Explosion hazards of aluminum finishing operations

J. Taveau, S. Hochgreb, S.M. Lemkowitz, D.J.E.M. Roekaerts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Metal dust deflagrations have become increasingly common in recent years. They are also more devastating than deflagrations involving organic materials, owing to metals' higher heat of combustion, rate of pressure rise, explosion pressure and flame temperature. Aluminum finishing operations offer a particularly significant hazard from the very small and reactive aluminum particles generated, and thus require high attention to details of operation and explosion safety management. This paper presents available statistics on metal dust explosions and studies the specific explosion hazards of aluminum finishing operations. The analysis of seven case studies shows that the proper design, monitoring and maintenance of dust collection systems are particularly important. Furthermore, the isolation of deflagrations occurring in dust collection systems, as well as good housekeeping practices in buildings, are critical safeguards to avoid the occurrence of catastrophic secondary explosions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-93
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Accidents
  • Aluminum
  • Deflagration
  • Dust
  • Finishing operations
  • Metals


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