Now dust sucks even morePublished 10/7 at 12:35
The clock is ticking for compliance with the new US silica dust regulations. How are manufacturers helping contractors comply with the new rules? PDi editor in chief Jan Hermansson reports.
Construction and silica dust has become a big issue in the US with the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations that became law last year. With contractor compliance mandated by 23 September 2017, the US construction industry is in a completely new situation with silica dust. Long gone are the days when concrete cutting or demolition contractors could by a cheap and low-quality vacuum for a job and use it during the project, and throw it away when the job was finished.
New law decrease risks radically
Crystalline silica is naturally found in soil, sand, granite, and many other minerals used within the concrete industry. Millions of US workers in high-risk jobs are exposed to dangerous levels of silica that can lead to serious health hazards in the form of cancer and respiratory issues. OSHA’s changes to current regulations will decrease these risks.
Workers’ exposures are limited to a new permissible exposure limit of 50µg/m3 of respirable crystalline averaged over an 8-hour day. Action must be taken for any situation where the PEL is above 25µg/m3. Contractors must make provisions for measuring how much silica dust workers are exposed to, limiting workers’ access to areas where silica exposures are high, using effective methods for reducing exposures, providing medical examination for workers with high silica exposures, and training for workers about silica hazards and limiting exposure.
Some countries in Europe predecessors
Some manufacturers of dust extraction and air cleaning equipment in Europe began developing and producing equipment that has complied with the new US law several years ago. This is because regulations in Sweden, Germany, and other countries have been quite sharp in the perspective of silica dust. Most of these manufacturers, especially Pullman Ermator and Dustcontrol, welcome the new regulations, as they have long been ready to offer their products to the US market as their product lines already comply. They have invested several years’ of testing and development, and know that their products comply. On the other hand, manufacturers that need to adapt their products to the new regulation will experience a delay, as the switch to comply with the new regulations will not happen overnight.
Pullman Ermator and Husqvarna
Husqvarna has acquired Pullman Ermator and most of Pullman Ermator's professional assortments now can be bought under orange flag. The launch took place at World of Concrete in January. The Pullman Ermator brand will, with models such as the recently released A4000 air purifier. With a capacity of 4,000m3/h it can handle workspaces up to 250m2.
The machine has a central exhaust at the back where the drain hose can be connected. It is equipped with disposable pre-filter and four H13 filters. The HEPA filter is the same as for A1000. The filter frame is fitted with hinges and buckles to make filter changes simple and fast. It is also easy to move when equipped with lockable non-marking wheels. It is equipped with a warning light when it is time to change the filter.
The Pullman Ermator range includes two sizes of cleaning cabinet, CC800 and CC1600. Cleaners are designed to allow the user to clean tools and machines without exposure to harmful dust. With a large door, it is easy to set up the tools in the cabinet. The cabinets have large windows, inside lights, and smooth gloves to simplify cleaning. A car starter can also be added if necessary.
Scanmaskin has announced the worldwide introduction of two industrial dust collectors, the Scandust 8000 and ScanDust 3600. The two units provide reliability and high performance, and are a major addition to the Scanmaskin product line. “Our focus has been to increase the number of working hours without interruption with a sustained level of reliability,” said Scanmaskin product manager Martin Persson.
The new additions to the ScanDust series are very functional vacuums, with focus on ergonomics and usability. The ScanDust 8000 and ScanDust 3600 are safe and easy to operate.
The machines are equipped with Hepa-filters that collect harmful silica particles and filter indicators advise when they need to be cleaned using the jet-pulse cleaning system. The ScanDust 8000 and Scandust 3600 are equipped with a polyester-grade coarse filter package that provides a high degree of material separation and increases the service life. In addition, the design and filter area have been designed to provide the most suction capacity.
These models are made of steel and feature solid non-marking wheels that will never go flat. In addition, both models include locking front wheels that provide an extra safeguard during transportation or when using on uneven surfaces.
Both models take advantage of the Longopac bagging system, which makes managing dust easy and efficient. The Longopac system comes with 20m of folded plastic bag, providing about 25 dust free changes.
