DUST CONTROL SOLUTIONS FOR SURFACE PREPARATION AND ABRASIVE BLASTING

RoboVent offers robust dust collection solutions for surface preparation and abrasive blasting. We understand the challenges of working with highly abrasive materials.

There are several important considerations when designing a dust collection solution for abrasive materials. Specialized solutions are needed to extend the life of the filter and ductwork and reduce the risks of fire and combustion.

  • Engineering controls and ventilation: As much as possible, abrasive blasting processes should be contained from the rest of the facility. If they are not already contained within a cabinet or enclosed blasting room, curtains or hoods can be used to contain blasting dust. Airflow should be designed to reduce the propagation of abrasive blasting dusts throughout the facility.
  • Reusable material collection: The dust collection system should be designed with a method for collecting reusable material. For most abrasive blasting applications, a dropout box is the most efficient method. The dropout box is an open area designed to slow the velocity of air and allow larger, heavier particles to fall out of the airstream. Finer dust is pulled into the dust collector, where it is captured by the filter. The larger material can be collected for reuse.
  • Dust collector design: Collection of abrasive dusts requires a rugged, heavy-duty dust collector. It should be equipped with an abrasion-resistant inlet valve. For heavy-duty applications, you can also consider having the interior of the dust collector lined with ceramic or an ultra-high molecular weight (UHMW) plastic. Careful consideration must also be given to factors such as air-to-cloth ratio and interstitial velocity (velocity of air inside the dust collector chamber). The system must be calibrated for the specific process; wheel blasting will have different requirements than air blasting.
  • Ductwork design: Ductwork must be made of heavy-duty materials or have special linings so it will stand up to repeated abrasion by blasting dust. A longer run will reduce the risk of fire by giving sparks time to cool before they hit the filter. If the process generates a large number of sparks and ductwork cannot be designed with a long enough run, a spark suppression system may be considered.
  • Fire suppression: The dust collector should be equipped with an internal fire suppression system for added protection against fires.
  • Explosion mitigation: If you are collecting combustible dusts, you will need a deflagration system to reduce the chances of an explosion inside the dust collector and mitigate damage to the facility if an explosion should occur. These systems may include an explosion vent to release built-up pressure in the collector, an isolation valve to prevent pressure waves from propagating back into the facility, and a rotary airlock to keep collected dust safely contained in the hopper.
  • Filters: The filter media must be durable with withstand abrasive dusts. Make sure the system has an effective pulsing system to pulse off excess dust and prevent premature filter loading. Because of the high risk of tears and abrasion, it is also important to make sure the system has a particulate monitoring system that can detect leaks past the filter.
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Surface Preparation Processes and Materials

Surface preparation may include several different processes, which include both mechanical (abrasive) cleaning and chemical surface preparation. Most of these processes simply clean and prepare the surface for coating. Some, such as shot peening, actually shape the surface in addition to cleaning it. Common methods of abrasive surface preparation include:

Dust Control Regulations for Surface Preparation and Abrasive Blasting

Abrasive blasting and surface preparation are not highly regulated, but they must still follow all of OSHA’s general guidelines for workplace safety and dust control. Depending on the materials used, facilities may also have to follow specific regulations for reducing exposure to hazardous substances.

Dust Collection Challenges for Surface Preparation and Abrasive Blasting

Abrasive blasting and surface preparation are typically conducted within an enclosed room or chamber, which help to contain the dust created by the process. There are a number of challenges when it comes to collection of abrasive blasting dust.

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