Erkat develops dust extraction systems for rotary drum cutters

Published 18/12, 2017 at 14:27

It is well known that dust can cause illness, but the high level of danger is often underestimated. Dust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and irreparably damage the airways ands lung tissue. Dust diseases, such as pneumoconiosis, are the most common recognized occupational diseases.

On construction sites there is demand for protective measures as most building materials contain quartz. This can trigger the disease silicosis, which can lead to lung cancer. According to a study in the US, more than 700 people in Los Angeles alone die every year as a result of the dust generated on construction sites. Dust particles at the workplace come under the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances, therefore exposure must be kept as low as possible.

The issue of dust extraction is always topical on demolition sites. Numerous manufacturers are already working with the relevant systems to one simple principle: Water nozzles produce a fine mist, which is spread using a turbine and can achieve a range of up to 340°. However, there are flaws. The finely atomized mist is sensitive to wind and more unsteady when the range increases and no longer reaches the direct working environment in winds of above 5.5km/h. In mechanical machines there is high personnel expenditure, in electromechanical remotely or automatically controlled machines, the procurement and maintenance costs are very high. 

Erkat is a pioneer in the development of a simple system, which meets the requirements of demolition companies. As interference by wind cannot be prevented, the mist must be focused as closely as possible to the direct working environment. The adjustment of the dust extraction system should be simple and carried out by the excavator operator.

Using proven components, Erkat developed a new console, which is fitted with integrated water spraying nozzles. The mist is applied directly to the cutting head or the milling area, the hose is routed under the dipper arm, and the water supply is fed from a separate tank outside the machine. To achieve effective dust extraction, a water pressure of at least 15-20bar is required. Optionally, the console can be fitted with an additional supply line hydraulic filter to protect the hydraulic motor. 

This new system is being used with the transverse cutting heads of models ER 1500 and ER 1700. Further models are under development. 

For indoor use where water spraying is not possible, Erkat also offers an extraction system for dry dust removal system. A mobile system with dust extraction air tubes provides optimum dust extraction directly where dust forms. 

Erkat is contributing significantly to the health and safety of construction workers with its developments. The company is working on systems with differing numbers of water nozzles and is producing modules for specific working conditions. Advancement is reflected in the cutting head flushing system, where the water nozzles are integrated into the rotating cutting head and the water supply is fed from the gearbox. This enables a continuous mist to all sides. In addition, there is a water spray system with ATEX approval, which was designed for underground operation in potentially explosive environments.

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