Airlocks are very important for proper dust collector operation. The airlock prevents air from entering or exiting the bottom of the dust collector. The opening at the bottom of the dust collector is meant for discharging the dust from the system. When air is entering or leaving from this area, it will cause issues.
If the dust collector is under negative pressure (fan after the dust collector), then air will leak into the system from the opening. This will re-entrain dust that has already been removed from the process air. This will also decrease the air being captured at the pickup points (hoods), thereby making the dust collection system less effective.
If the dust collector is under positive pressure (fan before the dust collector), then air will blow out of the opening. This will cause the dust being captured to fly out of the dust collector and scatter on the floor and re-enter the facility air. Installing an airlock will prevent the above conditions.
Some applications have limitations on humidity, temperature, oxygen levels, etc. If an airlock is not installed, there will be no way to control the conditions, as the outside environment will leak into the system.
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