Dust Collection and Valves Blog

Is Your Dust Explosive? | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jul 31, 2019 9:45:00 AM

To help answer this question, NFPA has released NFPA-652 and 654. A combustible dust is defined as a finely divided combustible particulate solid that presents a flash fire or explosion hazard when suspended in air or the process-specific oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations. Basically, what this means is when the dust is in the air and its concentration is enough to cause a flash fire or propagate a deflagration or explosion if exposed to a spark or heat source, then it’s considered combustible.

Combustible Dust Testing

Unless you know for sure that your dust isn’t combustible, you should send the dust sample to a lab for testing. The lab will provide one of three responses – no reaction, combustible but not propagating, or propagating. 

Usually the lab will initially do a Go/ No-Go test. If the dust doesn’t exhibit combustion, the testing will stop. If it does exhibit combustion, they will then do further tests and provide explosion properties ( Kst and Pmax) of the dust. The Kst tells you how quickly the explosion will propagate, while Pmax tells you the power behind the event.

 

Common Knowledge about Combustible Dust

  1. A combustible dust mixed with non-combustible dust may or may not pass the go / no-go test; therefore, if you have both in a mixture, get a test.
  2. Material that may not burn can still be combustible as a dust, unless you know for sure, getting a test is the safe bet.
  3. If you have made a process change that changes the composition, relative concentrations, etc. of the dust, then the combustibility of the dust may have changed and a new test should be done.
  4. If you have combustible dust in your facility, then a hazard analysis of the area must be done every five years.

 


Dust Collector FAQ Volume 1

To make life easier, we have put together some common questions we get asked along with answers and explanations. Have a look.

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To learn more about which dust collector, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.dustcollectorhq.com.


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Topics: dust collector, combustible dust, NFPA 652, explosive dust

Why You Need Space Saving Pre-filter Cyclones | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jul 19, 2019 10:33:59 AM

As regulations to minimize dust emissions became more stringent, the reliance on filter media became more prevalent.  This means baghouses and cartridge collectors have become the most common dust collectors around. 

Dust Collector Filter

The filters allow air to pass, while dust is captured on the filter surface area.  A filter cake of dust forms, allowing the highest removal efficiency of the filters.  Periodically, the filters will be cleaned to drop dust off the filters/ filter cake, allowing more air through the filters.  The higher the concentration of dust, the faster the filters will require cleaning to keep the pressure drop down.  Every time the filters are cleaned the fabric of the filter wears a bit.  So, if you can minimize the cleaning, then the filters will last longer.

Cyclone Pre-Filter and Dust Collector Filter

Cyclone pre-filters capture a high percentage of the dust before it even gets to the filters; therefore, allowing less clean cycles on the filter media.  Cyclones use centrifugal force to capture dust and droplets and remove them from the airstream.  Unlike filters, the higher the concentration of dust in the airstream, the better the cyclone performs.  Cyclones provide very good removal of larger dust particles, often getting removal efficiencies as high a 99% for 30-40 micron dust particles.  But they do remove lower amounts of smaller particles.  So the cyclone is a perfect companion for dust collection filters as they will remove most of the larger particulate.  This can often be 80-90% of the total dust loading of a system by weight.  The cyclone pre-filter then allows the filters to deal with only the fine dust that gets past the cyclone.  The lower loading of dust on the filters allows the filters to last longer and conserve energy as the cleaning cycle isn’t used as much.

Compact Cyclones

Compact cyclones, such as the Aerodyne GPC, allow cyclone pre-filters to be used in existing facilities where larger (taller) cyclones won’t fit.  The Aerodyne horizontal GPC cyclone provides one of the most compact designs - often ⅓ the height of traditional cyclones.  This can often allow the cyclone to be installed inside or in smaller areas of an existing system.  Traditional cyclones typically require outdoor installation, unless the facility has high ceiling.

So if your filter dust collection system is experiencing operational issues, look into compact cyclone pre-filters as a possible solution before you decide to scrap your current unit and install a new one.

 


5 Signs Your Dust Collection System Needs a Pre-Filter

Watch the video from the Dust Efficiency Clinic discusses how using a pre-filter will optimize your dust collection system. 

