SHOULD YOU SERVE NANOFIBER WITH SAWDUST? A CHART FOR THE DISCRIMINATING FILTER HOST
Most everyone knows you can’t just go mixing any kind of filter with any kind of dust. After all, some of them certainly don’t pair well together. Fortunately, we here at Imperial Systems have put together a guide for the thoughtful buyer of dust collection filters. With this handy reference, you’ll never have to worry about showing up with the wrong filter for the occasion!
(NOTE: We DO NOT recommend that this be used as a substitute for consulting with an actual filter expert. Please call us At 800-918-3013 for important information that doesn’t fit in an infographic.)
A BIT OF CLARIFICATION:
- Filter bags, or sometimes cyclones, are usually used for materials that are large, fibrous, or big enough to damage a cartridge filter. Bags are also often used when the temperature or humidity is too high for a cartridge filter to handle.
- Metalworking or welding produce fumes. These are very fine particles and an 80/20 media is not efficient enough to catch them. Since many metal dusts are explosive, we do recommend a DeltaMAXX™ nanofiber FR, which is fire retardant. In some applications such as shot blasting, spunbond is used because it is very durable. If your metal fume or dust has grease or oil in it, you may need a special media.
- Dust from ANY of these categories can be explosive. If your dust is explosive or flammable, we will almost always recommend a DeltaMAXX™ nanofiber FR filter as part of an IDA system.
- Organic dust, like food products, may present some special challenges. Organic dust comes in different sizes, and may clump together, absorb moisture, or present other particular problems. Please consult with us about the characteristics of your particular dust.
- If your dust is oily, abrasive, wet, sticky, or otherwise likely to make a mess of a normal dust collector filter, there are a variety of special materials to help. PTFE resists having anything stick to it, while hydrophobic or oleophobic filters will repel water or oil.
AGAIN… THIS IS IN NO WAY MEANT TO SUBSTITUTE FOR TALKING TO A FILTER PROFESSIONAL. PLEASE CONSULT WITH ONE OF OUR KNOWLEDGEABLE TEAM MEMBERS BEFORE MAKING ANY QUESTIONABLE FILTER DECISIONS.
WHEN WATER TURNS A FIRE INTO AN EXPLOSION
A combustible dust explosion is an ever present danger for workers in many industries. These two examples show that despite increased awareness, explosive dust still puts lives at risk. One thing they both have in common: water may have actually made them much worse.
The first example shows how even things that seem like safe and practical fire-fighting measures can lead to disaster. In May, a grain dust explosion in a silo injured a worker who was attempting to put out a dust fire with water.
Because the very fine dust was contained in the silo, all the criteria for an explosion were present… except for one. The dust provided fuel for a fire, and the open silo hatch provided oxygen. With the material confined in the closed space of the silo and an ignition source in the form of a grain dryer, an explosion was waiting to happen.
Ironically, it was the worker spraying water onto the fire that created the explosion by adding the last element: dispersal of the dust. Water hitting the dust added more air and also raised a cloud of dust. Dust suspended in the air turns the situation from a fire into an explosion. In this case it blew the roof off the silo and caused serious injuries.
Fish Meal Dust?
The second example is in some ways a classic industrial dust explosion, except that the material isn’t one you’d expect. In September, a seafood processing plant was seriously damaged and had to be shut down because of an explosion caused by the ignition of fish meal dust.
Fish meal is a fine, dry powder that’s often made into fish food. A local official noted that this is the third time he knows of that fish meal has caused an explosion at a local plant. In this case, a burst pipe may have created an explosion by causing dust to become airborne.
While people don’t think of fish as being explosive, they usually don’t think of metal as being explosive either. Both of them are only dangerous when they’re turned into a dust.
While we talk a lot about combustible metal dust and fumes because many of the industries we work with use metals, organic dusts like grain, spices, powdered milk and egg, sugar, tobacco, and yes, even fish are dangerously explosive if all the right elements are present.
While many places that produce metal dust are aware of the risks, some places that produce organic dust don’t realize how dangerous it can be, or how important a dust collection system is for controlling and handling dust. The most catastrophic damage is often done by secondary explosions: a small dust explosion causes accumulated dust to be dispersed in the air, causing a much larger explosion. Spraying water on a dust fire can do the same thing, sending dust into the air.
Removing dust from the facility and collecting it with a dust collection system designed to prevent or safely control explosions is an important safety strategy. Making sure there is no dust dispersed in the air is another key to explosion prevention. In any situation with combustible dust, the system needs to be equipped with safety features such as spark arrestors, explosion venting, and chemical suppressors.
