Dust Collectors

Tips for trapping dust safely

Dust collectors are a form of industrial air cleaning equipment used in most manufacturing and industrial workplaces to process large amounts of air and remove fine particles. Without effective dust collection systems, airborne particles could collect in the workplace air and affect employee health as well as doing damage to the correct functioning of equipment.

There are several types of industrial dust collectors, each with unique methods of removing dust from the air. It's difficult to pinpoint which collection system is most effective, but read on below for the basics of each type.

Electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) are dust collectors that use electrostatic charges to separate dust from the incoming stream of air. The dusty air is "vacuumed" into the system, passed through the pre-filter and through the negative and positive electrodes, which in turn cause the dust particles to attach to the positively charged grounded electrode, or collection plate. Once the dust particles have been removed, the clean air passes through a second air filter and back into the room.

Media filtration dust collectors are used to filter dust from the incoming air stream by using a screening material or fabric. When the fabric is placed in the path of the air stream, the dust particles are trapped in the fabric, creating a "dust cake." When the dust cake increases, it actually becomes a more effective dust collection tool by trapping more and more particles from the incoming air.

Cyclone dust collectors are large central funnels attached to workplace ducts. Any airborne dust and debris is sucked into the ductwork and transported to the cyclone dust collector, and then passed into a high-speed cyclone funnel to separate particles from clean air. Once the separation is complete, the particulate matter is collected in a container, while the smaller dust particles are expelled through an outside vent or filtered again through a media filtration unit.

Air washers, also called wet scrubbers, are mostly used as a way to control potential dust fires or explosion risk. The air washer dust collection method uses water to absorb fine dust particles and then removes the particles in a fine mist which is collected for removal in a clarification tank where the dust settles to the bottom.

Dust collectors are available in a variety of designs to manage the different types of workplace dust issues. Since dust can remain permanently in lung tissue and has the potential to cause workplace fires and explosions, managing dust collection properly is the best way to prevent health and safety problems in industrial settings.

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