With the exploding popularity of 3D printing, it’s inevitable that combustible dust hazards would become part of the process. After all, 3D printing uses materials from plastics and nylon to aluminum and titanium. Almost all of them are combustible and can form explosive airborne dust around the work area.
3D printing is also called additive manufacturing, and it works by fusing layers and layers of extremely fine dust to create the final shape. When using metals, plastics, or ceramics, the layers are often fused by a laser that has the precision to carry out computer-guided designs.
The term “additive manufacturing” is most often found in applications like metalworking, where it is used as an opposite of manufacturing that involves removal of material, like cutting or grinding. 3D printing is a much broader term and can apply to a wide variety of processes.
If the combination of combustible dusts and high-powered ignition sources doesn’t sound like an explosion hazard, consider the fact that this is still a new technology, and many dust collection systems on the market aren’t equipped to handle this kind of hazard. OSHA has already cited at least one company for an explosion that occurred when combustible aluminum and titanium metal powers from their 3D printing process ignited, causing serious injuries.
Besides the risks of a combustible dust explosion, the extremely fine powders needed for 3D printing or additive manufacturing are often hazardous to human health. In other blog posts we’ve discussed the health risks of inhaling these particles, which can be as fine as welding fume dust. With the materials being fused by lasers or other high-heat techniques, harmful particulates are being released into the air along with the dust from the manufacturing process.
These harmful particles can include plastic particles, known toxins like hexavalent chromium, or even byproducts of high-tech aircraft alloys like beryllium. Many of them are health hazards and almost all of them are explosive if the conditions are right. Additive manufacturing or 3D printing often creates perfect conditions for a combustible dust explosion.
How do you mitigate the risk of combustible dust in your 3D printing operation? Proper dust collection will remove all excess dusk from the work area, preventing an explosive situation from occurring. With the CMAXX dust and fume collector, the most efficient filtration and best explosion protection are on your side to make sure your 3D printing areas, expensive pieces of equipment, and workers all stay safe.
Imperial Systems is ahead of the game in designing custom solutions for 3D printing and additive manufacturing applications. If you’re looking for a solution for the combustible dust problem that your application creates, contact the company that’s already designing systems to handle exactly these kinds of problems.
With the best design and quality on the market along with unbeatable fire and explosion protection options, the Imperial Systems CMAXX is the solution 3D printers need to keep their process efficient and safe. High efficiency filters allow for the capture and reuse of expensive powders and keep your work area clean of combustible dust. They also keep your air clear of dangerous byproducts and toxic substances your process might use or produce.
Read our white paper on combustible dust.
Extinguish the Threat of Explosions with a Spark Arrestor
It’s imperative that every metalworking facility have highly efficient dust collection systems. Also, it’s crucial that metalworking facilities utilize a spark arrestor to provide even greater protection from these combustible hazards. Here’s why a Spark Trap safety system by Imperial Systems is the best choice.
We have dedicated over 15 years to preventing and reducing fires and explosions in metalworking and manufacturing facilities. We also continually strive to meet and exceed the standards recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Our company also meets NFPA guidelines with our highly efficient dust collection systems and replacement cartridge filters.
If you’re asking yourself if a spark arrestor is really necessary, the answer is yes! First of all, consider the findings of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program. It shows that metal dust accounts for 20% of explosions nationwide. Also, 7% of ignition sources are ignited by fabricated metals. Further, another 8% of ignition sources are caused by primary metals. So, if you want to reduce the possibility of an accident at your metalworking facility, you MUST invest in spark arrestors!
How can Spark Trap safety systems reduce explosions?
Adding a spark arrestor to your industrial dust collection system is like adding a security system to your home. That is, you already have the proper amount of protection with locks. But installing a security system in your home provides another line of defense. Above all, it keeps you and your family safe.
Our spark arrestor, named Spark Trap, is the first line of defense in protecting your metal fabricators and your metalworking facility from explosions. Spark Traps extinguish nearly every spark before it enters the main containment unit where combustible dust and other flammable material collect. When you choose our Spark Traps, you’ll receive a quality product. We make it with heavy-duty materials and it’s highly effective at keeping sparks from entering your industrial dust collector.
Here are some key features you’ll receive when you invest in our Spark Trap safety system:
- Maintenance free components
- Fully welded construction
- Easy install for any system
- No moving parts
- Available in carbon steel or stainless steel
- Can be installed in horizontal or vertical configurations
- Available in 6 to 40 inches
- Clean-out door
- Doesn’t require water
Spark Trap optional features include:
- Raw inlet and outlet edges
- A clamp together function for clamping duct
- Rolled angle flange for bolt-together duct
Want to know more about the Spark Trap? Check out our FAQ sheet to learn all of the benefits of our Spark Trap safety system.
Whether you are a new manufacturing business or just branching out into new territory, if you are going to get into the metalworking field, addressing industrial dust control solutions demand some serious consideration. Not only do you have the safety of your work space to think about, but unchecked dust and fumes can also pose health hazards to those working in it. We’ve spent nearly 15 years considering the challenges of industrial dust accumulation and control, and we have developed the solutions our customers need. Discover the facts you need about dust control for your business so things run safely and smoothly.
Meet Safety Standards
An accumulation of dust in any industrial setting poses a threat to the health and safety of those working there. This is especially true in the world of metalworking where the fine dust particles may be especially toxic. In light of this threat, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established standards of safety that must be followed in any such industrial setting. These address not only inhaled dust but also the threat of combustibility through its accumulation. Check out the latest combustible dust update HERE. When you look for an industrial dust control system, begin by ensuring that it meets these and other industry standards.
Anticipate Dust And Fumes
As you consider a system to provide dust control for your workspace, make sure you take fumes into account as well. In many metalworking processes, noxious fumes are created which are more than unpleasant; they can be increasingly harmful when inhaled. Not all industrial dust control systems are created to handle this dual threat, so it is vital to choose a collector that can manage both dust and fume generated by metalwork manufacturing.
Your Industrial Dust Control Solutions Experts
Whether you need dust and fume filtration or just a dust collection system, Imperial Systems is your industrial dust control headquarters. We manufacture the most efficient, strongest, and longest-lasting systems and filters in the industry. Through these products, we have become well-known for our dedication to quality, value, and safety. Our outstanding line of equipment includes:
- CMAXX™ Dust Collector System
- DeltaMAXX™ Cartridge Filters
- CMAXX™ Laser Fume Extraction System
- Spark Arrestor
- Explosion Isolation Valve
- Custom Ductwork & Fittings
- Heavy Duty Abort Gates
- and more!
Most of our products are available to ship within 24 hours. For more information about our products and how we can support your metalworking business, contact us today.