The Essential Role of Dust-Suppression Equipment


When small, solid particles become airborne, they can pose a threat to the smooth operation of machinery as well as a hazard to the health of workers. However, in certain industries such as mineral extraction and ore processing, the continuous production of such particles is inevitable. In order to comply with environmental requirements and health-and-safety regulations, in work areas where airborne particles might present a problem, it will often be necessary to operate specialised dust-suppression equipment, usually one of three types

The first of these involves collecting the particles from the airstream with the use of a suitable ventilation system and transporting it via ducts to a collector. More of a preventative approach rather than a remedial one, water sprays are sometimes used to wet the source material in order to minimise the formation of dust. While also dependent upon the use of water sprays, a better option is to employ a more sophisticated type of dust-suppression equipment designed to capture the airborne particles. The system sprays atomised water, which then collides with the suspended particles forcing them to coalesce into larger agglomerates which, being denser, will then drop to the ground under the action of gravity.

The use of water sprays for this purpose has long been the preferred option; however, it is important to maintain the right level of saturation. In practice, too much water in the air could lead to operating problems, while too little would result in insufficient airborne dust being captured. To increase efficiency, when operating this type of dust-suppression equipment, a chemical surfactant can be added to the water. Its effect is to reduce surface tension and, as a result, the size of the water droplets. This, in turn, increases their ability to wet and agglomerate even the finest particles.

To further optimise the procedure, it is recommended that it is run in tandem with continuous atmospheric monitoring. While this could enable manual intervention when monitoring detects high dust levels, the process can also be automated so that the dust-suppression equipment begins operating automatically when a pre-determined threshold is registered by the monitor. The latter option offers a number of advantages. It can help minimise the consumption and the associated cost of water and chemicals while also serving to prevent the operational area from becoming too damp.

To create the fine mist of atomised water droplets necessary to create the maximum surface area requires the use of a high-pressure pump in order to force the water through the equally fine atomising nozzles of this type of dust-suppression equipment. The US-based company CAT Pumps is recognised worldwide as the leader in high-pressure pumping systems and it offers a number of models that are ideal for this type of application.

A wide range of CAT products is available form Bestline Manufacturing in Johannesburg. We also have the experience and expertise necessary to design, construct, and install systems tailored to meet the specific and sometimes unique requirements of the client. A high-pressure misting system powered by CAT pumps will ensure your dust-suppression equipment is fully compliant with all relevant environmental and health-and-safety regulations and will be backed by our expert support.