Dust Collection and Valves Blog

Tom Hobson

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Plan Your Parts and Inspections Before Plant Shutdowns | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jun 10, 2021 10:30:00 AM

Now that it is spring, it’s time to start thinking about summer shut down! If you are planning on doing maintenance on your dust collection system now is the time to order your parts.

If you are changing bags also look into doing the following:

  1. Pull your airlock off and perform any needed maintenance on it (replace bearings, change out rotors or plate, replace Vacu-Valve sleeves, etc.)
  2. Have someone check your exhaust fan a few weeks before shutdown so that if the fan needs rebalancing or bearings replaced, you can schedule it during the shutdown.
  3. Inspection of your baghouse a few months before shutdown so any damage in the housing, bad air valves, tube sheet, etc. can be replaced during the process.
  4. Inspect the ductwork and look for holes and dust buildup. Make sure dampers are working.
  5. Look into installing a cyclone pre-filter to
     
    1. Increase filter life
    2. Decrease compressed air usage
    3. Collect dust before contamination in the filters
  6. Inspect explosion protection equipment and have any chemical isolators/suppression equipment maintained. Be sure to have the clearance of the rotary valve measured to be sure it is still in compliance with NFPA requirements.
  7. Schedule a Dust Efficiency Clinic to evaluate the system performance so any modifications can be installed during plant shutdown.

Doing the above will help you revitalize your dust collection system and make sure you get the best possible performance out of it.


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, cleaning baghouse filter, horizontal cyclone, GPC Cyclone, splitScream Cyclone, Dust Collector filters, arirflow

Accessories to Consider with Your Dust Collection System | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on May 28, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Dust collectors have multiple accessories that can be used to help optimize the system. Some are used to protect the system, some are used to monitor the system, and some are used to make the system operate smoothly. The following blog is a quick description of a few of them.

Meters

  • Airflow meters – allow you to measure the airflow through the system. Effective to know if your system is operating correctly.
  • Differential pressure gage – used to monitor the pressure drop through the dust collector. Often can warn you if your dust collector is having an issue (sudden change in pressure drop) or when maintenance is required (high or low pressure drops).
  • Level meter – allows you to monitor the amount of material in your hopper. This will tell you if you’ve bridged the hopper, your airlock stopped, etc.
  • Temperature gage – allows you to monitor the temperature of your system and prevent damage to components such as filters, seals, instrumentation, etc.

Valves and Tools

  • Vibrators – allow you to shake material in the hopper, preventing bridging.
  • Air nozzles – blow compressed air into the hopper preventing dust from settling and bridging
  • Airlocks – allows material to leave the dust collector hopper and prevent air from passing through (entering or leaving the system)
  • Zero speed switch – used to monitor the airlock to make sure it is operating and inform the operators when it stops.
  • VFD – perhaps the most useful of all this allows you to increase or decrease the airflow in the system by adjusting the operating speed of the exhaust fan.

Explosive Applications

  • Explosion vent – mounted on the dust collector, it allows an explosive overpressure to relieve in a controlled fashion preventing destruction of the dust collector and surrounding areas.
  • Flameless explosion vent – similar to the above but designed to cool down the release so no flame is vented out. Can be used indoors.
  • Chemical suppression – used to inject an inert material into the dust collector which will prevent the dust in the vessel from exploding.
  • Thermal sensor – monitors the heat in the dust collector and is used to activate chemical suppression.
  • Pressure sensor – monitors the pressure in the dust collector and is used to activate chemical suppression when over pressure is measured.
  • Isolation gate – installed before the dust collector, this prevents an explosion in the dust collector from moving back into the building and the rest of the process.

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, combustible dust, horizontal cyclone, GPC Cyclone, explosive dust, Dust Collector filters

The Importance of a Proper Hood | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on May 21, 2021 8:45:00 AM

A dust collection system consists of four major components. The pickup hood, ductwork, dust collector, and exhaust fan. For the system to operate efficiently all four components much be sized and used correctly. Unfortunately, one of the main components (the hood) is often overlooked. The hood design is crucial for the operation of the dust collector system. And without the proper hood design, your dust collector will not provide the dust pickup required for the safety of the equipment and workers.

