Shaping Metal into Custom Ready-to-Use Components Creates Dust

Metal fabrication is a versatile service and virtually every step of the process creates a dust collection need. The finishing step, in particular, can be extremely hazardous – even when it’s sanding, grinding, blasting, deburring, or buffing.

The abrasive processes of metal finishing disperse a large amount of silica dust when giving the pieces their polished and uniform look. Silica dust, especially when it’s very small, is extremely hazardous to workers’ health and must be collected properly. Silica dust can also find its way into machinery and effect production.

Summit’s experts will help you to install the dust collection system your company needs to help mitigate the dangers of metal fabrication, and keep your factory productive and working.

Metal Fabrication Dust Collection System Consideration Factors

When it comes to compliance and safety, you must ask all of the pertinent questions and consider all of the factors making your metal fabrication facility unique. A ventilation system can only be as effective as the planning behind it. The process may be seemingly complex, but the result will be invaluable.

Start by asking these questions.

  • What types of metal will your company use in fabrication? 
  • What will your annual consumption of abrasive material be, based on current projections?
  • What are the dimensions of the booth or booths you will be using?
  • Which option is the most energy efficient and cost effective?

Is your facility or plant OSHA and NFPA compliant?

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Baghouse Dust Collector vs. Cartridge Dust Collector

When it comes to metal fabrication and metal finishing, it goes without saying that silica dust collection will need to be a priority. However, the means by which this is done will vary from facility to facility.

Two options likely to be presented are baghouse dust collectors and cartridge dust collectors. It may be one or a combination.

Baghouse collectors are ideal for bigger jobs – bigger particles, more airflow, a bigger area. Cartridge collectors are not designed for bulk, but rather for more confined spaces and smaller dust particles.

Keep in mind, the collection bags in a baghouse collector are changed out frequently. Conversely, a cartridge dust collector which is typically used for more specific and detailed work stations, needs cartridge replacement less frequently.

Did you know metal dust particles left uncollected easily find their way into exposed eyes?

It’s a common cause of injury in factories. Source capture can help.

Silica Dust Health Risks

Dust particles under 10 microns in size are capable of entering the lungs when breathing. Silica dust falls into this category. In the case of silica dust, the results of this infiltration can cause sickness and even death.

Once silica particles embed themselves into the lungs, there’s really no getting them out. Scar tissue forms over the particles without removing them, causing the potential for decreased respiratory function, chest pain and fatigue.

In some cases, lung cancer and silicosis – an often-deadly lung disease – can develop. Silica exposure can also increase risk of tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease.

The only way to avoid these complications is to avoid silica dust exposure completely. For this reason alone, it is absolutely vital to have the correct dust collector operating properly in any environment where metal fabrication takes place.

Did you know … crystalline silica is one of the most common materials in the world? You can find it in just about any rock or pebble. In its larger form, silica doesn’t pose a threat to humans. It’s when you crush it into a breathable dust that it can cause serious problems. Abrasive tasks like metal finishing require a certain amount of silica dust, making it a very hazardous process.

“The Summit difference” does matter when choosing the right dust collection system

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