Aim: The aim of this paper is to present a state of the art on dust detonation phenomenon. The author described some research works done in different research institutions, including experimental works on dust-air and dust-oxygen detonations and measured parameters, e.g. pressure and velocity profiles. The author also described some fundamental theories on blast wave propagation in tubes and channels as well as a phenomenon called deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT).

Introduction: In most processes equipment and apparatuses in industry, where flammable dusts are handled, combustion phenomenon exists as the deflagration flame with great influence of heat and mass transfer. Deflagration is a mode of subsonic combustion wave, where chemical kinetics undergoes under almost constant pressure. Deflagration front propagates with velocity, which is a sum of flame speed and combustion products velocity. If the flame speed will be low enough then combustion occurred at almost constant pressure. In other way there will be some turbulence at the flame front and pressure will increase. Flame front will accelerate and in some circumstances the deflagration to detonation process will occur. Dust detonation phenomenon seems to be an unique case of flame propagation in the process industries which is of course possible to take a place in apparatus and pipelines transporting combustible dusts. Heat transfer from the burning dust cloud to the unburnt part does not proceed by the diffusion like in the deflagration explosion. It is possible by extremely fast compression of unburnt mixture covered by the shock wave propagating with high-speed velocity.

Methodology: Paper was prepared based on the state of the art taken from available literature and results of experimental works on dust detonation phenomenon.

Conclusions: Research in dust detonation phenomenon is the ongoing process from many years but there is still a gap of knowledge of fundamental parameters and correlations. An important matter could be to provide the database of detonation cell size, propagation velocity, detonation limits, run-up distance and also some critical size of dust particle supporting DDT in dust mixtures.

Keywords: detonation, DDT, explosion hazards, combustible dusts

Type of article: review article