ATEX Dust collection system
Application: metal grinding
The objective: explosive dust abatement
The company contacted Tecnosida® because, in a specific production plant at its site in Poland, there had been problems related to fires, explosions and emissions that were incompatible with the regulations.
Tecnosida® immediately prepared the necessary procedures to inspect and perform a technical analysis of the situation, from which it was evident that the explosive events were related to the production technology used. The grinding of the used material, required for manufacturing the final product, contributes to the creation of sparks (the source of ignition). The resulting dust was considerably explosive and prone to spontaneous ignition, facilitating the deflagration.
Other companies implemented some solutions, but they had not been successful:
- Initially a cyclone dust collector was used to treat the emissive flow. However, tests revealed that this technology did not guarantee atmospheric emission.
- The second attempt was to place a bag filter to remove the dust. This solution was found to be unsuitable since the bags frequently caught fire (even though they were made of fireproof material), compromising the production plant’s operation.
- The third solution used a wet fume treatment system. The following problems were immediately encountered:
- Difficulty in separating the wet matrix from the residues
- Caking and incrustation of the filler material
- Problems with disposal of the mineral lubricant used for the cutting process
The potentially explosive nature of the dust meant that it was necessary to use a completely safe treatment for the emissive flow, in order to prevent fire. Based on the previous solutions found not to be suitable, Tecnosida® designed a dedicated ATEX compliant suction and dust removal plant, to resolve in a definitive way the above described problems.
Specifically, on the basis of the analysis of the production process, it was found that all the elements that contribute to the development of fire were present, including:
- Fuel: represented by the compounds resulting from the production process (zinc stearate, aluminum, etc.);
- Oxidizing agent: oxygen in the dust extraction air;
- Ignition source: sparks created by the grinding process.
Because of this, it was necessary to design a settling system that could automatically detect and extinguish sparks, in addition to an another system for evacuating the flow from the production process in the event of a considerable amount of sparks.
Tecnosida®’s technicians completely installed the plant at the customer site (located in Poland), while its internal technical department supervised the activities.
During testing, the safety and fire/explosion prevention system were set up. Once the technical tests on the pilot plant were complete, the emissions were found to be much lower than the levels required by the standard. Moreover, the plant was able to operate continuously, thanks to the effectiveness of the prevention system.
Once the excellent results had been confirmed, the customer commissioned other four equivalent treatment systems.
The main parts of the system, opportunely dimensioned and designed for the specific productions lines, were:
- DUSTdown® bag filter, complete with anti-explosion panels and shutter system with non-return valves, compliant with the ATEX standard requirements;
- Settling system with automatic spark detection and extinguishing (for prevention);
- Flow evacuation system, for further safety;
- Electrical/mechanical panel for plant control;
- Centrifugal fan with motor and belt transmission.
Tecnosida®’s ultimate goal was to ensure that the emissions met the standards in force to conserve the internal/external environment and to reduce the environmental impact of the processes.
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DUSTdown®| Self-cleaning bag filter: Complete with all the safety devices for a particular installation ATEX