Clearing the air

Published 18/12, 2017 at 16:43

Winter is an appropriate time for PDi’s annual report on what’s new in the area of water cannons and other dust suppression technologies. In the northern hemisphere, those cold winds are adding a cleansing crispness to the air that is both healthful and invigorating, much-needed qualities when spending long hours on a chilly jobsite. Jim Parsons reports.

Though you may be happy to leave those days behind when temperatures and construction activity picks up, your lungs will no doubt yearn for those bracing breaths, particularly if the location has high concentrations of airborne dust. So too will your ears, as they will have to deal with dust and odour complaints from regulators and residents unless action is taken to minimise their effects.

As with other technologies, incremental improvements have boosted the systems’ effectiveness and operational efficiency. And because dust suppression systems are increasingly must-haves for construction and demolition work, it pays to be up to date on what is available, and what might work best.


Hydraram HDS-series redefines versatility

The Hydraram five-model HDS series of spray cannons offer systems for effective dust and odour control during demolition, recycling or manufacturing applications. This machine produces through many nozzles a fine mist curtain that bind with dust and odour particles in the air. These bound particles then fall on the ground. The air is in fact being washed.

The systems are more effective and durable than traditional systems, because less water is needed and consumed. They also eliminate the need for an operator using a hand-held sprayer, and problems with worksite sludge and muddy vehicles. That makes everyone happy, from project owners and employees to local environmental authorities and neighbouring residents.

Hydraram HDS spray cannons can be used anywhere. If one of the standard models is not quite enough, Hydraram will custom-build a solution to fit specific needs.


EmiControls updates 

its V22 dust control machines

After years of an intensive research and development, EmiControls’ first restyled V22 dust control machines are now ready for the world market. The unit’s public debut is scheduled for March 2018 at the Electric Power Expo in Nashville, Tennessee.  

The biggest difference is the size. The new V22 is much smaller, making it easier to transport and integrate into existing systems, yet with the stability and robustness to operate in challenging conditions. The machine can be started and rotated much faster. Angles can be quickly adjusted and there are three different water consumption speeds available. 

Thanks to special nozzles, the V22 produces very fine water mist that stays longer in the air and beats dust efficiently. At the same time water consumption is very low, so users do not have to worry about water ponds on the floor. The spray pattern is narrower, allowing users to direct the mist to the dust source more directly and efficiently. 

Now part of TechnoAlpin Group, a global leader for snow making systems, EmiControls promises to incorporate even more features into the V22. Quick access to after-sales support is always available, regardless of where the V22 is being used.


In the U.S., BossTek 

stays atop trends and advancements

The demolition industry remains busy, along with new construction. And with it has come an increase in both the knowledge ability of demolition companies with respect to dust, as well as a rise in demand for effective control. “No doubt some of this is fuelled by new OSHA regulations on silica exposure,” said BossTek odour specialist Mike Lewis. “But it’s a trend that has been scaling upward for some time.”

In addition, communities and individuals are becoming better educated about the potential effects of fugitive dust, as well as their civil and legal rights to be protected from it.  “More than ever, demolition contractors are being forced to carefully consider dust management as an essential element of a project’s scope, to protect workers, neighbouring communities and the overall environment,” said Lewis. 

Atomized mist remains the most effective technology for managing surface dust and airborne particulates.  A plume of millions of water droplets can be thrown over long distances, with some models able to project mist over 100m, covering as much as 15,500m2. Yet the equipment uses just a fraction of the water applied by fire hoses and large-scale sprinklers, avoiding over-saturation and run-off.  Options include remote control, programmable oscillation, special filters for non-potable water and additives that can be metered into the water supply to enhance suppression performance.

Along with the rising demand for effective suppression methods, demolition contractors have been looking for more versatility, such as mobile equipment and designs that can deliver their own power sources.  Having the suppressor and generator set contained in a single trailer-mounted system means the ability to provide dust control on virtually any site, even when resources are limited.  Demand has risen so dramatically that BossTek will soon be introducing its third model in the FusionTM product line, a smaller and even more mobile system that can be repositioned wherever it is needed on a given day for point-specific control and smaller areas. 

“Designed in response to input, particularly from road and highway builders, the baby bear of dust suppression delivers the same engineered mist as its larger siblings, complete with its own generator,” said Lewis.

Other trends include a growing number of construction and demolition firms that are renting equipment to suit specific job requirements, rather than investing the capital to purchase units and try to make them work for every project.  “The ability to select from a range of models and options ensures that operators will always have the right machine for the job,” said Lewis. “And they only incur dust suppression expenses when they have a need, confident that they will be getting reliable, well-maintained equipment without having to perform service themselves.”


Buffalo Turbine’s 

diesel dust controller sticks out

Buffalo Turbines’, self-contained, diesel dust controller has many differences from most of the other dust control equipment. Powering the diesel dust and odour controller is a Tier 4 compliant 20kW Kohler three cylinder diesel engine. Built for industrial and commercial use, the diesel engine features liquid cooling, dual air cleaners and both heat and oil safety shut offs. 

