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How Do Industrial Dust Control Fans Work?
May 27, 2019

How Do Industrial Dust Control Fans Work?

For industrial plants, one by-product of operations is inevitable: dust. In many settings, this otherwise harmless debris can pose serious threats to the safety of the facility. Industrial dust control fans are designed to eliminate this danger in overhead and hard to reach areas of the facility.

How? Industrial dust control fans provide a proactive solution that prevents dust from accumulating in the first place. They are designed and arranged to provide maximum cleaning power that keeps plants clean and safe.

This design involves three key components.

1. Proprietary Technology

SonicAire industrial dust control fans use BarrierAire™ technology. The fans’ operation forms an air barrier that keeps dust, lint and fibers at the floor level of a facility. This technology uses two methods to control dust flow:

  • Thermal-current control: Typical airflow includes the movement of thermal currents which naturally bring dust into the air. Upward currents carry particles to overhead areas of facilities, where dust quickly accumulates and can become a fire hazard. Industrial dust control fans prevent these upward thermal currents from holding dust in the air.
  • High-velocity airflow: The fans use high-velocity airflow to clean overhead areas. The strength of this airflow effectively prevents the accumulation of combustible dust particles on overhead structures in the plant. Areas that used to be covered in cobwebs and dust blankets are kept clean by the fans’ effective operation.

2. Strategic Installation

Industrial dust control fans are arranged to maximize cleaning and minimize the number of fans required for the plant. This strategic installation involves three elements:

  • Engineered application: Industrial dust control is based on the size and shape of the plant, its processes and any other variables that can affect the accumulation of combustible dust. To achieve maximum results, a knowledgeable system engineer, familiar with the dynamics of plant airflow, the nature and type of dust, dust accumulation, potential hazards and employee safety considerations, will design a system to meet the specific requirements of the plant. The design will include the recommended fan layout and accessories for optimal performance.
  • Expert set-up: Once the system is designed for effective results, it is installed by an electrical contractor or by plant operations.
  • Fan controls: The fans have a top-to-bottom cleaning range from 0° to 140°, with a full 360° oscillation. Plant operators can use controls to cycle the industrial fans for top efficiency. SonicAire control options include variable speed control, automatic control timer and program control options.

3. Impressive Results

Industrial dust control fans effectively direct dust downward where it can be cleaned using regular floor-cleaning methods. As a result, facilities can:

  • Adhere to government regulations. Industrial dust control fans allow plant operators to clean structural supports, pipes, ducts, process equipment and other hard-to-access areas to meet or exceed government regulations. The fans help keep plants in compliance with relevant OSHA and NFPA regulations concerning combustible dust. Facilities that do not comply with these regulations can face severe fines. Case in point: In 2018, a metal tank manufacturer was fined $101,800 for dust-accumulation issues. In another incident, a facility in Cambria, WI was fined $1.8 million after a dust explosion in 2017.
  • Provide a safer employee environment. According to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) there were 111 dust incidents resulting in 66 fatalities and 337 injuries between 2006 and 2017. Industrial dust control fans are designed to prevent combustible dust accumulation. This reduces the risk of fires and explosions and creates cleaner air, effectively improving the health and safety of the work environment. Employee safety is further enhanced by eliminating the need for workers to clean areas that can be dangerous to access.
  • Reduce labor costs. Manually cleaning hard-to-access areas is a time-consuming task. It also takes workers away from other duties and may require shutting down operations while the chore is completed. Industrial dust control fans are designed to eliminate the need for this manual cleaning, effectively reducing labor costs and boosting a plant’s bottom line. In some cases, the fan systems can pay for themselves in the first year of operation.
wood cabinet ductwork before dust control system implemented
Before installation of a SonicAire dust control fan system.
wood cabinet ductwork after dust control system implemented
After installation and use of a SonicAire dust control system to clear away combustible dust.

Industrial dust control fans offer a proactive solution for a wide range of industries, including wood, paper, textile, laundry and chemical operations. The versatility of the various fan models makes this an effective option for facilities of all sizes.

Reap the Benefits of Industrial Dust Control Fans

Industrial dust control fans offer a proactive solution for your facility. As the global leader in this arena, SonicAire can partner with you to recommend the ideal fan system for your operations. Our dedicated team is committed to helping you by providing a customized solution specific to your facility. We can provide innovative engineering designs that help prevent dangerous dust explosions and create a cleaner, healthier work environment for your business.

To start reaping the benefits of industrial dust control fans, contact SonicAire for your personally engineered solution and quote.

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