Journal of Hazardous Materials ( IF 9.038 ) Pub Date : 2020-09-29 , DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124119 Yajie Bu; Paul Amyotte; Chang Li; Wenbo Yuan; Chunmiao Yuan; Gang Li
This work presents an overview about the suppressant enhanced explosion parameter (SEEP) phenomenon in aluminum dust explosion moderation. The SEEP phenomenon can be attributed to either the flammable gas produced by decomposition of insufficient chemical suppressant so as to form an explosible hybrid mixture, or to the improvement in dust dispersibility caused by small amounts of thermal inhibitor so as to form better dispersed dust clouds. Aluminum (Al) and four particle sizes of alumina (Al2O3) were used to confirm a physically caused SEEP phenomenon by performing flame propagation experiments. Higher flame spread velocities (FSVs) in Al dust clouds were found in the presence of 5 or 10% <150 and <45-µm Al2O3 powder. Adding micro-sized Al2O3 disrupted inter-particle contact in combustible dusts, decreased inter-particle forces, and formed dust clouds with better dispersibility, thereby decreasing the effective particle size distribution (PSD) of Al dust. A strong thermal effect brought about by 2.5 µm Al2O3 overcame the negative effect of improved dispersion, preventing SEEP from occurring. The addition of 50 nm Al2O3 increased cohesion of powder mixtures, and decreased dust dispersibility. With benefits from both dispersion suppression and the thermal effect, Al flame propagation was well quenched.