Aerospace Manufacturer Takes Dust Control to New Heights
The precision machining of high-temperature alloy blades, vanes and other components for the aerospace industry produces large amounts of heavy particulate. In addition to the numerous potential health risks these processes present to workers, the particulate also poses environmental and safety hazards.
A metalworking facility that specializes in the precision grinding of metal and alloy materials for aerospace applications was in need of an upgrade to their existing dust collection equipment. The existing bag filter housing was not effectively releasing dust during the pulse cycle and required too much maintenance effort.
In addition, they did not like that maintenance staff had to enter the dirty side of the bag house when changing filter bags.
After several years of service, plant operations determined that the existing bag style dust collector from a leading competitor was not effectively releasing dust during the pulse cleaning cycle, leading to increased maintenance requirements. In the facility, metal grinding is an automated process, which takes place inside an enclosed machining work station. The metal dust generated by grinding can be dense, requiring proper airflow to transport; plus it requires protection against combustion. These factors necessitated the redesign of the duct work between the work station and the dust collector.
For dust collection, an OptiFlo® cartridge collector and fan were installed. A special pre-filtration section was also designed into the dust collector. This section allows the heavier metal particles to drop directly into the discharge hopper, reducing the loading on the filter cartridges. The fan and duct work were engineered to ensure that all of the metal particles are transported to the dust collector. The conservative air-to-cloth ratio provides efficient pulse cleaning, extending cartridge life. Finally, in the case of a deflagration event, a fast acting isolation valve was incorporated to protect the dust collector and the facility.
The OptiFlo® dust collector operates at a low 2” w.g. of pressure loss, ensuring efficient ventilation of the machining center. The easy access cartridges enable change-out from outside the dust collector, minimizing contact with the dust during cartridge replacement. Cam locking handles and hinged doors ensure no lost or dropped parts and eliminate the need for any tools during service.