How to Buy the Right Dust Collection System for your Business
Is Your Business at Risk?
Exposure to hazardous contaminants like wood dust, pharmaceutical dust, welding fumes and other dangerous substances generated during the manufacturing process can jeopardize your employees’ health and expose your company to costly liability issues. Plus, certain particulate contaminants increase the risk of a fire or explosion in the workplace. This article contains helpful information about dust collection systems and how they can help improve air quality in your facility and improve the safety of your work environment by removing harmful contaminants from the air.
What is a Dust Collection System?
A dust collection system is composed of a blower, dust filter, cleaning system, and dust receptacle. It is used to collect potentially toxic or explosive dust and other airborne particulate contaminants and fumes. Dust collection equipment gathers and transports pollutants out of the facility to prevent them from building up in the indoor air or duct system, which helps employers adhere to threshold values for employee exposure limits set by the government. Dust collection systems help reduce employee sick time, minimize potential long-term business liability, and help keep manufacturing plants, warehouses, machine shops, woodworking shops, and other facilities clean. A cleaner facility means improved product quality, reduced equipment downtime, and a longer manufacturing equipment lifespan.
How Does a Dust Collection System Work?
A dust collection system cleans the air by drawing in air through ductwork and channeling it through filters that remove particulate contaminants and deposit them in a collection receptacle. The purified and filtered air is then released outside the building or cycled back into the work area.
The following components of dust collection systems are configured differently depending on each system’s intended use:
- Ductwork: Properly sized piping is required to ensure that the dust collection system works correctly. Pipe size depends on air requirements, tool size, number of machines from which contaminants need to be collected, the type of fumes or dust particles, and the length of pipe required for the application.
- Blower: A fan, or blower, is a crucial part of a dust collection system. The blower draws contaminated air out of the workplace and into the ductwork, where it travels into the dust collector’s filtration system. A dust collector can have either a centrifugal or axial (propeller) blower. The strength and type of blower used in a dust collection system depend on the volume of air (measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM)), the air temperature, type of substances in the air, the level of moisture, and the static pressure in the system.
- Dust Filter: The dust filter traps particulates that the blower pulls into the dust collection system. Dust filters are sized using an air-to-cloth ratio representing the amount of air that passes through a square foot of the filter — the lower the ratio, the more dust the filtration system can handle. Filter efficiency is rated using the ANSI/ASHRAE 52.2 test which provides a MERV (minimum efficiency rating value) value. The higher the number the more efficient the filter at removing sub micron particulates measured in microns.
- Dust Filter Cleaning System: When a dust collection system’s filter gets filled with particulates, the filtration system can become clogged and needs to be cleaned. Some systems sound an alarm to alert the system operator that the filter is under significantly high pressure. In that case, the operator needs to shut down the dust collector and clean the filter. For applications that require continuous cleaning, the dust collector is equipped with a filter pressure monitor integrated into a pulse cleaning controller. For example, the controller in a pulse jet baghouse system has a pressure sensor that signals a diaphragm valve to remove accumulated particles by releasing compressed air into the filter.
- Receptacle: The type of container used in a dust collection system to collect particulate matter depends on the kind of material it’s filtering and the rate at which it’s collecting particles. Some systems use a screw conveyor to move matter from the dust collector to a disposal or storage location. Dust collection systems typically use an enclosed box, drum or bag to collect the contaminant material.
Types of Applications for Dust Collectors
Any industry that needs to regulate, diminish, and eliminate dust, fumes, and other harmful contaminants within their facilities finds that dust collection systems are crucial to their business operations. Manufacturers who need to meet increasingly rigid industry standards for air purification turn to dust collector suppliers for top-quality dust collection systems that meet governmental regulations. Dust collectors are available for a variety of applications.
The main types of dust collection systems are as follows:
- Baghouse Collectors: Baghouse collectors are common for heavy dust loading applications that may involve heat. In a baghouse system, particles become trapped on the outer surface of a fabric bag as dust-filled air travels through. Baghouse dust collectors are the most commonly used type of dust collection system. They are well-suited to the demands of industrial workshops, including powder coating companies, paper manufacturers, rubber recycling plants, and cement plants. They feature durable fabric bags, exceptional release properties, and long filter service lives to handle elevated air temperatures and moisture content, and they can handle a large quantity of fibrous or abrasive dust particles of any size.
- Shaker Dust Collection Systems: Primarily used to collect wood dust, plastic chips, and other large, fibrous particles, shaker dust collection systems are a type of baghouse dust collector. Dust collection system suppliers can accessorize these systems with sprinkler head connections, spark detection and suppression, anti-static grounded filters, rotary airlocks, abort gates, isolation gates, and explosion vents, depending on regulatory requirements.
- Cartridge Dust Collectors: The most common of all the dust collectors is the cartridge dust collecting system. These units use cylindrical or oval-shaped pleated cartridges to collect dust particles as air is forced through. Compressed air is then used to remove dust build-up, which falls into a collection receptacle. Because they are available in various sizes and configurations, cartridge dust collectors are an excellent option for buildings with limited space availability. The modular design makes future expansion possible. Cartridge dust collectors can be outfitted with various types of filters such as fire retardant, oleophobic, anti-static and nano-fiber to address a vast array of applications such as chemical and organic food and flavor compounds, nutraceutical dust, welding fumes, and similar contaminants.
