One common mistake operators make in dust collectors is to use the dust collector hopper to store material. The hopper in a dust collector isn’t designed for this. Instead it is a temporary home for the dust collected while the material is being removed. This period should be as short as possible for the following reasons:
- The dust collector isn’t designed to support a hopper fully filled with material. The added weight could cause structural issues with the vessel and the supports.
- As the hopper gets fuller, there is a greater chance that material will be re-entrained into the airstream, thereby causing a lower removal efficiency, increased wearing on the housing, filters, etc.
- Large amounts of dust in the hopper could become airborne during an incident, which could fuel an explosion in the dust collector. Removing the material from the hopper isolates the material storage from the dust collector.
- Storage in the hopper could cause bridging or rat holing of the material. This could cause the material to backup into the separation zone (example: begin covering filters). This will cause major operational issues in the dust collector and decrease removal efficiency and airflow through the system.
So when you are operating your dust collector, be sure to remove the dust collected in the hopper as soon as you can. Airlocks such as rotary valves, double dump valves and trickle valves (ex. Aerodyne’s Vacu-Valve) are ideal for keeping the process isolated from the outside while also allowing the collected material to leave the collection hopper.
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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