The hood should be designed so that it will capture the dust without letting dust escape. This can often be difficult as the hood will need to be designed to pull air from all the areas generating dust while also provide the required access of the operator / machine.

Using the wrong hood can cause:

  • Dust to escape the hood, thereby causing health, safety, and maintenance issues.
  • Too much dust is captured, removing product or components from the process.
  • Too much air is used, increasing the system size and cost.

When you are looking to install a dust collector system, pay attention the hood design of the system. Spend time selecting the proper hood for the application and don’t just go with the least expensive hood, as this could cause your entire dust collection system to fail at its job.


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, cleaning baghouse filter, horizontal cyclone, GPC Cyclone, splitScream Cyclone, Dust Collector filters, arirflow

How Vibrators Can Help Hopper Flow? | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Apr 28, 2021 4:00:00 PM

Dust collectors have hoppers under the collection chambers to channel the dust out of the system for use or disposal. The hoppers are not designed to be used to collect and store the material, but rather as a place for the material to temporarily collect before passing through the airlock and out of the system. 

Dust Build-Up in Hopper

Depending on the material being collected and the characteristics of it, dust may temporarily build up in the hopper until it can pass through the airlock. Applications that have periodic high loading or applications that have materials with irregular shapes, are sticky, or hygroscopic could all build up in the hopper and form a bridge or rat hole by the dust discharge opening. When this happens, one of the most common solutions is to install a vibrator on the hopper.   The vibrator works by hitting the side of the walls which can cause the material to break up and fall through the dust discharge flange and leave the system.

The Purpose of Vibrator on Hopper

Vibrators can be driven pneumatically or electronically. They also can be used to continuously agitate the hopper preventing any bridging from developing, or they can be periodically turned on to break up any bridging that has developed. When you are installing a vibrator, it is important that you let the manufacturer know how you are planning on using the vibrator so they can recommend the correct vibrator for your application.


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

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Topics: dust collector, cleaning baghouse filter, horizontal cyclone, GPC Cyclone, splitScream Cyclone, Dust Collector filters, arirflow

What’s the Best Method for Designing a Balanced System? | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Apr 21, 2021 10:59:04 AM

When you are designing your ductwork, there are two ways you can do it. 1) You can use dampers to control the airflow at each pickup and balance the system or 2) You can balance by design which means the ductwork is designed so that the proper airflow goes through each pickup without the need to install dampers. There are positives and negatives with both. The following will go over them.

Balance by Dampers

Using dampers to balance your system provides much more flexibility but is much harder to achieve. This design has dampers at each pickup point which allows you to dial in the design airflow. It will allow you to add and remove pickup point (within reason). Of course, the duct needs to be designed so the minimum air velocity is maintained to keep any dust in suspension.   The major issue with using dampers is that you have to balance the whole system, and every change affects every other damper. This means it takes skill and a lot of patience to balance the system. And any change, whether it is adding or removing a pickup point, the accidental (or deliberate) adjustment of the damper will affect the rest of the system. This could mean a total rebalancing of the whole system.

Basically, what this means is that if you require a versatile system which allows you to bring areas online or take offline while keeping the system as small as possible then using dampers is best for you. Just remember that every time you change the damper location you will need to rebalance the system. If you are not experienced this can be a very frustrating and time consuming job.

Balance by Design

The balance by design ductwork is designed so that the resistance throughout the system is such that the correct amount of air is being picked up at each pickup point. This has a few benefits, the first being it is an install and forget design. (Please note we don’t actually mean forget). Once the ductwork is designed and installed, it will naturally pick up the designed amount of air until something changes. A properly designed system will have enough air velocity in each area to keep dust from falling out. So this means you won’t need to adjust anything. We would recommend periodic checking of airflows to be sure the system is operating at the right airflow. If you find that it isn’t then the ductwork has been damaged, changed, or material has built up in it.

The negative of this design is that once it is installed you can’t change it easily. If you are adding or removing any pickup points then you may need to modify the ductwork to be sure you keep the design airflows. You will have to pay special attention that your airflow remains high enough to keep any dust in suspension. The other negative is that it will pull the airflow from all pickup points all the time. And if you are looking to use only one pickup point at a time, then the system will be bigger than might otherwise be needed.