- Cyclone Dust Collectors (Inertial Separators): A cyclone dust collector separates dust from the air using centrifugal force and collects the particles in a collection drum. Paper mills, grain mills, shot blasting facilities, and woodshops use cyclone dust collectors to collect shredded paper, plastics, composites, large chips, and grain dust. They’re an excellent choice for environments that conduct woodworking, buffing and polishing, metal grinding, powder material handling, rubber grinding, abrasive cutting and similar activities with larger particulates.
- Dust Control Booths: Also known as a sanding booth, a dust collection booth provides a self-contained area to allow airborne dust and fumes to be removed directly from where they accumulate. This type of system doesn’t release air into the atmosphere, is available in sizes to fit any space, and is cost-effective and highly efficient. Dust control booths feature an internal dust collection system that removes dust from workstations using a set of fans, filters and cartridge filters. They effectively remove dust, wood chips, plastic particles, and fumes generated during brazing, sanding, welding, grinding, abrasive blasting, metalworking, woodworking, surface finishing, curing machining, buffing, overspray, and more.
- High-Vac Dust Collectors: A high-vac dust collector can be set up as either a portable or central system to transport bulky contaminants using vacuum instead of air volume. Portable high-vac dust collectors provide an ideal way to reduce dust contamination and maintain a clean workplace while minimizing material handling time.
- Portable Dust Collectors: Since they’re ideal for capturing welding fumes or fine dust resulting from mixing and blending activities, portable dust collectors are also referred to as fume extractors. A downdraft table is a type of self-contained, portable dust collection system that features a perforated surface that allows particles to be sucked from the table into a filtration system.
- Wet Dust Collectors (Wet Scrubbers): Water is used in a wet scrubber system to saturate dust particles, making them larger and easier to remove from the air. A wet scrubber is often the best choice when the contaminants are explosive or flammable. Businesses such as millers and refiners, ceramics manufacturers, foundries, central components manufacturers, and aircraft manufacturers find wet dust collectors safe and effective in controlling explosive metal dust. Wet dust collectors are available in three configurations: ducted, collection booth, and downdraft table.
What Types of Dust Does a Dust Collection System Filter?
Dust collection systems are engineered to collect all types of particles. However, specific systems will perform better depending on the material that needs to be removed from the air. Dust collection systems are essential when you want to filter from the air potentially harmful substances, including:
Center Lath Fume Extraction
Fume Extraction with Filter1 Mist Tron
Lab Fume Collector Arm
Buying a Dust Collecting System for Woodworking
Power tools used in woodworking create fine wood dust that can lead to serious respiratory illnesses, including lung cancer. The type of dust collecting system you need to filter the air effectively depends on the size of your workshop. A single-stage baghouse dust collector draws dust and wood chips directly into the filter bag. In contrast, a more robust and efficient two-stage cyclone dust collection system collects wood chips in a receptacle and sends fine sawdust to the filter.. A more extensive workshop with a significant distance between power tools requires more extensive ductwork and will benefit from a two-stage dust collecting system where the filtered air can be returned to the building.
Does a Dust Collecting System Need to Be Installed?
To ensure your dust collection equipment operates safely and efficiently, you need a skilled and experienced professional, with industrial ventilation design experience, to design and install your system for you. Your dust collection system installer should coordinate with your electrician, building contractor, or plant manager to ensure a seamless transition and minimal interruption to your daily operations.
Dust Collectors vs. Air Filtration Systems
Industrial facilities typically have dust collectors attached to the source of potentially harmful vapor or dust to eliminate significant amounts of material before it becomes airborne in the building. With this type of dust collection equipment, contaminant particles of various sizes are trapped in a filter and then collected in the dust collector’s receptacle for disposal. By contrast, air filtration systems help decrease the number of allergens and small dust particles after they are released into the surrounding air. In work environments where large quantities of metal fragments, sawdust, toxic vapors, and similar potentially harmful substances are a byproduct of manufacturing, dust collection systems are crucial in helping protect people from inhaling dangerous levels of contaminants. Air filtration systems aren’t capable of providing the level of air purification needed to safeguard employee health and maintain a clean workplace in an industrial setting that produces high levels of particulate.
What Are the Popular Dust Collector Manufacturers?
Popular dust collector manufacturers include:
- Air Quality Engineering
How Much Does an Industrial Dust Collection System Cost?
Dust collection systems are available for a wide range of industrial applications. Overall, a high-quality dust collector helps protect your business from long-term liability issues and will also save you money on your energy bills by eliminating exhaust fans from your facility. The best way to determine how much the most appropriate dust collection system for your facility will cost is to contact a reputable dust collection system vendor to request a consultation and price quote.
How to Choose a Dust Collector
A knowledgeable and experienced dust collector supplier has the specialized skills to customize a dust collection system for your available space and application using components fabricated by top-rated dust collection system manufacturers. A reputable dust collection system vendor will consult with you to understand your industrial application and recommend the best type of system for your needs.
Breathe Clean Air.
For over 40 years, Clean Air Company has designed, installed, maintained and serviced high-quality dust collection and vehicle exhaust extraction systems to help protect employee health, reduce liability exposure, and lower energy and insurance costs for organizations across various industries.
If you want to save money and protect your employees’ health, call Clean Air Company at 1-800-738-0911 or email us today to find out more about our dust collection and vehicle exhaust ventilation systems!