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Dust Collectors for Industrial Blast Facilities – A Guide

Where your sandblasting in a blast cabinet or in an industrial blast facility, sandblasting will produce excessive volumes of dust.To be able to properly handle the dust that is generated from sandblasting, you need to be able to select a proper dust collector for your blasting application and ensure it meets all proper safety codes like those listed on this OSHA guide.This article will cover a lot of the common factors that you need to understand in order to be able to select a dust collector that will work for a blast facility.

Industrial Blast Facilities Dust Collection

Factor 1 – The size of the blast room that you will be blasting in

The larger the face area of a blast room, as measured by the width and height of the opening of the room, the larger a dust collector you will need to be able to properly remove dust from the air. For most blast media uses like aluminum oxide, steel medias, or glass medias ventilation rates are typically 60 Feet Per minute based on the face open size. However certain applications in industrial blast facilities will often require higher velocities of up to 100 feet per minute across the face opening (this is particularly true with a lot of hazardous coatings). Ultimately you take the width x height x the appropriate air speed to determine the Cubic feet of air per minute that your dust collector will need to remove. Due to the numerous variables that occur in blasting it is always ideal to speak with a blast equipment provider to ensure you are considering an appropriate dust collector for your process and facility size.

Factor 2 – Blast Media Recovery Equipment

The majority of the time if you are installing a blast facility you will also be installing blast media recovery equipment. Certain blast media recovery equipment, like this 3 x 3 system offered by Clemco, incorporates a cyclonic separator and abrasive media cleaning system with the equipment to properly remove contaminant from your blast media so that you can continue to use your media. If this equipment will be installed in your blast room, you want to consider adding additional capacity to your dust collector so that the air wash abrasive cleaner has enough CFM to provide clean media (or you can purchase an additional dust collector for the media cleaning equipment). Typically the CFM for an abrasive cleaner is 600 – 900 CFM depending on the media and what your are blasting.

Factor 3 – What You Are Blasting Off

The product you will be removing from the substrate is also a critical element when it comes to selecting an appropriate dust collector. Certain material that you blast off can often create a lot of dust as well as potential hazardous materials.  This can sometimes require a larger dust collector to be able to effectively remove contaminant from the room. Additionally, if you plan on leaving the exhaust from the dust collector inside your facility (which can help with negative pressure issues) you may have to consider implementing a HEPA filter. A HEPA filter is a higher efficiency than a standard dust collector filtration and can remove dangerous components from the air (for example Chromates that are frequently present in aerospace coatings). To ensure you meet proper safety requirements based on the product your blasting and what your blasting off it can be important to coordinate with a blasting equipment solutions provider so that you are provided an option that will properly remove dust safely from your environment.

Factor 4 – The Construction of the Dust Collector

There are a variety of dust collectors available for a variety of applications. Sandblasting provides unique considerations for blasting. First is the filters.  A dust collector that is designed specifically for blasting will typically have an air to cloth ratio that is different than other dust collectors. The ratio will help maximize your dust collectors filter life before replacement, which is important because filters are costly for dust collectors. The filter will also be most effective at removing dust from the air. Additional design considerations include that blast dust collectors will often have knockdown plates to reduce blast media from directly contacting your dust collector, this will help to prevent your dust collector from being damaged by blast media.

Ultimately a dust collector is one of the key components to a properly laid out industrial blast facility. To ensure you select a proper dust collector for your facility you should consider the factors discussed to ensure you have a dust collector that will be appropriate for your blast application. We also recommend speaking to a blast dust collector manufacturer to ensure you have a dust collector that is safe and effective.

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