09 Apr Welding Fumes – Controlling the Cloud
Welding fumes rise quickly and can cloud a shop with little effort. Because of this eliminating this cloud can be difficult. Most of the time companies rely on exhuast ventilation or expensive dust collector or Airborne Pollution Control (APC) equipment. These systems are typically costly to install and maintain, and then when discharging air you have re-supply the space to maintain a balanced environment, which in most climates means heating or cooling the supply air. Conditioning that air can also become expensive – but there are better ways of coltrolling a welding fume cloud. The single biggest difficulty in controlling welding fumes is that they can excape traditional collection systems that rely on ductwork and hoses that need to be in close proximity to the welding, which if it is free-hand or large scale welding, having a suction hose close to where the weld is being made is not practical. This causes the smoke to rise above and away from the hoses that are supposed to be collecting the smoke. With increased pressure from regualtory agencies and employees to have cleaner indoor air finding a solution for welding fumes is of growing importance. The effective solution, both in cost and perforamnce, can be a well laid outunducted air cleaner system.
These unducter iar purifiers/cleaner have some significant benefits over other welding fume filtration systems:
- Recirculates air within the space – no need to condition additional air, or worry about building balance issues
- Cost-Effective – a fraction of the price of APC/dust collection style systems
- Low Maintenance – change filters and belts periodically, there’s no ductwork to clean or maintain and no hoppers to emtpy or dispose
- Lower Energy Consumtion – smaller fans use less energy
- Inexpensive Filters – As long as you select a system with non-custom filters the replacements can be purchases from many different manufacturers and are readily available – which keeps replacement costs low
Where most of the unducted industrial air cleaner systems fail is they undersize them for only 2-5 air changes per hour, when typically for welding fumes your would want to be a minimum of 8 air changes per hour, and they use poorly designed and custom size air filters that force you to buy replacements from them. Some of the systems also suffer from poor design that make even the minimal mainteance these systems require painful to perform.
Why these systems work better than source capture for welding fumes is because they ventilate all of the air in the space through a filter, so no matter where the fumes escape to they will be pulled through the air cleaner which will remove the smoke. By not relying on ductwork and changing over all of the air in a space you ensure that the air will be clean and the men and women working in the plant.
If you have additional questions about these systems, or the options for your facility please, contact us – we’re here to help.