Dust Collectors for Concrete Plants: Which Filtration Media is Best?
If you operate a concrete plant, you know that managing the dust generated during production can be a major challenge. It can affect the health of workers who breathe in the particles, as well as cause environmental problems if not properly filtered. Several different types of filters can be used to control this problem, but which one is best? In this article, we’ll discuss different filtration media so you can find the right solution for your application.
Cement Dust and Its Effects
Cement dust may be dangerous. In the workplace, over-exposure to cement dust is known to cause health problems such as respiratory disease and cancer. The composition of cement dust varies depending on the type of material used, but generally, it contains silica which, when inhaled, can cause silicosis (a lung disease) or cancer.
Cement manufacturing plants are known for creating high levels of particulate matter (PM), which includes both solid particles and liquid droplets suspended in the air. PM levels in concrete plants may exceed federal standards during production cycles. Furthermore, the creation of cement includes fly ash, which if not properly managed, can get into waste streams. From there, the fly ash can make direct contact with human beings both inside and outside the plant. It is crucial to take precautions to adhere to EPA mandates.
Which Filtration Media Is Best for Concrete Dust Control?
Fortunately for the health of plant workers and the community at large, dust collection and filtration systems help mitigate the risks of concrete dust. A variety of filtration media are available for use in dust collectors. This is helpful since individual applications will require different types of media to be most effective in capturing the desired materials and pollutants.
The first step in deciding which filtration media to use is knowing what is trying to be captured.
On the other hand, if the application involves fine dust particles in high concentrations, then it would be best to use synthetic fiber filters. Highly concentrated dust particles need a greater surface area for adsorption/collection of smaller sized particles. Two highly reliable filtration media for concrete dust collection are aramids and Polyester.
Aramids, also known as Nomex, is cost effective and highly efficient at filtering small particles at high temperatures. Nomex can successfully filter particles down to the 2 micron range. Felted aramids are generally the first choice for pulse jet baghouses used in cement, utility and incineration operations around the world. If a project needs to be able to filter even smaller particles, Filter Holdings offers a Nomex product that is clad with its Unipore technology, with the ability to filter particles down to the submicron range.
Polyester is another popular filter media used in concrete plants. Polyester can be clad with a PTFE treatment to maximize its chemical resistance.
What Type of Dust Collector Does My Concrete Plant Need?
Knowing what type of dust collector is best for your application can be a daunting process, but it does not have to be.
The type of dust collector you need depends on the following factors:
- How much dust your plant is producing and how much space you have available to house the collector.
- Whether you need a dry or wet dust collector, or both.
- Whether the baghouse filter system will be stationary/mobile and free-standing/in truss.
- One component to remember when choosing a dust collector is that they are rated by cubic feet per minute (cfm). The higher the cfm rating, the more airflow goes into moving particulates out of your plant’s air stream.
- The most commonly used dust collection methods in concrete plants are jet pulse baghouses. These are typically better for concrete dust than reverse air or shaker baghouses because they can handle higher temperatures and are easier to clean.
How to Ensure Your Dust Collector Works at Optimal Levels
Using the best filtration media for your application is the first step to optimal dust collection. But beyond that, regular maintenance is also crucial. This means cleaning, filter changes and inspections. Regular maintenance also includes replacement of worn parts such as filters and motors.
Cleaning your dust collector can prevent clogs and other problems. Cleaning involves removing the filters, vacuuming inside the bin, and disposing of old filter bags. You should also vacuum the filter bag’s housing.
Inspect the dust collector on a regular basis. This involves checking that all wires and hoses are properly connected, as well as looking for obstructions such as clogs or foreign objects.
When to Replace Your Dust Collector Filter?
It is important to keep track of when you need to change your dust collector filter. The most common reasons for replacing a filter include:
- The specifications of your dust collector are not being met (excessive pressure drop).
- Excess dirt accumulation on the outside of the filter interferes with airflow and causes more stress on other components such as seals or bearings.
- If there are holes in the material from excessive wear.
Finding the correct dust collector for your application is key.
There are many different types of dust collection systems available to concrete plant owners, which can make it difficult to know which one will work best. Filter Holdings has been an industry leader in filtration systems for decades and is happy to connect with you to answer questions. Contact our team today!