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

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Topics: dust collector, combustible dust, horizontal cyclone, GPC Cyclone, explosive dust, Dust Collector filters

Is Your Hygroscopic Dust Causing Issues in Your Dust Collectors?| Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Mar 29, 2021 8:45:00 AM

Hygroscopic dust can really grow on your nerves! I know the marketing department might take away my writing duties after that line. But seriously, hygroscopic dust can cause major maintenance issues in your dust collectors. Hygroscopic dust captures water vapor and droplets. This causes the particles to grow in size and weight, thereby making them easier to capture and remove from the airstream. However, if you are using filters, that’s where the problems start.

Filters capture dust in between the filter fibers and on the filter cake. When the dust is hygroscopic this can lead to issues. Dust particles in the filter fibers can grow when exposed to water vapor. They can then not release when cleaned, blocking the air pathway, or if they do release during cleaning the filters could be left deformed, allowing particles through the filter.

When hygroscopic filter cake is exposed to water vapor, it can plug up the filter, preventing air from passing through. This prevents any dust collection from the needed areas because there is no airflow to pull the dust into the system. And during cleaning cycles, the filter cake is strongly adhering to the filter and won’t fall off.

To prevent this from being an issue you will need to identify where the water vapor is coming from.

Airlock

If humidity is leaking in from the airlock then a low leaking airlock would be needed. Rotary valves have a small space surrounding the rotor allowing it to rotate without locking up. This area constantly allows air to leak around. A double dump valve which uses two flaps in series to isolate the hopper or a rotary valve with wipers can cut down on air/humidity leakage into the hopper.

Housing holes

If there are holes in the housing, high humidity outside air can leak in. Replacing or patching the holes will prevent air leakage. If corrosion is an issue, changing materials of construction or coating the hopper might help prevent future issues.

High water content in the compressed air used for cleaning

Install water traps and filters to keep the compressed air used for filter cleaning with low humidity. Often times this can cause greater issues than leaking airlocks or hoppers because the high pressure air goes through the filter, expanding the filter to shake off the dust. This delivers the humidity to the dust collected in the filter, which could cause greater pluggage.

High humidity air coming in with the dust

Installing a pre-filter will remove the majority of the larger heavier particles before they can see the filters. This minimizes the amount of material the filters contact, extending their life. Pre-filters such as cyclones and dropout boxes can often provide additional help on issues above and even extend the life of filters caused by high dust loading.

So when you have hygroscopic dust and your filters are plugging up too fast, try to isolate the area where humidity is coming.


 

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

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Topics: dust collector, vacu-valve, airlocks valve, GPC Cyclone, arirflow, hygroscopic dust

Should I Test My Dust for Explosibility? | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Mar 15, 2021 8:45:00 AM

This is one of the most important questions you can ask. The answer to this question can require you to invest in expensive protection equipment or not, but that is much better than the loss of thousands of dollars in equipment, production time, and most importantly, employee safety. There are a few ways to answer this question. Some of which are safer than others. The main question you will need to ask yourself, is the dust combustible?

Is My Dust Explosive?

If the material can react with oxygen then there is a chance it can be explosive. However, just because it is combustible, doesn’t mean it is explosive. Generally if a dust is greater than 500 micron in size, it is not explosive. However, what if the dust is smaller than 500 microns?

The safest course is to send your sample into a test facility for a simple Explosibility Screening (Go/ No Go) test. This test will take a small sample and try to ignite it to see if the sample will explode. If it explodes then an explosion severity test should be performed, which provides data on the speed of the explosion (Kst) and strength of the explosion (Pmax). This data is very important to designing equipment that will prevent, contain, or divert explosions safely.

Some dust might be generated from material you got from a vendor, and they might have already done explosion testing on the material. You might be able to use this data for the design of your equipment depending on the process. The main thing being, what are you doing with your process? If you are sorting, grinding, drying, etc. the material then you can be changing the explosibility of the dust. If there has been a change, then the material should be tested again or you can assume it to be explosive and use the suitable published data.