Dustcontrol has a wide product range that encompasses many industries. On the construction side, the range is extensive and includes more than 20 basic models of pre-separators, dust handlers, air cleaners, and wet vacuums.
At the DEMCON show last autumn, a number of products were shown, including the latest series called Tromb. Currently the Tromb range consists of three models: DC Tromb 400a, DC Tromb 400c, and DC Tromb 400L. Tromb maximizes the power of the air to its advantage. The airflow is 400m3/h and has capacity for 500mm floor grinding machines.
DC Tromb 400 can be used for all types of foundry dust such as plaster, asbestos, wood, concrete and filler dust. Tromb is understood to have an H13 filter that meets the requirements for asbestos removal. The operator decides when the filter is to be cleaned automatically during operation or after completion of work.
Dustcontrol has also created a mobile-adapted website that makes it easier and faster to find information about the company’s products and accessories.
Danish manufacturer Brøndum with its Ronda range has expanded with the new Ronda 2800H heavy vacuum cleaners. The model was launched at Bauma last year. The new vacuum cleaner comes with a Longopac collection system, with a 40litre container for concrete dust, a 65litre container for light dust, and a combination of Longopac bags in a container. An optional flap valve assembly over the collection system provides virtually dust free draining, when necessary. It is possible to configure the machine for emptying during operation. If large amounts of fine concrete dust are collected, it will be possible for an operator to empty the vacuum cleaner while another operator continues to work with a floor grinder.
The Ronda 2800H has been designed to handle large amounts of fine dust, and is equipped with the multi-pipe filter system used in other Ronda machines. At the same time, the filter load will be reduced by the cyclone effect. The machine is also equipped with Ronda filter cleaning system.
The machine has three Green Tech motors, which can be connected separately and available for 230V and 380V. It has been designed for the construction industry and has a metal frame and is equipped with large wheels, which makes the machine suitable for tough treatment and transport between and at workplaces.
The new Blastrac dust collectors are equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air filter, ensuring a 99.995% exhaustion for particles greater than 0.18µm for total safety when used on hazardous substances. Blastrac has developed a complete set of dust separators equipped with HEPA filters, designed for clean-up, remediation, asbestos, and lead staining. In addition, Blastrac also has a Longopac system available that throws all dust particles straight into a sack system.
The new dust detector line is completely HEPA certified. In order to be even more efficient and secure, Blastrac has also developed split versions, consisting of three devices, filters and security filter assembly and collection, both equipped with HEPA filters and suction devices.
The engine is out of the contaminated area. The safety filter unit is used to make the connection between the contaminated and safe areas the whist filter unit is inside the contaminated zone. The industrial dust collector can be installed on the ground floor of a building while a BGS-250 and a BHG-1800 work on the floors above.
Blastrac has also developed cyclone systems that complement the original dust separator. They have better dust capture and increase the life of dust collecting filters.
The cyclone separator is available in two different sizes. They allow capturing between 80% and 90% of the dust, which increases the life of the filter. On the largest cyclone separator, it is possible to connect multiple machines.
All Ruwac vacuum cleaners recommended for silica dust removal comply with the latest OSHA standards for worker safety while featuring industry-leading filtration innovative technology that can be tailored to suit your individual needs. These vacuums are ideal for use with vacuum-assist tools.
Ruwac vacuums meet OSHA’s requirement for handheld grinders. The MicroClean filter is compliant with OSHA’s silica dust standards at 99.9% efficient at 0.5 microns, preventing filter clogs and cutting down on costly filter replacements. A manual filter cleaning mechanism keeps the filters clean in between processes, while foot-actuated dustpans or direct bagging collection systems allow for easy, dust-free emptying, and reducing user exposure to contaminants.
iPulse vacuum from Starmix
Electrostar from Germany is a well known dust extractor manufacturer founded in Stuttgart in 1921 by Robert Schöttle. Electrostar produces the Starmix brand and is launching the ISP iPulse ARM-1635 EWA, a vacuum cleaner for tough and continuous use. It can be used for vacuuming directly at the electric power tool. A highly intelligent electronics measures the current state of the filter. Once the factory preset vacuum value is reached, both of the filters are alternately cleaned within 3.5s using high performance electromagnets, without interrupting work.