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To learn more about which dust collector, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.dustcollectorhq.com.


To improve efficiency and safety, there is no substitute for an on-site inspection by an experienced expert. Click below to start with a free 20-minute phone consultation by clicking the button.

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Topics: dust collector, Dust Efficiency Clinic, compact cyclones, Dust Collector filters, Cyclones pre-filter

Mini DHA for Adding Cyclone to Compliant System | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jun 25, 2019 9:42:09 AM

Not only do NFPA regulations require a DHA (Dust Hazard Analysis) to be done on all systems that might have explosive dust, they also require the DHA to be updated every 5 years and whenever the system changes. 

Simple Changes in Documentation

The change can be adding , removing,  or changing equipment or changes in the material going through the system. 

Since a DHA has already been done, the scope of the change is much less.  Using the information in the original DHA, the equipment that is being changed can be analyzed to make sure it complies with NFPA.  This report will then be added to the existing DHA so that a record of change is documented.  Usually the report is considered a mini-DHA or System DHA. 

The mini-DHA or System DHA often can be conducted by a 3rd party consultant working with the equipment manufacturer.  This usually can be done without a site visit.  Aerodyne offers the Mini-DHA/ System DHA for our cyclone separators.

 


Are you in compliance with the 2018 version of NFPA 68?

Simply click the button for direct access to the webinar to learn more about how to these recent changes may require modifications to your system.

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To learn more about which dust collector, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.dustcollectorhq.com.


To improve efficiency and safety, there is no substitute for an on-site inspection by an experienced expert. Click below to start with a free 20-minute phone consultation by clicking the button.

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Topics: dust collector, Dust Efficiency Clinic, Compliant System, Mini DHA, Dust Hazard Analysis

How Do I Inspect My Dust Collection System? | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jun 21, 2019 11:49:43 AM

We all know that getting the oil change in our car regularly is important to the car being able to get you around when you need it.  However, your dust collector needs regular maintenance too.  The dust collector system consists of hoods, ductwork, air-material separators (cyclones, baghouse, cartridge collectors, wet scrubbers, etc.), explosion protection equipment, airlocks, instrumentation, and exhaust fans. 

All of these items should be checked at least once a year to make sure they are operating correctly.  The following points briefly describe what each piece of equipment needs:


1. Hoods

  • Visual inspection to make sure they haven’t been damaged during the year.
  • Measure airflow velocity to make sure they are collecting the design airflow.
  • If a local damper is located by hood for balancing, make sure it is operable and in the correct position.

2. Ductwork

  • Visual inspection to make sure no holes have developed.
  • Measure air velocity through ductwork to make sure designed airflow is correct.
  • If possible, visual inspection of duct internal to make sure dust isn’t building up.

3. Air Material Separators

  • Measure pressure drop across the separator to see if it is within parameters.
  • Inspect cleaning process (baghouses and cartridge collectors) that they are operating properly (timing, valves opening, air pressure, etc.). See operations and maintenance manual.  Often time, listening to the system will let you know if it is operating correctly.
  • Monitor recycle line pressure and overflow in wet scrubbers.
  • Visual inspection of vessel walls to be sure there are no holes.

4. Explosion Protection Equipment

  • NFPA requires yearly inspection, following the manufactures manual is very important so the explosion protection equipment will protect the facility, equipment, and workers as it was designed.
  • Some explosion protection equipment such as chemical suppression should be done by factory trained personnel.

5. Airlocks

  • Rotary valves
    • Should be checked to see they are still spinning
    • Bearings should be greased and temperature measured to make sure they aren’t overheating
    • On explosive applications the rotor clearance should be measured to make sure it still complies with NFPA 69.
  • Pneumatic valves (slide gates, double flap valves, etc.)
    • Valves should be tested to make sure they are still operating as designed.
    • Air pressure should be measured, to be sure it is still within design parameters.
  • Motorized valves (rotary valve, double flap valves, etc.)
    • Bearings should be greased
    • Bearing temperature should be measured to be sure they aren’t overheating
  • Trickle valves
    • The sleeve should be inspected to be sure it is still sealing
    • During operation confirm that material is still draining and material hasn’t bridged above it.