The Explosibility of Dust

The explosibility of dust is highly dependent on the material size and humidity. A few examples would be aluminum. Spirals of aluminum from trimming wouldn’t be explosive, but a fine aluminum powder would be. Another example is wood dust. Dry wood dust is very explosive, while wood with a high water content is not.

You should not depend on your history working with the dust, because dust explosions are fickle. You might be working with dust for 20 years and have no issues and then suddenly there is an explosion. Or it might be the 1st time you work with a dust that an explosion happens. One thing is for sure, if you have had flash fires with the dust, you definitely should have it test for explosibility. A flash fire is a sign that you have an issue with your process and should do further investigation to make sure you won’t have an explosion and to prevent more flash fires.

Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA)

If your dust is explosive, you will then need to have a Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) done on your process/ building, etc. The DHA reviews your process, operational and maintenance procedures, equipment, etc.   It then provides procedures, equipment changes, etc. to address the issues and provide for a safe process. OSHA will request a copy of your DHA during any inspection. So it is important that you have an answer to the question “Is my dust explosive?” and have something to back up the answer in case you are asked by OSHA, your insurance company, local fire inspector, etc.


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

Read More

Topics: dust collector, combustible dust, horizontal cyclone, GPC Cyclone, explosive dust, Dust Collector filters

Dust Collector Frequently Asked Questions: Part 2 | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Feb 26, 2021 10:15:00 AM

What are the benefits of using a cyclone as pre-filter for a baghouse / cartridge collector?

If you are working with a high value material or product, have high maintenance costs to the baghouse/cartridge collector, or want to avoid cross-contamination, then you should investigate using a cyclone ahead of your baghouse or cartridge collector. The cyclone will allow you to recover the dust without contamination from the filters. The filters in a baghouse or cartridge collector use a dust layer built up on the filters to collect the dust from the airstream. During the process of filter cleaning, dust from this layer is dislodged and falls into the hopper. Any particulate from prior batches can cause contamination of the dust.

A cyclone, on the other hand, collects the dust and deposits it in the hopper continuously. There is very little dust buildup inside of a cyclone. This minimizes the chances of contamination from prior batches. Since there aren’t any filters, a cyclone can be washed or wiped out to remove the prior batch particles.

How does ductwork affect my system?

Ductwork is usually by far the largest component and often the most overlooked. Depending on the size of your system, the ductwork can span hundreds of feet and have dozens of side streams. The ductwork is like railroad tracks, it moves the dusty air from one place to another.

Often times, additional lines will be added to a dust collector system after installation. Without proper evaluation of the system, this could negatively affect the performance of the whole system.

This means that just because the dust collector system was operating correctly before, it might not after an additional pickup point or hood is added. What happens is that when you add additional pickup points, you change the balancing of the system. This could change the airflow to each and every hood and pickup point in the system, so while the system was originally adequately venting an area, it might not after a change.

A few things can be done to address this, such as changing fan speed, adding dampers, modifying ductwork, etc. The main thing you need to keep in mind is that if you slow the airflow through ductwork too much, you begin to build up dust within the line. This will further restrict your airflow and it can become a fire / explosion hazard.



Airlocks FAQ Volume 1

Airlock valves are important components in many dust collection and process systems, yet they are often overlooked. We hope this helps you choose your next airlock.

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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, pre-filter cyclone, compact cyclones, Dust Collector filters

Top 5 Questions to Ask When Considering A Cyclone Dust Collector

Posted by Tom Hobson on Feb 19, 2021 10:15:33 AM

Designing a dust collection system can be quite a daunting task. With so many collector options and so many application variables to consider, it is difficult to know where to begin. Cyclones are among the oldest and still most reliable methods of dust collection available. Because they require very little maintenance, have low up-front cost, and offer unmatched versatility, cyclone collectors remain a viable solution to many air-handling challenges. Although heightened environmental regulations and collection efficiency needs have shifted industry toward the use of filter-media collectors, cyclonic dust collection still plays a vital role in many air-handling systems. These five questions will help determine if a cyclone dust collector is right for your application.IMG_0688

  1. How big is my dust?

    Cyclonic dust collection relies on inertial forces to separate dust particles from an air stream. The larger and denser the particulate is, the greater its inertia. This is the reason cyclones have such high collection efficiencies when handling relatively large dust particles.

