Uni-wash wet dust collectors reduce industrial dust hazards

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Courtesy of ProVent, LLC

Metal dust — it can be a fabricator’s worst nightmare. In particular, the combination of dry aluminum dust and steel dust is literally a disaster waiting to happen. The National Fire Protection Association has a list of metal dusts and the specific PPM that the air can hold of each before the serious risk of an explosion arises. As a worksite approaches the PPM safety limits of one or more volatile metals, the need for effective dust collection becomes more and more urgent.

Dust collectors come in two versions: dry filters, which can collect extremely small particles but have other problems including a fire hazard if the filter is located anywhere that a stray spark can reach it, and wet dust collectors. Wet dust collectors like the Uni-Wash are by far the more common in metal fabrication for a few reasons.:

Fire Safety
Not only is a wet dust collector not a fire hazard in the same way that a dry filter is, but the ambient humidity caused by a wet dust collector drives down the risk of explosion even further. If you have even light amounts of combustible metal dust accumulating in the air around your worksite, a wet dust collector is a virtual necessity.

Reduced Maintenance
Where a dry filter needs to be changed — and with surprising frequency — to be effective, a wet dust collector has fewer moving parts and uses continuously-moving water to keep itself clean as it operates.

Improved Workplace Safety
Without the need to change filters, there’s no workers climbing to unsafe heights, inside tight spaces, or exposing themselves to unsafe breathing environments in order to get to and change the filters.

Recollection of Materials
Most often, a wet dust collector is used to separate particulate from a gas stream that has already had the coarse dust removed by another process (often a cyclone dust collector). Unlike fine particles buried in a dry filter, the particulate caught by a wet dust collector can be collected, dried, and used either in it’s particulate form or melted and shaped.

There are absolutely circumstances in which dry dust collection is a valid and useful option, even in metal fabrication — in fact, some particularly conscientious operations string together a cyclone dust collector followed by a wet dust collector and then cap it all off with a dry filter that can collect ultrafine (<.3 micron) dust. But for the majority of industrial dust hazards, wet dust collection is the go-to for keeping worksites safe and efficient.

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