The basic prerequisite for a dust explosion is a dust cloud within certain concentration limits. Nevertheless, for a long time there was no safety-related key figure describing the tendency of a bulk material to form dust clouds: the "dusting number“. The FSA has closed this gap. FSA developed a measuring method including the necessary measuring apparatus to be able to determine such a key figure for bulk materials in food production. This measuring method and apparatus are anchored in VDI Guideline 2263 Sheet 9 "Dust Fires and Dust Explosions, Hazards - Assessment Protective Measures, Determination of Dusting Behavior of Bulk Materials".
The new key figure can be used whenever questions arise in practice that require knowledge of a bulk material's tendency to form dust clouds. This applies in particular to risk analyses for protection against dust explosions. The dusting number can always play an important role when the probability of occurrence of explosive dust/air mixtures must be assessed in the risk analysis. The dusting number is an important tool here to determine the zones for marking hazardous areas. This is because it provides information on the expansion and lifetime of explosive dust clouds. For example, the dusting number can be used to decide whether a room or part of a plant falls completely within a zone or whether they can be subdivided into different zones or areas without zoning. In addition, knowledge of the dusting number enables statements to be made about the spatial distribution of dust clouds in plant components. This can have a considerable influence on the design protection measures.