A combustible dust hazards testing laboratory and education center will opened by Fauske & Associates LLC, Burr Ridge, Ill., by November 1. FAI will provide dust explosivity/combustibility testing and services related to characterizing, preventing and mitigating combustible dust explosions and fire hazards. In addition to laboratory testing, the company will provide educational training and on-site consulting services.

“This new lab gives us the ability to provide very fast, high quality output for our partners and clients,” says Ashok Ghose Dastidar, PhD, MBA, vice president, dust and flammability testing and consulting services. “We are ISO 17025 certified by LAB, which is similar to ISO 9000, but for testing labs. We have a variety of test equipment, including 20-L chambers, minimum ignition energy chambers, one cubic meter chamber, minimum autoignition temperature of a dust cloud, and hot surface ignition temperature of dust layers apparatuses. We also have a designated area for European testing. FAI’s new overall lab size and individual room structure allows us to handle multiple samples with unique characteristics.”

FAI’s lab capabilities provide testing per ASTM and European (CEN) standards, which include common tests like the explosion severity test, minimum explosible concentration and limiting oxygen concentration. These standards are the basis of NFPA codes for combustible dust as well as the OSHA Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP).

Combustible dust hazards are common in industry and have gained additional exposure due to the OSHA Combustible Dust (NEP), which was reissued as a result of the fatal accident at Imperial Sugar.