From 26 to 27 September 2013, Kraków hosted the International HAZEX Seminar on explosion safety in industrial facilities and key technologies of bulk materials production. It was yet another event from a series of meetings systematically hosted on four continents, i.e.: North and South America, Asia, and Europe.

Konferencja HAZEX nt. ATEX

The Polish edition of HAZEX Seminar saw over 150 participants representing all major industries starting from power generation and chemistry through mineral, food and pharmaceutical industry. Importantly, the seminar was honoured by the presence of major Polish companies (including: PGE, ZE PAK, ENERGA, EDF, GDF SUEZ, PKN Orlen, KGHM Polska Miedź, Grupa Azoty, KANUF, AKZO NOBEL, Philip Morris, KOMPANIA PIWOWARSKA, US Pharmacia, Sudzucker) as well as small and medium enterprises. It proves that regardless of the size of the company, safety and production quality constitute a key factor of their strategy.

“… HAZEX Seminar clearly proves that Polish industrial enterprises strive to move towards the highest industry safety standards, including explosion safety, and the quality of manufactured products. These are crucial aspects of their activity in the times of increasing competition…”, comments Andrzej Wolff, PhD, Eng., expert on industrial explosion safety and co-founder of WOLFF GROUP – the organizer of the event.

Day 1: Industrial explosion safety

Substantive lectures delivered by world-class experts on explosion safety were, for the first time in Poland, accompanied by a demonstration of blast force and explosion protection devices. The show reflected real phenomena occurring at the time of dust and vapour explosion. For safety reasons, this part of the symposium was held in Pasternik military training ground in Kraków. 5 tests were carried out during this nearly one-hour demonstration:


Test 1: An explosion of 300 g of maize starch placed inside a 200-litre container protected against explosion by a decompression panel (relieving the explosion blast).

300 g of maize starch was sprayed in a 200-litre container. Then, an electric spark was generated which initiated air/dust mixture explosion. As a result of increasing pressure within the container, the decompression panel burst and the pressure waive along with a fireball was released to the atmosphere (explosion relief panels reduce the pressure rise inside the explosion-protected device protecting it against bursting).

Panel dekompresyjny 1
Panel dekompresyjny 2
Panel dekompresyjny 3
Panel dekompresyjny 4

Test 2: An explosion of 300 g of maize starch placed inside a 200-litre container protected against explosion by a flameless explosion venting system.

Another test was conducted almost identically to the first one. However, the fundamental difference consisted in the use of protection system in the form of a flameless explosion venting system (a system made of an explosion relief panel and efficient heat exchanger functioning also as a filter). The scenario was similar. The decompression panel burst but the pressure waive and the fireball were kept inside the system by a perforated heat exchanger. Only a small amount of fume was visible outside the device.

Bezpłomieniowe odciążanie wybuchu 1
Bezpłomieniowe odciążanie wybuchu 2
Bezpłomieniowe odciążanie wybuchu 3
Bezpłomieniowe odciążanie wybuchu 4

Test 3: An explosion of 1500 g of organic dust cloud in the open space.

Approx. 1500 g of lycopodium powder—a compound commonly used as an exemplary model in dust explosion tests—was sprayed in the open space. Then, inside the dust cloud, an electric spark was generated which initiated a massive explosion. Observers could experience at first-hand the explosion outcomes in a form of a pressure waive and heat.

Wybuch pyłu 1
Wybuch pyłu 2
Wybuch pyłu 3
Wybuch pyłu 4

Test 4: Activation of HRD Explosion Suppression System.

Explosion Suppression System is a state-of-the-art method for devices and process units protection against the effects of dust explosions. Its principle of operation involves immediate detection of the explosion source and triggering extremely fast fire extinguishers. The system suppresses the explosion in its incipient stage before its parameters exceed critical values. The time between source detection and complete blast extinguishing is measured in hundredth of a second. The participants of the test were able to see the extraordinary speed of cylinder discharging an extinguishing agent and its dispersion in an open space.

Tłumienie wybuchu 2
Tłumienie wybuchu 3
Tłumienie wybuchu 4
Tłumienie wybuchu 1

Test 5: An explosion of gasoline mist created out of 18 litres of fuel.

In a specially fenced off area, vessels with 18 litres of fuel were placed. As a result of triggering small pyrotechnic charges, the vessels rapidly collapsed which led to a dispersion of small fuel particles into the air. An electric spark led to an ignition and then, to an explosion of fuel suspension in the air.
The tests were long commented by seminar participants. Andrzej Wolff added:

“all tests clearly illustrated the risks stemming from the presence of flammable powders, dusts, granules or liquids in the industrial processes. We should bear in mind that those risks actually apply to all plants at different scales. Hence it is important to raise awareness of this scope among both the plant owners and services responsible for combating the effects of those risks”.