  2. How much dust is too much?

    Grain loading or dust loading refers to the amount of dust particulate that is suspended in a gas stream. This is typically measured in the number of grains per cubic foot of gas. This is an important number to consider when designing a pollution control system. Not only will this factor into the size requirement of a dust collector, but it will also determine the appropriate type of dust collector. The strict air pollution control standards in the United States often necessitate a “filter-media” dust collector, such as a bag house, for the final collection stage.

  3. Can I reuse the dust I am collecting? Particle Size

    Dust generated by handling dry bulk materials can be hazardous but also valuable. Unfortunately, most filter-type dust collection systems are designed for disposal rather than product reclamation. Filter media collectors such as cartridge filters and bag houses often do not allow collected particulates to be recovered for reuse due to contamination or particulate size issues.

  4. Do I have heat or humidity concerns?

    Air handling in manufacturing processes is often a delicate balance with a number of variables to contend with. Process heat and humidity in the air stream create a difficult challenge when it comes to dust collection. Collection of red-hot dust particulate is simply not possible with many bag houses because cotton filters are flammable and flame retardant filters can be costly.
  5. How much should I spend?

    Perhaps the most important and most difficult question asked when designing a dust collection system is how much to spend. The simple answer is, it depends. It depends on what the overall goal of the system should achieve. The best dust collection systems are those that were designed with several functions in mind: capacity, operation costs, maintenance costs, and product/ material value.


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

Read More

Topics: dust, dust collector, cleaning baghouse filter, horizontal cyclone, GPC Cyclone, splitScream Cyclone, Dust Collector filters, arirflow

Pneumatic vs Motorized Double Dump Valves | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Jan 29, 2021 9:45:00 AM

Double dump valves are available in both motorized and pneumatic actuation. To figure out which would be better for you we need to consider your application. A double dump valve is really two (2) valves with flapper plates in series controlled by the same mechanism. At least one of the flapper plates is closed at all time. The main things we need to know are the pressure, temperature, and flow rates along with the area classification the double dump valve will go in.

Motorized Double Dump Valve

A motorized double dump valve uses a cam rotated by a motor and gearbox to open and close each of the dump valves in series. The cam is designed so that at least one valve is closed at all time, thereby providing an airlock. The cam also provides a certain amount of cycles each minute, which controls the amount of material that is available to pass through the valve.

Pneumatic Double Dump Valve

A pneumatic double dump valve uses one pneumatic cylinder on each dump valve to control the operation of it. A timer is used to control the cylinders. The timer cycles cylinders so that one valve is closed at all times.

Differences Between Pneumatic and Motorized Double Dump Valve

Pressure - Motorized double dump valves are limited in the amount of pressure they can handle. The cam drive doesn’t provide direct force on the flap plates. This means that higher pressures and weights will push the flap plate open. The pneumatic valve, however, provides direct pressure on the flap plate so it can handle higher pressures and weights.

Temperature – A motorized double dump valve has a gearbox and motor located next to the housing of the valve. At higher temperatures, this can cause issues with the grease in the gearbox and motor. Also, the cam drive uses wear plates that might degrade faster at higher temperatures. The pneumatic valve, however, can be supplied with high temperature seals on the pneumatic cylinder.

Material Flow Rates – Unlike a rotary valve, which is continuously passing material through, double dump valves fill one chamber while emptying the other. This significantly cuts down on the flow rate through the valve. A motorized double dump valve size is limited due to the cam design. A spool piece cannot easily be installed to increase the volumetric flow through each chamber. While with a pneumatic design, each flap plate is controlled by its own pneumatic cylinder, a spool piece can easily be installed to allow additional material to flow through.

Area Classifications – The electrical classification of the area the valve is being installed can also effect the valve selection. A pneumatic valve has very few electric parts and can be designed to be intrinsically safe. A motorized unit has an electric motor, so the motor must be selected to for the area classification.

When selecting the best double dump valve for your application, look at the pressure, temperature, material flow rate, and area classification.


 

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

 

 

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Topics: dust collector, double dump valve, Dust Efficiency Clinic, compact cyclones, Dust Collector filters, Cyclones pre-filter, Dust Re-Entrainment

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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