Dust explosions are bad to begin with, but what do you know about secondary explosions? There are many factors that determine how likely a particular type of dust causes a deflagration. When you think of combustible dust, do you think of the explosions you’ve heard about at grain handling facilities? Maybe you think of the explosive potential of aluminum dust.
Three dust explosions that occurred in 2003 demonstrate how many different types of production and manufacturing can produce a deflagration risk (http://www.fireworld.com/Archives/tabid/93/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/86899/DEADLY-DUST.aspx). In a North Carolina plant, the accumulated dust came from a polyethylene coating being applied to rubber. As the material dried, dust was formed and accumulated above the work area. Even though the work area itself was very clean, a layer of dust a quarter of an inch thick was enough to cause an explosion that killed six people. In this situation, a dust collection system in the production area could have captured the dust particles as they came off the material, before they were allowed to circulate through the facility.
The explosion in Kentucky was caused by combustible dust that resulted from a resin used to treat fiberglass. Workers were aware of the large quantities of dust, but cleaning processes often just caused more of the dust to become airborne, and it accumulated in the ductwork and in dust collection equipment. There were no safeguards in place to prevent a flame front from traveling through the ductwork or getting into the dust collector. An abort gate with spark or flame detection could have identified and stopped the fire from spreading, and dust collectors designed to stop deflagration fronts could have prevented the dust collectors from becoming sites of secondary explosions.
The explosion in Indiana was fueled by aluminum dust from scrap processing. The dust collector in this case was the source of the explosion. It did not have explosion venting, and instead of being directed safely, the explosion traveled back into the building and ignited dust in the ductwork. A secondary explosion occurred when dust accumulated on surfaces inside the facility ignited. A dust collector designed to isolate and redirect a deflagration could have prevented this accident.
The National Fire Protection Association, which establishes many of the codes and standards for handling potential fire hazards (http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards) recommends that all dust collection systems should have explosion venting to redirect explosions and abort gates or other equipment to stop flame fronts from spreading. It also recommends improved housekeeping measures to prevent dust from accumulating, which may be accomplished by collecting dust at the source so it cannot accumulate in difficult-to-reach places.
It’s often this accumulated dust, hidden on high surfaces, in corners, or inside ductwork, that ignites to cause a secondary explosion that’s far more dangerous than the original one. Witness reports of dust explosions often include descriptions of a smaller explosion followed by one or more larger ones; this is secondary ignition (https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3791.pdf). Dust control throughout the entire facility, along with fire prevention equipment such as abort gates, spark arrestors, and explosion venting, can control a potential explosion and prevent a small fire from becoming a fatal disaster.
At Imperial Systems, Inc. we know that checking up on your dust collector’s performance can often be a lost thought, unless your dust collector is consistently giving you fits. In order to make your life easier, we have manufactured the most cost effective, dust collector cartridge filter in the industrial dust collection industry. Our DeltaMAXX NanoFiber Dust Collector Cartridge Filters are designed to over-achieve while reaching maximum performance inside of your dust collector. Our goal is to sell you the best dust collector cartridge filter we can at a fair price.
Here are 10 reasons why DeltaMAXX Dust Collector Cartridge Filters will work for you:
1. With 99%+ efficiency on 0.3-0.4 micron particulate our cartridge filters provide maximum filtration resulting in the best performance in cartridge-style dust collectors
2. Compared to our competition, our nano-fibers are 50% smaller resulting in an industry high MERV 15 efficiency rating.
3. Our surface-loading technology with nano-size inter fiber pores allow caked dust to easily pulse off of the surface layer keeping the filter media clean.
4. Less pulse cleaning + Less Filter Stress = Longer filter life
5. Longer filter life means fewer filter changes and less downtime – saving you money!
6. Reduced Outlet emissions = Cleaner Air
7. Less compressed air consumption for pulse jet dust collectors.
8. Flexibility – nanofiber can be applied on all kinds of dust collector filter media including cellulose, spunbond, and synthetic media resulting in improved cartridge filter media.
9. DeltaMAXX Replacement Dust Collector Cartridge Filters are made for all brands of industrial dust collectors.
10. We carry a large stock of our manufactured DeltaMAXX Dust Collector Cartridge Filters resulting in timely shipping to your establishment.
Check out our DeltaMAXX Dust Collector Cartridge Filter webpage as well as our Case Studies and Testimonials regarding our cartridge collector filters.
Happy Holidays everybody,
listed here is our upcoming holiday hours:
December 23rd- Normal Office Hours, 8am – 5pm
December 24th- Office open from 7am to noon.
December 25th- Office Closed
December 26th- Office Closed
December 27th- Office Closed
December 30th- Office Closed
December 31st- Office Closed
January 1st- Office Closed
If you need to order replacement dust collector filters, please give us a call before the end of the week. Thanks and have a great holiday!