Day 2: Key technologies of bulk materials production

The speeches during the second day of the seminar were delivered by the representatives of Polish and European companies developing modern solutions for the widely understood bulk materials industry. The latest achievements in the production and processing of bulk materials were presented, including:

  • the new Netzsch Omega technology enabling the separation of agglomerates and dispersion of powder in liquids without grinding media (grinders),
  • grinding installations intended for materials posing a risk of explosion,
  • a new air classifier enabling thorough separation of fine-grained materials,
  • systems converting liquid into granules and flakes,
  • the effect of dust extraction on improving safety and the quality of work,
  • wet type air cleaners for dusts and gases.

One of the themes tackled at the second day of the seminar concerned process safety, where the following topics were covered:

  • methods for stray currents elimination within process units,
  • protection against electro-chemical corrosion of technological devices and pipelines with flammable materials,
  • implementation of works in explosion-hazard areas,
  • characteristics test of industrial dust explosion hazards.

The seminar received the highest rate from 91% of the participants.

A few days after the event took place, its participants received anonymous survey aiming to assess the actual level of satisfaction from the seminar. According to survey results, 91% of respondents rated the seminar with the highest possible mark within the category “general satisfaction form the participation in the seminar”.

The survey showed also numerous interesting conclusions and suggestions which will be definitely considered in the forthcoming editions of International HAZEX Seminar.


NOTE: in the view of high interest in INTERNATIONAL HAZEX SEMINAR 2013, the organisers decided to change the date and place of the event. The changes are intended to provide participants with the highest work comfort in a larger, more spacious room. As per the new plan, the seminar will be held from 26 to 27 September at Best Western Premier Hotel in Kraków. See below for further information.

From 26 to 27 September 2013, Best Western Premier Hotel in Kraków will hold the next INTERNATIONAL HAZEX SEMINAR. In contract to the last edition, this time the event will last not one, but two days. The participants will have the opportunity to choose the scope of the seminar they want to attend to (two days / first day only/ second day only). The organiser of the seminar, on behalf of the Explosion Safety Experts Association, is WOLFF GROUP™. The media partner of the event is  Powder And Bulk trade magazine.

Time and venue

KRAKÓW, ul. Opolska 14a, Best Western Premier Hotel
26-27 September 2013


At the seminar, the speeches will be delivered by international experts on explosion safety (more about the speakers) and bulk materials production technology who:

  • were the members of the European Committee for Standardization on explosion safety (including CEN and VDI),
  • participated in numerous investigations on dust and gases explosions,
  • conducted experimental studies on explosion hazards,
  • published dozens of papers on dust and gases explosion effects as well as their mineralisation measures,
  • implemented dozens of projects concerning construction of grinding, screening, granulation, and dust extraction installations.

An explosion demonstration and a contest

Beside substantive lectures, the seminar will also hold:

  • a live demonstration of dust explosion blast force, 
  • a contest with valuable awards for symposium participants.

DAY 1: Industrial explosion hazard — ATEX

On the first day of the event, the topic will concern industrial explosion safety issues. The three-panel discussions will cover explosion protection methods, explosion effects, and European provisions and regulations related thereof, as well as comprehensive solutions for meeting requirements of ATEX directive (and Polish regulations). Although all panels appear to be highly interesting, it would be worth to take a closer look at the first one where the supporters of two fundamental forms of protection against explosion effects will confront each other.


Blok 0: Registration, morning refreshments and welcome.
8:00 – 8:30 Registration of participants, morning refreshments.
8:30 – 8:45 Official welcoming of participants.
Session 1: Protection against explosion – a confrontation of explosion relief and explosion suppression systems. Role of explosion decoupling.
8:45 – 9:30 STEFAN PENNO: Confrontation of explosion protection techniques – explosion venting vs. explosion suppression. A case-based lecture. 
9:30 – 10:15 HILMAR WINKLER: Confrontation of explosion protection techniques – explosion suppression vs. explosion venting. A case-based lecture.
10:15 – 11:00 ANDRZEJ WOLFF: Role of explosion decoupling (isolation) in industrial plants protection. A case-based lecture.
11:00 – 11:20 Coffee break.
Session 2: How to meet the requirements of European explosion safety regulations in practice?
11:20 – 12:05 RICHARD SIWEK: Amendments to the European standards and VDI guidelines on explosion protection.
12:05 – 12:50 GRAHAM TYERS: Static electricity control under the European standards.
12:50 – 13:25 BARTOSZ WOLFF: Dedicated Explosion Safety System, i.e. how to comprehensively meet the requirements of ATEX directive.
13:35 – 14:25 Lunch for the seminar participants.
Session 3: Explosion hazard: coal and biomass dusts case study.
14:25 – 15:10 VINCENT GROSSKOPF: Constructive techniques for explosion protection of silos in terms of flammable bulk materials, and alternative fuels in particular.
15:10 – 15:40 JACEK CZECH: Explosion protection in power plants where biomass and bituminous coal are co-combusted – results of the inspection conducted by National Labour Inspectorate. 
15:40 – 16:10 ANDRZEJ WOLFF: Explosion protection of coal and biomass grinding systems (co-combustion).
16:10 – 16:40 Discussion and questions.
Session 4: Demonstrations.
17:00 – 18:40 A live demonstration of dust blast force and explosion-proof techniques (bus transportation to the nearby military training ground (approx. 4.5 km away) provided).
Session 5: Dinner.
19:00- Group dinner at the restaurant in Best Western Premier Hotel.

