Dust Suppression: What is Dust Suppression?

Dust Suppression


When performing indoor or outdoor application, many commercial and industrial settings deal with voluminous amounts of dust. The dust may come from the outdoor environment, exterior air sources pumped into interior spaces, workstation processes, or from manufactured products. Industries that may deal with dust include food processing, chemical, construction, steel manufacturing, recycling plants, dry bulk goods warehousing, mining, agriculture, and paper/wood processing.

This dust may hamper how equipment functions. The particles can also contaminate manufactured products and cause serious health issues for workers. Dust suppression systems and hollow cone nozzles designed by Lechler can remove dust from the air by making it fall to the ground. These systems help improve air quality for both workers and equipment.

What is Dust Suppression?

Dust suppression techniques are designed to make airborne dust fall to the floor. They consist of a water system that expels a fine mist that targets dust particles smaller than 10 microns. The water adheres to the dust particles in the air and makes them heavy. Then the dust drops to the floor. The dust suppression system may use water, or water mixed with some type of dust control chemical. Using these systems removes the airborne dust as well as prevents the floor dust from being kicked back up into air.

Dust suppression systems are not confused with dust extraction systems. Dust extraction involves using vacuums that pull the air into a dust collection machine. The system has filters that separate the dust from the air. Then the cleaner air is pumped back into the work environment.

What are the Methods for Dust Suppression?

The type of dust suppression system used depends on the size of the dust particles, the amount of generated dust, the work environment, work processes, and the coverage area. There are several methods available such as misters, sprayers, fog cannons, dry foggers, flow control chutes, and dust covers for conveyors. These systems may be located along the ceiling for indoor dust suppression throughout the entire facility or by equipment that produces dust. Other locations where dust suppression systems include discharge chutes, dump truck unloading stations, hopper entrances, and other areas in production processes.

Misters and sprayers may produce water droplet sizes ranging from 20-100 microns. They may be used in environments that create thicker and larger dust plumes that are created continuously in smaller volumes. Dry foggers produce water droplets in smaller sizes of 1-40 microns while fog cannons have droplet sizes of 90-100 microns.

Besides using water, some systems may use chemical surfactants mixed into water. Surfactants consist of compounds designed to reduce the surface tension that liquids have with other liquids, solids, and gasses. In the case of dust suppression systems, the surfactants allow the water to better adhere with the dust and make the dust particles heavy enough to drop to the ground.

Depending on the type of nozzles used, such as the hollow cone nozzles, the water droplet sizes come in varying sizes from small droplets to ultra-fine mist. Some methods create enough of a mist or fog to pull down the dust without wetting surfaces. Equipment, workstations, and work environments remain dry. In addition, products do not become saturated with water, which is essential for industries that make or store products that could be moisture sensitive. Other methods create a small droplet size that does wet the surface. These methods not only remove the dust from the air but also machines and created products to clean surfaces.

Dust suppression systems also cover different angles and area ranges. Some systems designed with Lechler axial and tangential-flow hollow cone nozzles have spray angles of 90 degrees up to angles of 120 degrees. Understanding the angle required for the process or environment ensures that the spray nozzle covers the specified area efficiently. Then the system can be designed to allow for the smallest droplet sizes possible to tackle the dust particles while also saving water. Hollow cone nozzle designs also provide the narrowest free cross sections and are clog resistant when used in areas with excessive amounts of dirt and other contaminants.

Why is Dust Suppression Needed?

Dust suppression systems offer a range of benefits for both work processes and workplace safety. Constant exposure to dust particles can cause detrimental health conditions for workers. If the air quality is not improved, workers may inhale the particles and experience respiratory issues or even experience death. Dusty environments can also create safety hazards. The amount of dust generated may obscure the vision of workers. With a dust suppression system, workers can safely handle tools and other equipment without becoming injured.

Another issue with dust may involve how it reacts with certain processes. Combustible dust, such as dust made from wood particles, can catch on fire. Other types of combustible dust may also interact in processes that could cause an explosion. Removing the dust from such environments ensures lowers the risks of deadly accidents.

Dust suppression systems also reduce wear and tear to equipment. When dust infiltrates moving components, it can cause the equipment to work twice as hard to complete tasks. The dust can begin to clog air systems and cause malfunctions. With dust suppression systems and nozzle technologies from Lechler, you can prevent dust from entering operating equipment. You can prolong the life of system components, reduce constant maintenance, and minimize repair costs.

Another advantage to dust suppression systems is to prevent dust from coating products during processing and when in storage. During production processes, dust can coat products and cause various surface issues. It may lower the quality of products or damage them. In warehouse environments, dust on products can travel from the warehouse environment into delivery boxes and shipped to customers. Dust suppression systems provide cleaner storage environments and improve customer satisfaction.

For dust compression systems using water or surfactant-mixed water, you want to have the right nozzles to provide a consistent and steady water flow at the appropriate angles and droplet sizes. Here at Lechler, we offer hollow cone nozzles for dust suppression systems. For more information, contact our company today.