The overall cost savings and long term benefits recognized by choosing the Monsoon Diesel include up to 15% greater fuel efficiency, up to twice the engine lifespan and is the common job site fuel.  Featuring a compact, easily manoeuvrable three-wheel off-highway trailer and common ¾” connection, which can adapt to most standard municipal water supplies. Once operational the standard wireless remote will control both nozzle and throttle function. 

Also available is a 270° oscillation feature that can be turned on/off at the machine. This allows the nozzle to rotate up to 270° on a vertical plane. Dual 23litre fuel tanks extend run time to 8h or more. Buffalo Turbines’ proprietary single stage turbine blower and gyratory atomizing nozzle eliminates costly downtime and maintenance associated with clogging tips on common spray nozzles used in the industry.


Nebulization technology 

from Tecnoter Group traps the dust

For the operators of heavy machinery, the downsides of working in the open air are certainly two: Sun (and hot weather) and dust. The problem of hot temperatures can be solved with air conditioning on the cabins of the operating machines, and you can install filters and even slightly pressurize the cabin to control the dust. But what about people who perform operations outdoors? Or those who live, stop or pass by areas where dust is constantly generated? The first area to be affected by dust removal operations are construction sites, often in the city center. Any work such as construction, renovation or demolition inevitably produces dust that pollutes the air within the site and beyond. Many other application sectors are affected too, from quarries and mines to landfills, cement factories, recycling sites, tunneling, steel mills, wood processing plants, docks and so on. For all these activities, it is necessary to contain the dust and suit other necessities too: the dust reduction system has to be more mobile as possible, quick and adjustable to sudden changes in operating situations (e.g. climatic changes) and it has to guarantee low consumption of energy and water.

Tecnoter Group offers a wide range of products for the dust reduction. The fog cannons follow the features of the snow guns, with substantial technical differences due to the new target, dust particles with diameter equal or less than 80 microns.

This means that the particles of nebulized water must be between 50 and 150 microns, way smaller than a snowflake. In fact, particles of such dimensions can easily trap the dust particles, dragging them to the ground by gravity. The nebulization helps also the water beam to completely wrap the cloud of dust.

This results in a sharp, mobile, adjustable, realiable and low-impact dust removal system.

Currently Tecnoter produces a series of fog cannons that, according to their dimensions, can cover from 2.500 to 45.000 m² with a maximum range of 120 m (horizontal) and 40 m (vertical).

The frame of each cannon includes a trailer base with rubber wheels and a drawbar with a pivoting wheel, adjustable stabilizers and special pockets for the lifting by a forklift. The cannon consists of a base with electric motor, a peripheral impeller pump, a rotation system (available both manual and automatic) and an electrical control panel (manageable either from the machine or remotely). Here there are the structure of the cannon with one or two nozzle rings in stainless steel and the pressure gauge for checking the outlet water pressure, while the fan driven by the electric motor is clearly visible on the back.


Water cannon options from Duztech

The Duztech X35 mist cannon is an energy efficient machine with high performance. The 225kg unit uses a 3kW fan motor, 2.2kW pump motor, and automatic 350° swing operation to distribute water mist over larger areas, with a throwing distance of up to 40m. Droplet size ranges from 10 to 150 microns, with a mean size of 70 microns. 

For smaller jobs, the compact 110kg Duztech Mosquito mist cannon can be moved by hand. The water mist generated by this unit is extremely fine and therefore effective against airborne dust, but also for humidification when the ground/surface is sensitive for wetting. The Mosquito generates a water mist with droplet sizes 10-50 microns with a mean droplet size of 25 microns. Throwing distance can range up to 10m.


Duztech’s new dust cannon

Duztech has launched the Duztech X35 mist cannon as a focus on smaller and more mobile machines for the demolition and rental segment. The X35 is a new energy efficient machine with high performance. It features automatic swing operation up to 350° to distribute the water mist over larger areas with a throwing distance of 35m to 40m. The unit has low power consumption and is connected to a standard 3 phase 400V 16A socket.

Duztech is a net exporter with the majority of its products sold abroad. The largest market is in Europe, but since one year, sales offices have been opened in the US and Asia. The head office, development and production facilities are new and located in Sweden. 


Idrobase’s small wonder

Sparanebbia Lince from Idrobase of Italy is a small high-pressure dust suppression and odour-control system that can be easily relocated. At just 800x600x1200mm and equipped with a trolley, the 55kg system is ideal for fine dust suppression in small to medium-sized areas, such as demolition, renovation of buildings and when handling dusty materials. Lince works at 60bar pressure at 250V/50Hz power. 

The fan has a speed of 4000revs/min and a flow rate of 2,820m3/h. The ring is equipped with seven nozzles, flow rate 30 for a fanjet of 7.5m, while the pumping module runs at 1,450ppm and 230V-50Hz with two ceramic pistons. The 30litre tank allows for up to 30min of continuous operation.

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