1. Capacity/Weight: Ensuring Portability and Efficient Performance
When evaluating a unit, consider its capacity in relation to its weight and portability. The motor power alone doesn’t determine capacity; instead, focus on factors like air flow and vacuum generation (cfm/m3/h x inwg/kPa) available to the operator, typically ranging from 40–80 inwg/10-20 kPa. Remember, the lower the unit weight for a comparable capacity, the easier it will be to move and use.
2. Material Handling: Efficient Collection and Transport
Vacuums are ideal for collecting and transporting various materials such as dust, bulky materials, chips, and strips. Efficient handling of large material volumes saves time and money. Additionally, prioritize ergonomic unit handling and ensure that the system design minimizes dust contamination during collection bag and filter changes. The collected dust should remain contained during these activities.
3. Sound Level: Consider Noise Reduction
Even in environments where sound levels are deemed safe, it’s essential to be mindful of each additional noise source, as it contributes to the overall level. Compare the unit’s sound level rating with measurements from the specific environment. To achieve a zero nett gain, the unit’s sound level should be at least 5 dB(A) lower than the ambient level.
4. Filtration: Optimal Performance and Filter Efficiency
Choose a filtration system that maintains the unit’s capacity even after extended use. Dustcontrol dust extractors employ a three-step dust separation process:
- Separation of coarse material in the cyclone: A high-quality cyclone with appropriate characteristics relative to the vacuum producer’s capacity is essential. Generally, longer cyclones perform better.
- Fine filtration: The fine filter protects the HEPA filter and has a lower replacement cost. To prolong the HEPA filter’s lifespan, Dustcontrol recommends frequent replacement of the fine filter. Consider using a conical pleated filter cartridge, known for its high air-to-cloth ratio. The unit should also feature a filter condition indicator and an effective filter cleaning system. In certain applications, a PTFE-coated fine filter might be necessary.
- HEPA filtration: Prioritize your health by aiming for nearly 100% filter efficiency. If the air is exhausted back into the working environment, Dustcontrol highly recommends a HEPA H13 filter. Why release respirable dust back into the workspace when the goal is to eliminate hazardous particles?
5. Suction Casings: Effective Source Extraction
Dustcontrol pioneered the source extraction concept 50 years ago, which remains the most effective method for maintaining a clean working environment. A Dustcontrol suction casing captures dust or fumes directly at the point of generation. Most popular hand power tools can be equipped with a suction casing. Some machine manufacturers have recently integrated their own suction casings. Use Dustcontrol’s connecting sleeves (part nos. 2109 – 1″/25mm, 2132 – 1.25″/32mm, or 2114 – 1.5″/38mm) to connect with Dustcontrol dust extractors and enjoy dust-free operation of your handheld tools by upgrading to a Dustcontrol dust extractor.
Concrete Dust: Effective Dust Extraction Solutions
Concrete grinding and other tough applications put high demands on dust extractors and filters. With the presence of large volumes of very fine particulate matter, it is advisable to consider using a PTFE filter. For large floor grinding machines, a pre-separator is recommended. Dustcontrol offers the DC Tromb Twin and the DC Storm with PTFE filters, which are the most suitable dust extractors for this type of work.
Fluids: Vacuuming Non-Flammable Liquids
All Dustcontrol dust extractors can be utilized for vacuuming small quantities of non-flammable liquids. However, for larger quantities, such as concrete coring, Dustcontrol provides a dedicated liquid extractor.
Metal Chip/Swarf: Vacuuming Sharp Items
When vacuuming sharp items like metal chips, it is preferable to use a steel container. All Dustcontrol dust extractors can be ordered with a steel container for this purpose.
Hazardous Materials: Safety Precautions
Dealing with hazardous materials like silica dust and PCB (health hazardous chemicals) requires special precautions. It is essential to use a dust extractor equipped with at least a HEPA H13 filter. Suction casings should be used with tools to prevent hazardous dust from becoming airborne. Additionally, an additional air cleaner is recommended to purify the air in the working environment. Finally, personal protective equipment such as masks, eyewear, and protective clothing should be worn.
Potentially Explosive Environments – ATEX Compliance
Explosive environments can be caused not only by liquids and gases but also by very fine dust particles mixed with air. Dust extractors are prone to internal explosions from static or mechanical sparks. European Standard Directive 2014/34/EU outlines specific arrangements, configurations, and measures for designing a dust extraction or vacuum cleaning system intended for use with explosive dust. Dustcontrol can design a system that complies with these guidelines and prioritizes safe operation.
7. The Right Size: Factors Influencing Dust Extractor Choice
Two factors determine the most suitable dust extractor for a particular application:
- The size of the suction casing/nozzle and the type of operation determine the required airflow. This, in turn, affects the choice of a suitable dust extractor, considering the filter area and inlet dimensions.
- The length of hose and tubing runs directly impacts pressure drop in the system. When handling large quantities of material (e.g., heavy cleaning, suction lance), greater pressure generation is necessary from the dust extractor.