Many industrial processes for manufacturing produce dust due to the engineering steps that are taken to produce the desired items. This dust, if inhaled, can create severe health problems, mainly respiratory, which in turn can lead to other diseases. Dust extraction systems in any work area can lead to safe air quality.
What Are Dust Extraction Systems?
Dust extraction systems for engineering dust must remove all harmful particles, and these can be macro or micro-sized. These systems that act as particle removers and prevent the dust from entering the air of the workplace environment. It is also essential to trap the dust particles so that they cannot escape. There a wide variety of such extraction systems and each of them must be specifically designed to remove all the harmful dust that is created during manufacturing as well as any other dust that is within the workplace ambience. A system that functions efficiently can significantly add to air quality in the workplace and make for a better and safer workplace.
How Do Dust Extraction Systems Work?
As a first step for any dust extraction, the created dust needs to be confined in some manner. Hoods can do this over the machine producing the dust. You can also have negative pressure from vacuum over the machines that create the dust so that the dust is automatically sucked out and conveyed to a receptacle or collecting device. You will find this system in wide use in concrete cutting machines, polishing machines and, other devices that create a lot of dust and particles during their operations. The dust is then prevented from entering the workplace and conveyed to other parts of the removal system. Another form of dust extraction is to wet the process creating the dust and allowing the water to carry away the dust.
In manufacturing plants, where they may be a number of machines creating the dust that needs to be extracted, it is common to have the dust collected over each machine conveyed into a duct through a manifold that allows for a number of machines to be connected up. For efficient dust extraction, it is very important to ensure a proper airflow in the ducts, so that the extracted particles remain suspended so that they are conveyed to a point where they can be properly collected. Reduced air flow can result in dust settling in ducts and clogging them, resulting in still poorer air flow that then mars the efficiency of the dust extraction.
Most dust extraction systems will have filters that trap the dust particles and may also have cyclonic separators and baffles. In systems that are of a small size, the collection is in a single stage and filters are used to remove smaller particles, while the larger ones make their way to collection containers. Most larger installations will have a two-stage system. Larger particles are collected through a cyclonic vortex or baffle drums. Which must be positioned before the impeller or device creating the airflow. Filters then trap the smaller particles, and the now cleaned air is exhausted outside or returned to the workplace.
Dust Extraction System Maintenance
It is important to have a regular maintenance schedule to clean collection devices and filters to maintain the efficiency of any engineering dust extraction device. In addition to these devices, it can also help workplace safety, if, in areas that produce a large amount of dust, personnel is provided with masks, respirators, or other devices that have an adequate filtration capacity that allows the personnel engaged in the work to breathe safely.
In some processes of manufacturing, the dust or ambient atmosphere can contain certain chemicals and other products, and collection methods can be quite sophisticated through the use of chemical scrubbers or precipitators that work on static electricity. Often these extracted products have a high value, and efforts are made in the extraction system to recover them for reuse, as this can significantly reduce manufacturing costs. Extraction systems are of great importance in the chemical industry, and to a smaller extent in shops that do woodworking with motorised equipment. You will also need adequately designed dust extraction systems in paint booths. Many of the chemicals that are used in the chemical industry to manufacture other products are often dangerous, and some can even cause silicosis. When these chemicals enter the body through breathing, they make their way to other parts of the body and can result in flu, bronchitis, emphysema and stomach problems.
Some dust created in workplaces can also become combustible when exposed to high heat or a flame, and the extensive use of electrically operated machinery does develop conditions that can make sparks and high heat a possibility. Greater care has to be taken while handling such dust, by shortening the time they are in a system before they are collected.
All these factors lead to the requirement for the proper design of any dust extraction system. The dust being produced must first be analyzed for all its properties. The sizes of the dust particles, any need for capturing and recycling, the number of air changes required for a healthy workplace, and other factors can affect its working. Any fumes or soot produced must also be separately judged. It is only after all this data is collected and verified, that the dust extractors must be designed after considering every aspect.
A high degree of maintenance is of great importance in dust extraction systems, and this must be ensured by giving proper access to all the areas requiring periodic attention, ease of removal, cleaning, and reinstallation. Filters must be marked for cleaning and changing dates, collection devices must be easy to clear or even have replaceable modules that do not interrupt the manufacturing process. In addition to this, the use of any breathing masks or respirators must be strictly enforced. Employees working in areas where there is a greater danger to health from the created dust, especially in the chemical industry must be sent for regular medical checkups to detect any danger to their health.