces of equipment connected by ductwork.

The dust collector systems have spark detection and explosion/ deflagration suppression systems.

Emergency exit routes are maintained properly.

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