How to minimize electrostatic discharge hazards in your pneumatic conveying system
Sparks can initiate catastrophic dust explosions in pneumatic conveying systems that operate with air. To safeguard your conveying system from such electrostatic discharge hazards, you need to understand and identify the hazards and find ways to minimize them. This article first reviews some pneumatic conveying system basics, then explains how to analyze electrostatic discharge mechanisms and how to minimize electrostatic discharge hazards in your conveying system.
A powder's electrostatic charging capability can create high potential for a dust explosion in an air pneumatic conveying system. Under the right conditions, the high electrostatic voltage fields produced by the flowing powder can cause electrical breakdown in the powder-air mixture, in the accumulated powder in the receiver or the silo, or in the conveying system's isolated conductive parts [system materials and components]. Such a breakdown results in an electrostatic discharge that can initiate a dust explosion.