Oil mist collectors, much like wet dust collectors and cyclone dust collectors, are used in a huge variety of industrial grinding, cutting, induction hardening, induction heating, and other industrial applications — but information about these commonplace air cleaning tools is few and far between. Here’s a short FAQ for those who want to learn more about the product they’re considering purchasing:
What are the features to look for in an oil mist collector?
The most important question to ask about an oil mist collector is whether or not it operates wet or dry. Dry oil mist collectors use single-use filters that need regular replacement — the Total Cost of Ownership is high, but the maintenance time is relatively low (remove filter, toss filter, insert new filter). Wet versions have non-degrading, cleanable filters: the maintenance rate is high (cleaning the filters isn’t always easy), but the TCO is significantly lower especially over several years.
Another aspect to pay attention to is whether or not the collector allows you to gather and re-use the oils that are collected. Most dry variations do not, most wet-running collectors do — if the oils you’re working with can be meaningfully recycled, that may be worth your time and effort.
How important is the ability of an oil mist collector to handle smoke?
That depends entirely on your operation. If you don’t need a smoke filter right now, it’s still wise to get a model that can be retrofit with a HEPA filter so that it can handle smoke later.
Can an oil mist collector handle multiple sources of mist?
Absolutely, with a caveat. Channeling multiple sources into a single collector is usually just a matter of configuring your ventilation. The exception is mixing water-soluble mists with non-water-soluble mists: each collector should handle one or the other, never both.
What is the standard efficiency of an oil mist collector?
99% efficiency at 2 microns addresses almost all air quality regulations and all but eliminates oils, synthetics, and semi-synthetics in the air.
Can anything be done to make such a collector more portable?
Almost all oil mist collectors can be put on a wheeled frame and used on that frame. The only concern is that oil mist collectors need a water source.
Regarding cleanable filters, what’s the expected lifespan of such a filter?
The expected lifespan is around a decade, but properly maintained, they can easily be used effectively for twice that long or more.