Dust explosions can be bad. I remember when I was in
Jr. High School there was a man from the state (Oklahoma)
dept. of mines who came around and blew up all kinds of
things. Sawdust, flour, sugar, and others. He had a
glass tunnel with a pan at one end. He filled the pan
with whatever and put a small flame in the tunnel. Then
he used a bicycle pump to blow the stuff in the pan
into the air where it hit the flame and exploded. Almost
anything that can be a dust and is at all flammable
can be caused to explode. Of course that was one of our
favorite shows. He came around every year.
This is true. I recall in Chem Lab we exploded a small amount
of extremely fine mesh nickel powder(*). You wouldn't normally
consider nickel flammable, but ground finely enough it will
burn (as will many metals).
It's worth noting, tho, that a lot of things that will explode
are fairly hard to ignite. An open flame is a sure way to get
(* no-one quite knew why we had a jar of nickel powder in the
lab, as best we could figure it was left over from something
a long-gone professor had been working on.)
seems bad judgement to be so close knowing the potential
it was a fire then dust explosion
clearly there is a fire and that triggered the explosion and that is
a lot different than a spark initiating that
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