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Ten Tips for Effective Dust Collection

Consider these pointers for help in choosing the right dust collector and other filtration equipment, and in operating your system safely and efficiently.

  • Tip #1: Energy Savings. When evaluating system alternatives, be sure to consider filtration equipment that re-circulates heated or cooled air. The overall energy savings could be an important factor in your buying decision.
  • Tip #2: Performance/Cost Efficiency. As a general rule, capture contaminants as close to the source as possible: this method is usually the most effective in function and cost.
  • Tip #3: Safety. "Will any ol' dust collector do?" If you have flammable metals, hazardous vapors, or toxic substances, you may need a wet collector or scrubber, a carbon absorption unit, or a HEPA safety filter.
  • Tip #4: Performance. When installing a dust collector, a crucial check point is to insure that the blower is wired correctly. If the fan is turning backwards, it does not move the air in the opposite direction: it just reduces the flow. Try wiring the fan both ways; the direction that produces the higher velocity is the correct rotation!
  • Tip #5: Energy Savings. To avoid the ongoing expense of a high-velocity duct system, it may be possible to install a settling chamber close to the collection point, thus benefitting from the lower energy blower required to move finer dust. (Safety. In some operations a settling chamber has the added benefit of serving as a spark trap.)
  • Tip #6: Safety. It is common in facilities dedicated to aluminum grinding for workers unaware of the fire hazard of mixed metals to grind or weld periodically on steel also. If there is any doubt whether steel may be used in an aluminum grinding area, a wet dust collector is imperative.
  • Tip #7: Performance/Cost Efficiency. For dust collectors with integral trays or drawers (rather than hoppers), be sure to dispose of the collected dust every time the filters are cleaned (even if the bin is only partially filled). Preventing the possibility of having to re-collect the same dust within the collector will maximize performance and extend filter life.
  • Tip #8: Long-term Savings. When evaluating dust collection options, consider possible future development in the plant lay-out. Select the equipment that can be adapted to changes in your facility.
  • Tip #9: Performance/Efficiency. Make sure that the compressed air supply to the dust collector is adequate. Ineffective cleaning due to low pressure will result in reduced flow and shorter filter life.
  • Tip #10: Cost Efficiency. Study the factory options offered on the equipment you select. For example, motor starters or after filters installed by the manufacturer can be a good value.