The organiser reserves the right to change the agenda.


DAY 2: Bulk materials key production technologies

The second seminar will focus on presenting the state-of-the-art production technologies and powders processing taking into account explosion protection and process safety. Discussions will concern such processes as: grinding, screening, granulation and dust extraction with the use of wet and dry technology. The last seminar session will cover the issues concerned with safety of installations transporting, processing, and producing bulk materials.

Session 0: Registration, morning refreshments and welcome.
8:15 – 8:45 Registration of participants, morning refreshments.
8:45 – 9:00 Welcome greetings to new participants.
Session 1: Bulk materials grinding and segregation technologies.
9:00 – 9:40 HANS-GEORG KISSWETTER: New Netzsch Omega technology enabling deagglomeration and powder dispersion in liquids without grinding media (grinders). 
9:40 – 10:20 FRANK BELTSOHN: Grinding installations for explosion-hazard materials.
10:20 – 10:45 TOUNTZER RAMADAN: New generation air classifier intended for segregation of fine-grained products.
10:45 – 11:05 Coffee break.
Session 2: Granulation, flaking and air-cleaning technologies.
11:05 – 11:45 ARTHUR BOUWMEESTER: Liquid conversion into granules and flakes in explosive environments.
11:45 – 12:15 REGINA KOWALCZYK: Impact of dust extraction on the improvement of work quality and safety.
12:15 – 13:00 TIMO RAPS: Wet-type techniques of air purification.
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch for the seminar participants.
Session 3: Process safety.
14:00 – 14:30 JERZY MIŁOTA: Elimination of stray currents within process pipelines for flammable materials. Protection against electro-chemical corrosion of technological devices and pipelines with flammable materials.
14:30 – 14:50 TOMASZ WIENIECKI: Implementation of works in explosion-hazard areas. 
14:50 – 15:20 RAFAŁ POROWSKI: Characteristics test of industrial dust explosion hazards.
Session 4: Conclusion.
15:20 – 15:50 Discussion and questions. Official conclusion of the seminar and awarding certificates. 

The organiser reserves the right to change the agenda.

Simultaneous interpreter

The seminar will be held in two languages – Polish and English. All lectures, questions and discussions will be simultaneously interpreted (each participant will be provided with a wireless headset).

Participation conditions

Application: In order to apply for the participation in the INTERNATIONAL HAZEX SEMINAR 2013, please be advised to fill out the on-line form available. A PDF application form is also available to download. Please send the filled out PDF form at s.gruszka@strefaex.eu or fax it on +48 12 632 81 41. Applications have to be submitted by 19 September 2013.

Reservation: The organiser enables the INTERNATIONAL HAZEX SEMINAR 2013 applicants to make a free reservation. Then, no later than two months before the conference commences, the organiser will contact you in order to confirm or cancel the reservation. Reservations as well as applications may be submitted on-line.

Participation costs for both days of the seminar: PLN 1100 net/person if the application has been submitted by 26 August 2013 or PLN 1500 if the application has been submitted after this date.
Participation costs for 1 day of the seminar: PLN 750 net/personf the application has been submitted by 26 August 2013 or PLN 1000 if the application has been submitted after this date.
Participation costs for 2nd day of the seminar: PLN 750 net/personf the application has been submitted by 26 August 2013 or PLN 1000 if the application has been submitted after this date.
Payment: Payment has to be made on the basis of pro forma invoice to the bank account: 38 2490 0005 0000 4600 6847 5534. In the transfer title please enter “HAZEX2013 – your company name

Meals, accommodation, parking space

Meals: The above costs involve throughout-the-day coffee breaks, lunch during the 2-day conference, and dinner at the restaurant in Best Western Hotel on 26 September 2013. 

Accommodation: Accommodation costs are not included in the seminar price, hence its participants have to book a room directly in a hotel on their own. However, the organiser of the seminar enables his participants to make a reservation at Best Western Premier Hotel (www.bestwesternkrakow.pl at discount prices (PLN 239 gross for single room, PLN 279 for double room). The prices are valid until 28 July 2013 or as long as the rooms from the pool earmarked for seminar participants are available. In order to book a room from the pool at a discount price, when making a room reservation please provide a password you will have received by e-mail (the password will be sent to you once the participation payment is made).

Should there be no more rooms available at Best Western Premier Hotel, it is possible to make a room reservation at other hotels located nearby: Inn Express Hotel*** (10 m away, www.krakowexpress.pl), Major Hotel*** (400 m away, www.majorhotel.pl), Conrad Hotel **** (1.5 km away, www.conradhotel.pl), Witek Hotel **** (approx. 6 km, www.hotelwitek.pl).

Parking space: The organiser covers the parking cost at the Best Western Premier Hotel (200 parking lots available). Prior to the departure from the car park, please notify hotel reception about the departure and present them with parking meter ticket in order to cancel it for a refund.