Dust Collection and Valves Blog

Heavy Dust Loading Leads to High Maintenance in Dust Collector | Aerodyne

Posted by Tom Hobson on Aug 23, 2019 3:31:39 PM

Heavy dust loading in the dust collector leads to high maintenance dust collectors.  Since most dust collectors are fabric filters (baghouse, cartridge collectors, shakers, etc.), heavy dust loading will cause/require high frequency of cleaning of the filters.  Most filters are cleaned by injecting high pressure air into the clean side, causing the filters to expand a bit.  This causes dust to fall off the filters.  Filters wear out due to the frequent expanding and contracting.  So the more often you have to clean a filter, the faster the filters will wear out.

Pleated Filters

This is made even worse if the filters are pleated.  Pleated filters have valleys and ridges which increase the surface area available for air to diffuse through the filter.  However, high dust loading can cause the pleated filter valleys to fill up and not properly clean during a cleaning cycle.  This will severely restrict the surface area available for airflow, which will lead to higher velocities through the filters.  A higher velocity increases the chances of dust getting through the filters.  This can cause holes to develop in the filter.  It can also cause dust to plug a pathway through the filter, thereby further restricting airflow.  It can also cause a decrease in removal efficiency.

So if you have high dust loading in your dust collector, it might be beneficial to install a pre-filter to increase filter life and make maintenance much less of a hassle.

Pre-filtering may reduce operating and maintenance costs by extending bag or filter life and improving removal efficiencies. This video discusses five warning signs that your dust collection system needs a pre-filter.

If you prefer this valuable information in white paper form, get our whitepaper, Top 5 Reasons to Use a Cyclone as a Pre-filter.

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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, combustible dust, NFPA 652, explosive dust, heavy dust loading, maintenance cost, arirflow

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.

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, NFPA 652, explosive dust

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

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