IAG – Dust binding machine ESM150
The Austrian manufacturer IAG is producing water mist canons and is launching a new water mist canon ESM 150. This is a dust-binding machine that can be used wherever large-scale dust emissions occur. The atomizing nozzles are tailored in line with specific requirements, depending on the type and size of the dust particles, in order to bind the various types of dust most effectively. The blower in combination with the special nozzle pattern enables a water output of 20litres/min to 400litres/min to be sprayed at a distance of about 50m.
With its modular design, the ESM 150 can be combined with other equipment in a variety of ways. Customers can select from a wide range of options depending on requirements, from a straightforward standard machine with manual control to a fully automatic version. If required, the company can provide entire emission prevention systems consisting of several dust binding machines with a centralized control unit.
Oxysan is a relatively new method of ionization technology to ensure that dust particles cling to the ground and are easy to sweep or remove. Oxysan is manufactured by Mpirum and sold only in Sweden, but there are plans for exporting in the near future. Now Mpirum has launched an upgrade of the well-known Oxysan series called Jonex. The Jonex ionization series contains three models, Jonex 1000+, 2000+ and 4000+.
Sila soon in the international game
Another Swedish manufacturer of professional air cleaners that does not export its products is Sila. The company started the production of air purifiers around 2012. Sila has four sizes of air purifier, SilaA600A2, Sila1000A2, Sila2000A2 and Sila5000A2.
Recent new addition is a device to replace coarse filters during work available. The feature is available on SilaA600A2, Sila1000A2, and Sila2000A2. A popular accessory to Sila's products is the remediation frame that makes work a lot easier on renovation sites where a negative pressure is required to minimize the dust.
The Sila 600A2 was selected as the best air cleaner in the Swedish newspaper The Construction Worker’s major air cleaner test earlier this year.
The Australian company WORX+ has released a new dust extractor Airworx+ 55T for heavy industrial work. The three phase motor has a power of 5.5kW with a current of 15A. It weighs 260kg and has a maximum airflow of 650m3/h and vacuuming effect of 300mbar. The unit has a suction inlet of 75mm diameter and the primary filtration surface area is 2.25m2 and the micro filter surface area is 6.5m2.
The unit has been developed for the elimination of hazardous airborne dust in concrete grinding and polishing applications. It is ideal for industrial applications where high suction efficiency is required. Some of the most important features are a frequency-controlled vacuum pump that offers 40% more airflow than standard machines on regular power supply. It has a variable suction control, which can be used for hand grinders through to large floor grinding machines. There is a power outlet for a grinding machine. It is equipped with a generator friendly soft start and sophisticated electronic motor protection. The unit also has automatic direction correction and is integrated with a WORX+ Silencer.
It has a time saving radio controlled on/off and a two stage filter sock and micro filter particle filtration with a bag-disposal system for containment of messy and hazardous substances. It has washable polyester filters.
The unit has puncture proof wheels and good ground clearance and can fit through standard doors. In the rear there are bull horns for transportation of power leads and vacuum hoses and the machine folds forward for easy transportation.
Other devices that dampen dust efficiently are the poplar dust suppression units that emit water mist. At the recent DDR Expo held in Brussels and organized by the European Demolition Association, Dutch manufacturer MB Dustcontrol launched a new dust suppression cannon, Spraycannon 50. The model is available in two versions, with atomizer or nozzle ring and has a spraying distance of 50m. The water consumption is up to 4,500litres/h for the atomizer or up to 3,000 litres/h with the nozzle. It has a horizontal oscillation up to 359° and weighs 450kg and 480kg respectively. The tilting angel is -15° to 60°. Options are remote control, wheel set, weather station, mast or with disinfection system.
The Belgic manufacturer Savic Jetstream, also an exhibitor at DDR Expo, introduced their new 230V electric driven dust suppression cannon. It is ideal for small and confined areas and easy and fast to set up.