Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

First Advisor

Scott R. Rockwell

Second Advisor

E. Scott Dunlap

Third Advisor

Thomas D. Schneid


Combustible dust explosions and flash fires are a leading cause of property damage, injuries, and death in industries around the world. An example of a disastrous dust explosion occurred at CTA Acoustics in Corbin, KY in 2003. This explosion cost the lives of seven workers and injured 37 more. A mobile inexpensive dust dispersion apparatus (DDA) was designed, built, and tested to reproduce medium scale dust flash fires. By using fuel amounts varying from 0.45kg to 4.54kg the DDA created dust clouds ranging from 2.5m to 7.5m in diameter. With these measurements, the characterization of dust hazards and validation of computer models is made possible. In addition to working as a testing platform, the DDA can be used to teach students and safety professionals about the dangers of combustible dusts.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 22, 2018