Threat: Data Center Dust

Dangerous Dust in Data CentersStatic-Charged Particles Cause Explosions
The NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) attributes explosion factors to static, flammable materials and heat sources. You can download their whitepaper on the subject here: Dust Explosion Fundamentals.

Static charged particles, dust, cardboard, paper or any other small ignitable item can cause disastrous explosive fires. Dust, dirt, ferrous metals, fibers, pollen and other particles reach air-cooled equipment, circuitry and other surfaces before they can be filtered through the AC units. Many data centers may even have plumes of dust, dirt and debris trapped in their perforated tiles and crevices of wire cables and equipment cabinets.

Electrostatic dust can cause serious damage to servers and other network and storage equipment. As little as 250 volts of static electricity can cause data memory loss, resets, erroneous commands and damage to sensitive micro-circuitry. Cement dust, drywall dust and silicate dust from unsealed or improperly sealed subfloors, exposed drywall and print operations all pose significant Risk. Take away static charged dust and lower your risk of static charged particles causing downtime or fires. Call SET3 today for our Data Center Cleaning Service options.

Chart II: Equipment Manufacturers Statements on Contamination

IBM INSTALLATION MANUALPublication GC22-7072-1 “If your site is unusually dirty or has a chemical odor, you should be concerned. Dirt and corrosive gases can cause corrosion and possible equipment damage. The building floor should be sealed to prevent dusting of concrete.”
AMDAHL PHYSICAL PLANNING MANUALPublication MM-108334-010 “Environmental conditions for the room environment must be maintained within the acceptable limits to prevent adverse impact on performance and reliability.Electronic equipment is sensitive to air contaminants such as ferrous metal slivers, dirt fibers, and concrete particulate from unsealed concrete.cement should be sealed to prevent the generation of particles.”
UNISYS INSTALLATION MANUALPublication MA5227 “The quantity of dust in the air must no exceed 0.39 gram/1000m 3[0.03grain/1000ft3] maximum.The specifications for dust pollutants as per United states Federal Standard 209b.The primary floor must be poured concrete that has been sealed to provide dust and humidity control.”
MMEMOREX ENGINEERING SPECIFICATIONSPublication 9885-4920 “In order to assure reliability operation of the HDA and its filter system, the size and type of airborne particles must be controlled.The computer room should meet or exceed Federal Standard 209E.The subfloor area must be cleaned and sealed prior to equipment installation”.

Information Compiled From The Following Sources:

  • “The Seven Elements Every Manager Should Know About Computer Air Conditioning Liebert Corporation
  • “Halons And The Stratospheric Ozone Issues” EPA, Stephen O. Anderson, Ph.D.
  • “What You Don’t See Can Hurt You” Infosystems Magazine
  • “The Slovenliness Factor” EC&M Magazine
  • “Indoor Air Quality” Engineered Systems Magazine
  • “Dust, The Unseen Downer!” Insite Magazine