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Static Electricity as an Ignition Source


Konanur Manjunath (DOW Chemical)


This PowerPoint presentation covers the fundamentals of selected ignition sources and control methods with an emphasis on static electricity. The presentation was developed to make it easy to jump or return to the desired sections which are:
  • Introduction and non-electrical ignition sources (fires, hot surfaces, and mechanically generated sparks)
  • Electrically generated sparks and electrical area classifications
  • Static electricity and electro-static charge generation
  • The meaning of the term “relaxation time”
  • Basics of grounding and bonding
  • Charge dissipation in dusts (solids) and how it differs in metals and liquids
  • Types of dust electro-static discharges
  • Induction charging
  • Summary
The chemical industry continues to have accidents due to static electricity. The CSB recently stated that “industry and safety professionals often lacked awareness of combustible dust hazards, and MSDSs ineffectively communicate to employers and workers the hazards of combustible dust explosions and ways to prevent them”. This presentation will help professionals become aware of static electricity as an ignition source and methods to prevent static charge buildup, thus reducing the potential for fires and explosions.

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