Wood Dust Collection

Wood dust collection is accomplished using a wide variety of equipment.  Wood dust particulates vary in size dramatically from one tooling application to another. Sanding generates extra fine particulate while CNC Machines create relatively larger particulate. Each situation is unique and impacts the selection of your dust collection equipment. Heavy loading and consistently large particulate are handled with a cyclone collector while very fine particulate would be handled by a cartridge filtered collector. The combination of the two may be best handled by a bag house. In many cases a cyclone is used as a pre-separator prior to filter media to protect filter media from larger abrasive chips. Each application is unique, and our design team will create a system that best fits your specific needs.

Choosing A Wood Dust Collector

DESIGN

Particulate settled in duct work due to poor design

Minimum transport velocities in wood dust collection must be 4000 – 4500 feet per minute to prevent material build up in the duct. The design of the duct system is critical to capturing the dust and transporting it through the duct system to the collector. A good design will have the following features:

  • Appropriate hooding and CFM for all machines
  • Minimize the number of elbows
  • Flexible ducts should be kept to a minimum

Once air volume requirements are established, the intended path of the duct laid out and the pressure loss associated with the two are calculated, it’s time to select your dust collector and fan. Some of the factors that affect selection for your application include:

  • Volume of dust and dust characteristics.
  • Location of collector 
  • Volume of air (CFM) and pressure loss (Static pressure in inches of water)
  • Number of drops accessed simultaneously

FIRE AND EXPLOSION HAZARD

Wood dust is combustible and if not properly handled present a fire and or explosion hazard. The authority having jurisdiction, usually local code enforcement agency, will evaluate your design for explosion prevention, fire protection and possibly explosion protection. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets the standards for acceptable methods of controlling explosive dust in the workplace.  For wood dust collection the following two standards apply.

NFPA 652- Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust

NFPA 664- Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Explosions in Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities

The Clean Air Company designs systems that use state of the art design and technology to handle explosive wood dust safely whether your system is installed indoors or out.

HEALTH

Wood dust is a serious health and safety hazard when not properly addressed in the work place. Wood dust exposure in excessive amounts may cause throat, nose and eye irritation, while pulmonary function maybe impaired in many cases.

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) has set a standard of 5 mg/m3 for respirable dust and 15mg/m3 for total dust. The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a recommended exposure limit of only 1 mg/m3.

When installing a wood dust collection system in your facility, Clean Air will ensure that your employees are at or below all acceptable levels of exposure to any contaminant or irritant.

Every situation is unique, and your project should be designed by a professional industrial ventilation expert.

Well-maintained industrial dust collection systems should have a life cycle of 20+ years. Your Return on Investment (ROI) will be significantly affected by design and components chosen, which is why you should contact the professionals at Clean Air Company for design assistance.