6. Instrumentation

  • Level gages, pressure gages, VFDs, pH meters, zero speed switches, etc. all have different maintenance requirements.
  • Follow the manual of the specific model for maintenance and inspection.

7. Exhaust Fans

  • The fan housing should be inspected to make sure no holes are present.
  • The voltage and amps should be measured to make sure it is operating at its design condition.
  • The bearings should be greased and temperature checked to be sure they aren’t overheating.
  • The fan’s vibration should be checked along with checking to see if any abnormal noise is emanating from the fan.

To learn more about which dust collector, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.dustcollectorhq.com.

To improve efficiency and safety, there is no substitute for an on-site inspection by an experienced expert. Click below to start with a free 20-minute phone consultation by clicking the button.

Free Consultation

 

 

Click below and watch our video to identify five signs that may diagnose a sluggish system so that you can return your system to full efficiency.

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Topics: dust collector, airlocks valve, Dust Efficiency Clinic

Importance of Keeping Dust Collector Records | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on May 31, 2019 8:30:00 AM

 

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Topics: dust collector, dust collector records keeping

Dust Collector Placement Part 4: Surrounding Areas | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on May 29, 2019 9:21:48 AM

When it is time to add a dust collector to your application, you have to find a place for the dust collector.  This isn’t always easy.  New facilities are usually designed around the equipment that is being installed.  However when a system in an existing facility is modified or installed, you will have limited space to install the dust collector system.  There are four factors that you should take into account when finding a place for your dust collector. (Part 4 of 4)

Surrounding areas

As mentioned above, the area surrounding the dust collector significantly affects where the dust collector can be installed.  Location of utilities such as electricity and compressed (plant) air all affect the dust collector location.  Baghouses and cartridge collectors usually require compressed air for cleaning, wet scrubbers often require makeup water and a drain to either local or plant water treatment facilities. 

Dust Collector Interference

The dust collector may interfere with surrounding equipment and operations, such as cranes and vehicle traffic.  Dust collectors are often tall pieces of equipment requiring large head room when indoors.  And the noise and explosion protection could affect personnel space such as break rooms, rally points, foot and vehicle traffic, etc.

So when looking for a space to install your dust collector make sure you take into account all the different factors such as explosion protection, utilities, operations, and workers safety and comfort. And install the dust collector as close as possible when conforming to the above requirements.

To learn more about which dust collector, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.dustcollectorhq.com

 

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Topics: GPC Cyclone, dust collector placement, distance from process, surrounding areas

Dust Collector Placement Part 3: Distance from Process | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Apr 23, 2019 1:40:54 PM

 

When it is time to add a dust collector to your application, you have to find a place for the dust collector.  This isn’t always easy.  New facilities are usually designed around the equipment that is being installed.  However when a system in an existing facility is modified or installed, you will have limited space to install the dust collector system.  There are four factors that you should take into account when finding a place for your dust collector. (Part 3 of 4)

Distance from Process

Ideally installing the dust collector should be located next to the dust generation.  However, this isn’t always possible.  There are space constraints, safety and noise concerns and process requirements that all affect the placement of the dust collector.  However, based on this, you should place the dust collector as close as possible to the process.  This decreases cost with less ductwork required.  You will also want to use as straight as possible runs of ductwork .  Short, straight ductwork will keep the pressure drop of the system low allowing you to install a smaller quieter blower.  It also helps prevent dust build up in the ductwork which can cause operational issues and be a fire/explosion hazard.

Smaller Fans

Smaller fans usually mean lower horsepower motors.  This translates into lower operating cost for the fan.  And shorter ductwork requires less cleaning, thereby less time for maintenance on the whole system.  If long distances are required, look at using local pre-filters to lower dust loading going through ductwork.  This will help solve some of the issues such as dust buildup in the ductwork.

To learn more about dust collector, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.dustcollectorhq.com or click on the button below to get our whitepaper: Top 5 Reasons to Use a Cyclone as a Pre-filter.

