The Aluminium Plant Safety blog informs about accidents and near misses that occur in aluminium plants, cast houses, foundries, smelters, etc. that are around the world. Dust, molten metal steam explosions, fires, moving vehicles accidents, etc. will be covered. It is not this blog's intention to place blame on either company nor worker(s), but the hope that awareness of these accidents brings education and prevention of recurrence.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Molten Metal Explosion + Aluminium Dust = Fire
No one was injured when a
small explosion and fire evacuated part of the Mercury Marine plant in Fond du
Lac Tuesday, April 10 in the morning.
Firefighters say an
explosion caused molten aluminum to shoot 25 feet to the ceiling, which ignited
dust particles, which wound up getting sucked into the exhaust system.
The Fond du Lac Fire
Department was able to contain the fire to a furnace and exhaust system inside
of the plant had to be evacuated while firefighters and plant employees put out
the fire. The plant was expected to reopen after the exhaust system was
The explosion occurred
at about 9:45 a.m. when employees poured alloy-melted molten aluminum. The
explosion caused melted aluminum to shoot 25 feet to the ceiling and ignited
fine dust particles, which then drafted into the exhaust system.
were expected to be back in operations after further investigation of the
Marine spokesperson issued a press release at about 5 p.m. Tuesday stating the
“explosion” was a “thermal discharge of molten aluminum.”
“After the facility was determined safe,
manufacturing operations resumed as normal,” Mercury spokesman wrote in an
e-mail. “Operations in other departments and plants within Mercury Marine were
not impacted by this incident. Per Mercury’s standard process, root-cause
analysis will be conducted and appropriate preventative measures will be
The APSB found the term "thermal discharge of molten aluminium" to be a first.