How do I determine the diameters of hi-vacuum pipes?

The necessary diameter of your hi-vacuum pipes depends on two main variables: volume of particulates and particulate size. Let’s break them both down:

  • Volume of particulates: To begin, you should consider how many dust-producing devices will be running at once. The greater the volume of particulates, the greater diameter you will need. A large number of vacuum ports will also require more suction, but that is more a question of motor size than pipe diameter.
  • Particulate size: A welding station produces very different particulates than a router or a chop saw. Transporting weld fumes is very different than transporting saw dust. As particle size increases, you will need higher-diameter pipes.

Vacuum pipes have a limit to how large they can be, however. If a pipe is too large, particulates might move too slowly and drop out of the airflow. Over time, these particulates could plug up the pipes. This can cause problems beyond ruining your dust collection efforts. Clogged pipes are a maintenance hassle and a fire danger.

Designing a dust collection system with correctly sized pipes and horsepower takes skill. Professional air quality engineers are able to factor in the most pertinent variables of your operation and build a system that is both efficient and cost effective.

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