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Topics: GPC Cyclone, dust collector placement, distance from process

Dust Collector Placement Part 2: Space Constraints | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Apr 12, 2019 9:30:00 AM

When it is time to add a dust collector to your application, you have to find a place for the dust collector.  This isn’t always easy.  New facilities are usually designed around the equipment that is being installed.  However when a system in an existing facility is modified or installed, you will have limited space to install the dust collector system.  There are four factors that you should take into account when finding a place for your dust collector. (Part 2 of 4)

Space Constraints in New Facility

In new facilities, the installation of dust collectors is often pretty easy.  Many times the building is designed around the equipment.  This doesn’t mean that compact equipment isn’t beneficial.    This can help lower ceilings, prevent the need for installation on the roof.  When placing a dust collector in new facilities, it would best to place them as near to the system as you can while conforming to all the NFPA and other specs.

Space Constraints in Existing Facility

Existing facilities pose much more issues than new facilities.  Often times existing facilities are constrained for space.  They have added / expanded lines in a building that weren’t built for its current use.  New regulations could require a new dust collector, larger dust collector, or modification to the dust collector (including explosion protection).  All of this could require finding room for a new dust collector or moving the existing one.

Noises from Dust Collector and Fan

If the dust collector is not going to be mounted indoors, it needs to fit under the existing ceiling.  Low profile units are often required.  It might be easier to use low profile point of use dust collectors than to find a place to install a large dust collector for multiple processes.  It is often beneficial to locate the dust collector as close to the processes it is collecting dust from.  This lowers the cost of the system by minimizing ductwork which in turn minimizes the fan size and HP.  When installing the dust collector you should remember to take into account noise from the dust collector and the fan.  Fan silencers and noise blankets may be required if the equipment is too loud.  And as discussed above, enough space should be available for installing all the explosion protection required.

Protect Dust Collection Equipment from Weather

If the dust collector is not going to be mounted indoors, height is usually not an issue.  Some facilities do have outdoor height restrictions.  Sometimes it’s the local city and sometimes it is to keep a low profile with the neighbors.  The dust collection equipment must also be protected from the local weather.  Equipment in the Midwest often requires freeze protection, while the Gulf Coast need to withstand high winds.  When locating the dust collector outside you should install it as close as possible to the process, so as to minimize ductwork and power requirement.

Conform with NFPA

Many customers when installing equipment have to deal with local ordinances on the appearances of the outside of the facility.  Other times, the company wants the facility to be aesthetically pleasing, and / or they want their neighbors to be comfortable with the appearances so as to minimize any issues in the future.  And as mentioned before, the dust collector should conform with NFPA when installed on an explosive application.

To learn more about compact dust collector, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.dustcollectorhq.com or click on the button below to get our whitepaper: 5 Ways to Save Costs by Using Small Dust-Collection Cyclones.

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Topics: GPC Cyclone, dust collector placement, Space constraints

Dust Efficiency Clinic Helps Facilities Get into Compliance | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Mar 28, 2019 9:15:00 AM

OSHA-AerodyneOSHA is issuing citations and fines to companies with unsafe combustible dust hazards, using their general duty clause and NFPA 652: Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust as a guideline. Any industrial facility that creates dusts or uses powders was mandated by NFPA 652 to complete a Dust Hazard Analysis by September, 2020 to identify the presence of combustible dusts and establish a plan for eliminating or mitigating potential risks associated with these dusts in their facilities. The DHA is essentially the framework around which NFPA 652 is built, and the starting point for getting a facility into compliance with the standard as a whole.

Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) Complexity

The complexity of performing a DHA varies with the complexity of the facilities and processes being analyzed.  For instance, a small wood cabinet making shop with a limited number of dust generating machines will present a less daunting task than a large scale manufacturing facility that use powdered raw materials and performs cutting and grinding of its finished product. It should also be noted that performing a DHA should not be viewed as a “one and done” procedure that is completed and forgotten. As new processes or raw materials that have the potential for impacting a facility’s combustible dust profile are introduced in the facility, the DHA needs to be modified to incorporate these changes accordingly.

Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) Preparation

Dust Efficiency Clinic-DHA

Preparation for a Dust Hazard Analysis can also be incorporated into a more comprehensive review of a facility’s dust collection system that examines overall system design, efficiency, and safety. Aerodyne Environmental’s Dust Efficiency Clinic offers dust collection system evaluation services that do just that. An Aerodyne dust collection specialist will review a facility’s equipment, installation, controls, and protective devices with an eye toward improving overall system performance, decreasing maintenance costs, prolonging equipment life, and improving safety and regulatory compliance.

Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) Report

At the end of the system review, a report is generated that summarizes the existing state of the dust collection system and offers targeted suggestions for areas that can be improved. This valuable service offers facility and plant managers outside expertise in boosting the performance and safety of their systems, and is a logical first step in preparation for a DHA.

To learn more about Aerodyne’s Dust Efficiency Clinic consulting services, call Dan Navicky at (440) 543-7400 or tollfree at (800) 358-7546, or email dc@dustcollectorhq.com.

 

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Topics: dust collector, compliance

Dust Collector Placement Part 1: Explosive Dust | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Mar 26, 2019 9:45:11 AM

When it is time to add a dust collector to your application, you have to find a place for the dust collector.  This isn’t always easy.  New facilities are usually designed around the equipment that is being installed.  However when a system in an existing facility is modified or installed, you will have limited space to install the dust collector system.  There are four factors that you should take into account when finding a place for your dust collector. (Part 1 of 4)

Explosive dust

One of the most important factors to take into account is the explosibility of the dust.  If the dust is explosive you will have to make sure the location of the dust collector conforms with the appropriate NFPA specification.

The NFPA specifications require dust collectors to be located outdoors if they have explosive dust, unless specific explosion venting or mitigation equipment is being used.  Even if your dust collector is located outdoors, it should still have venting, because you don’t want your collector to create shrapnel during and incident.

Explosive Vent

One of the most common and least expensive explosion protection methods is the installation of explosion vents on the dust collector.  The explosion vent directs the pressure wave out of the vessel through an area, thereby controlling the explosion.  This protects the dust collector from the worst of the damage.

When using explosion vents, it does matter if your dust collector is indoors out outside.  When located indoors, the explosion is required to be vented outside.  The vent is connected to ductwork to an opening in an outside wall or roof.  When this is used, the dust collector should usually be within 5 feet of the wall.

When the dust collector is outdoors it should be orientated so that the explosion vents are directed away from the building and any other equipment.  The vents should also be directed away from any walkways, roadways, and areas where employees would be. (Ex. Rally points, picnic tables, etc.)

Flameless Vent

A flameless vent can be used instead, which allows the dust collector to be installed inside without venting it outdoors.  The flameless vent directs and vents the explosion as a standard vent, but it has metal fins mounted on the vent so the explosive wave travels past the fins.  The metals fins rapidly cool the wave, stopping the flame, so only a hot pressure wave is left.  Enough room must be left around the flameless vent so that adjacent equipment isn’t damaged.  The vent area should not be an area where workers are or a walkway.

Chemical Suppression

Chemical suppression is another technology that is used to protect dust collectors from explosions.  The technology uses non-explosive chemicals to flood the dust collector and prevent an explosion.  Sensors located in the dust collector and the ductwork measure the temperature and pressure to monitor for an explosion.  When they detect an explosion the chemical suppression system is activated.

Chemical suppression systems require yearly maintenance to make sure the system is still protected.  So the sensors and chemical canisters need to be accessible for the maintenance checkups.  This means platforms or open spaces for portable lifts should be located around the equipment.

To learn more about which dust collector, please contact our experts at 440-543-7400 or visit our website: www.dustcollectorhq.com

Click below and watch our Webinar that offers a thorough explanation of the changes in NFPA 68 and how they may affect your existing system design.

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Topics: GPC Cyclone, flameless vent, chemical suppression, explosive dust, dust collector placement, explosive vent

Aerodyne Environmental: Home of the Horizontal Cyclone and  Vacu-Valve® Airlock Valve

Inspired To Be Different.

At Aerodyne, we choose to take a different approach to collecting dust and handling materials. Our cyclones are unique in design to address common issues such as problematic dusts and space constraints. Our airlocks are chosen to fit your specific application instead of hastily installing traditional equipment options. We believe that when we see things differently, we can solve problems effectively. That's why so many people turn to us for help in solving their tough dust problems.

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