Batch Mixing and Dust Collection

Clean Air Matrix

RoboVent engineers are experts in every category of air filtration and ventilation. The four categories below represent the major options for treating your contaminated air. RoboVent has designed solutions for each of these categories and has manufactured air filtration systems of unrivaled quality.

For more information about these categories, see Indoor Air Quality 101.

Ambient_Filtration

Large blowers and air filtration equipment draw contaminated air from the plant (typically at the ceiling level), filter it and return it to the plant. This is a proven solution in plants welding large parts with overhead cranes. It reduces the haze in the air, resulting in a cleaner working environment, with no negative pressure or heat loss.

SourceCapture_Filtration

Air in the immediate area of the welding activity is captured in a hood system, then filtered and returned to the plant. This is the best solution whenever possible. It allows for a more flexible system and removes the smoke directly from the operator's breathing zone. There are many types of source capture, including overhead hoods, crossflow hoods, fume arms and fume guns, some of which work better than others.

Ambient_Exhaust

Large exhaust fans draw contaminated air from the plant and exhaust it directly into the environment, typically through the roof or walls. This is a traditional method and often results in negative air pressure. Also, it is very difficult to climate-control your plant and the system may not work well in the winter.

SourceCapture_Exhaust
Air in the immediate area of the welding activity is captured in a hood, sent through ductwork, and exhausted directly into the environment. This is a lower capital cost alternative to filtration, but tends to result in high operating costs and large, unsightly ducting systems that work less efficiently with modifications. It also results in negative pressure problems.

Introduction to Dust and Fume Collection for Batch Mixing

As the economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, domestic manufacturing is enjoying steady growth. Industries such as homebuilding and telecommunications are growing and supporting long supply chains. At one end of these supply chains are countless manufacturers who produce the materials that go into final products. These manufacturers—many of which are in the chemical industry—create the plastics, foams, adhesives and other raw materials that eventually become our complex consumable or durable goods. A common process in many of these operations creates a well-known manufacturing challenge: dust and fumes from batch mixing.

As manufacturers know all too well, the step in batch mixing that becomes a challenge is when workers have to handle the raw materials. No matter how high-tech a mixer or blender is, the process of dumping in the raw materials is often messy and results in dust coming out of the mixer. The problem with dust goes beyond housekeeping: often these dusts contain hazardous substances that threaten workers’ health. The dusts might also be subject to specific air quality regulations, some of which have gotten much more stringent in recent years. In other words, batch mixing operations should reconsider their air quality and how they can improve it.

batchmixing_plastic_600x

Dust and Fume Collection Challenges in Batch Mixing

A good example of the pressing need for batch mixing operations to look at their air quality is the current shakeup in crystalline silica regulations. In 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued rules to tighten regulation of this dust in the workplace. For years, the evidence had been growing that previous limits on crystalline silica dust were not keeping workers safe. This dust has been implicated in numerous respiratory problems, from chronic bronchitis to lung cancer. Since batch mixing often includes raw materials that contain crystalline silica, manufacturers need to be aware of the new standards.

OSHA’s new limit on crystalline silica dust cuts the permissible exposure limit (PEL) by half. The new limit is 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air. As with most PEL’s, this limit is measured as an 8-hour time-weighted average. Due to the dangers of crystalline silica dust, batch mixing operations can’t settle for filtering out 80% of so of the dust from the air, as they might with other dusts. With crystalline silica, an operation needs to aim for capturing and controlling at least 99.9% of the dust.

Batch mixing often includes other potentially dangerous chemicals, as well. As workers pour raw materials into a mixer, the fine dust coming out travels through the workers’ breathing zone and into the rest of the facility. A chemical in that dust—even in trace amounts—could pose a hazard to workers. Also, it is possible OSHA has specific regulations controlling exposure to that chemical. Exposure to metallic elements, such as cadmium, can cause neurological, gastrointestinal and reproductive harm. Researchers have linked many chemical dusts to health damage, including arsenic, chromium and lead. Below are some examples of the PEL’s for various chemical dusts.

  • Cadmium: 5 µg/m3
  • Zinc oxide: 15 mg/m3
  • Chromium: 5 µg/m3
  • Iron oxide: 15 mg/m3
  • Cobalt: 1 mg/m3

Understanding the content of your airborne contaminants is key in improving your air quality and in meeting OSHA regulations. Services providing comprehensive chemical testing of your air quality are an important investment in worker safety. Failure to meet OSHA regulations can lead to serious fines and other legal problems.

Problems with batch mixing dust go beyond worker exposure, however. The dust can become a housekeeping problem, as well. Not only is the dust a nuisance to clean, but it can accumulate on equipment and electronics, causing them to malfunction or fail. Airborne dust can also hurt a facility’s aesthetics. Visitors, customers, new recruits and others might get the wrong impression if a facility’s air is noticeably dirty.

Solutions for Dust and Fumes in Batch Mixing

RoboVent has over two decades of experience solving air quality problems in manufacturing. The dusts or fumes created by batch mixing are well known to our engineers. RoboVent has powerful, efficient solutions for filtering these from a facility. Systems such as the Fusion Series feature collectors that are easy to use and inexpensive to maintain. RoboVent can propose and install a system of any size to meet your specific needs.

If your previous answer to dust was to exhaust it to the outdoors, a RoboVent filtration solution will instantly save you a lot of energy. By filtering your air and returning it to your facility (where legally possible), you will also save on heating and cooling bills.

As always, RoboVent guarantees satisfaction. Our manufacturing standards are the highest in the industry, and our warranty is the best in the business.

 

Solutions

RoboVent Chemical Dust Collectors

Chemical Dust Collection and Filtration

Chemical dusts are more dangerous than most, but RoboVent's decades of experience allow us to deliver the most effective solution for even the most difficult challenge.

Abrasive Blasting Dust Collection

Abrasive Blasting Dust Collection

Abrasive blasting operations produce a wide variety of dusts, and RoboVent has the expertise and equipment needed to clean the air of any operation.

Finegrinding Fiberglass Dust Exposure

Fine Grinding Fiberglass Dust Collection and Filtration

Fibrous glass particulates, like those associated with fiberglass fine grinding, can be a health hazard in dust form. RoboVent specializes in solutions for these kinds of concerns.

Glass-making Dust Collection

Glass-making ingredients produce dusts that are a current regulatory focus, but RoboVent can solve these air quality challenges quickly and cost effectively.

Pharmaceutical Dust Collection

Pharmaceutical Dust Collection and Filtration

Few industries are as highly regulated as the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. Controlling pharmaceutical dust ensures worker health and a perfect product.

Silica Dust Collection

Silica is used in countless industrial applications. A recent change in air quality regulations has made silica dust a pressing concern for many employers.

Talc Dust Collection

Talc Dust Collection

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral that crumbles into a very fine powder. While highly useful in manufacturing, this powder can easily become airborne.

Thermal Spray Dust Collection

Thermal Spray Dust Collection & Ventilation

Thermal spray, the process of melting metal and spraying it onto a surface to form a coating, carries serious risks for workers in the field.

Pigment Dust Collection

Many pigments contain metallic compounds that give them brilliant colors. Unfortunately, some of those metals are quite toxic, and pigment dust can be dangerous.