Large-Scale Explosion Testing Facility

When Real-World Testing Produces Life-Saving Data

Knowledge is power, particularly when it comes to safety. Fike’s state-of-the-art 50,000 sq. ft. large-scale explosion testing facility plays a key role in Fike’s continued understanding of its explosion protection products within any given application.

Explosion Testing Facility’s Capabilities

People’s lives depend on the reliability of explosion protection products within certain applications and conditions. The large-scale explosion testing facility supports Fike and selected partners’ equipment with the following capabilities:

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tests explosive characteristics (Pmax, KST and more) of a facility’s dust in large-scale, real-world applications.

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verify client-provided equipment’s performance when tested under a given set of variables.

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offer consultancy and detailed test reports to help prepare customer equipment for certification.

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tests may be conducted in observation of a notified body.

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tests conducted in accordance with ASTM and CEN standards.

Vessels and Testing

Fike’s explosion testing facility offers large-scale testing of combustible dust within a given application, such as a dust collector, mill or connecting pipe. These tests may be conducted in select client-provided equipment or in replicable on-site applications detailed in the following chart:

Fike’s Large-Scale Explosion Test Vessels
Vessel Volume (M3) 0.34 (2) 0.5 1 2 2.6 5.1 6.7 10
Vessel Geometry Cylinder Sphere Sphere Sphere Cube Rectangular Sphere Sphere
MAWP (psig) 145 500 450 500 10 14.5 150 490

Types of explosion and overpressure tests include:

Strength of Enclosure Test

Subjects equipment such as a dust collector or baghouses to a series of explosions—each with increasing pressures until hardware fails or a flame is transmitted through a panel.

Fike Product Verification

Tests Fike products to verify their effectiveness in customer applications. For example, our team of experts can verify when a specific Fike explosion vent will activate at a certain bar of pressure in a client-supplied dust collector.

Isolation Verifications

Verify that flame can’t propagate through customer-supplied equipment or applicable equipment at the test site. If flame does propagate through these devices, the explosion testing facility can test which of Fike’s solutions are most effective at isolating the explosion from downstream or upstream equipment.

The Advantages of Fike’s Large-Scale Explosion Testing Facility

Fike’s large-scale explosion testing facility is one of a select few of its kind in the entire world. The following highlights why the Fike explosion testing team are among the most sought after technicians in the industry:

  • Operates one of the most sophisticated data acquisition, pressures and controls systems in the world. Testing is performed quickly and efficiently without sacrificing quality of results or controllability of the reaction.
  • Proprietary software provides instantaneous results. While some other test facilities are limited to a few tests per day, and require days or weeks to gather data, the Fike team has the capacity to perform upwards of 20 tests in a day, and the data is immediately available.
  • High-resolution, slow-motion video of all tests is provided to select clients.
  • Original and highly customized report is provided to select clients.
  • A wide range of test vessels can recreate conditions of various real-world applications.
  • All testing results and data are maintained confidentially.

Fike-Focused Product Development

Fike’s safety products are frequently researched and tested by the explosion testing facility team. Through these efforts, Fike continues to understand the performance of its safety products better than any other manufacturer in the explosion and overpressure protection industries.

Some of the ways in which the explosion testing facility improves Fike’s products and customer confidence include:

  • Verify that Fike products perform exactly how intended.
  • Test Fike products within unexplored industries and applications to verify their effectiveness.
  • Support new product development efforts either in the explosion protection or overpressure protection industries.
  • Conduct fundamentals research that continues to expand knowledge base and understanding of opportunities in which Fike products may be applied to protect critical assets, and most importantly, to save lives.

Explosion Tests Video

In August 2018 Fike Corporation hosted ISHPMIE XII (International Symposium on Hazards, Prevent and Mitigation of Industrial Explosions) to an international audience of students, professors and other experts. Fike invited ISHPMIE attendees to the Remote Testing Facility to experience the lab’s research and development capabilities across explosion, pressure and fire protection solutions.

Watch the accompanying video to see the tests completed that day, including explosion venting, dust collector strength-of-enclosure test, metal dust deflagration, and more.