Total Containment of an Absolute Challenge

The hardworking professionals behind bulk material handling dedicate their time, thought, and effort to a vital industrial service. The products and solutions they provide support daily living and commerce throughout the U.S. and the world.

Their profession also exposes them to the ever-present risk of fugitive dust, which escapes from a bulk material while being processed. It releases without being controlled or directed and travels where the air takes it.

Fugitive dust is generated throughout a bulk material handling plant, including loading and unloading, crushing and chiseling, and improper cleaning and maintenance in affected areas. This airborne dust must be restricted, or it can cause personal health hazards, operational liabilities, and environmental problems.

Some fugitive dust also can become explosive or combustible when it reaches specific concentrations. A few bulk materials that can emit combustible dust are coal, grain, wood, and materials that release metal fines.

The degree to which a dust particle can be dangerous will depend on the particle’s size. The particles are generally categorized into three groups: respirable dust, inhalable dust, and total dust.

  • Respirable dust is the smallest and most unsafe particle. When breathed, it can enter and stay in the lungs.
  • Inhalable dust is a slightly larger particle that can become trapped in the nose, throat, or upper respiratory tract.
  • Total dust is the largest and most visible particle of the three. It can enter the body but often will not travel deep into it.

Compounding the issue, certain oversights can cause bulk material handling personnel to maintain inadequate procedures for dust containment. Some of them might include:

  • Not recognizing the source and possibility of fugitive dust. If dust is generated in a remote or less visible area, personnel can easily miss or ignore it. This can allow dust to continue gathering into hazardous concentrations.
  • Manual housekeeping is enough. Hands-on housekeeping measures can contribute to safety, but they are also typically not thorough enough for proper industrial dust control. In addition, manual cleaning methods can worsen a dust problem in some cases, such as when cleaning surfaces with steam or air shift dust to other areas.
  • Dust collectors are enough. Dust collectors support a plan for dust containment, but they are not a comprehensive solution. A dust collector can sometimes miss dust that collects on floors, machines, and overhead areas.

If a facility does not have sufficient industrial dust control, an OSHA inspection can produce surprising results. The standards that OSHA follows identify that even 1/32” of industrial dust can constitute a risk.

OSHA also pays attention to dust variations. For example, one material might emit two different types of dust that pose separate risks. Dust traits can be altered during processing as well – dust that began benignly might become more potentially harmful further into production.

Achieving Dust Control and Containment at Industrial Sites

Bulk material handlers can make their production environments safer and cleaner by taking a multidimensional approach to dust control. A total dust management plan will factor in the particular types, sizes, and sources of the facility’s dust, what methods contain it, and which control measures are available within the plant’s budget.

A complete plan will often include solutions for the load zone, transfer systems, conveyor components, and storage piles. It will also ensure that production and housekeeping personnel have proper protective equipment such as masks, helmets, and goggles.

Benetech Total Dust Management

The engineers at Benetech are specialists with an exclusive focus on safer and more-productive bulk material handling. Their innovation and insight produce solutions for dust control and containment throughout the process:

  • stockpiles
  • transfer points
  • transloading hoppers
  • rail and truck dumps
  • conveyor belts
  • haul roads
  • stackouts
  • ship-loaders

A complete containment plan supported by a thorough assessment and sound engineering can include:

  • Transfer chutes designed and installed for the operation’s processing system, including the transfer tower, cascade conveyors, and post-crusher load zones. Benetech’s cornerless chute design restricts dust while also enhancing material flow.
  • The MaxZone® Modular Skirtboard and Belt Support System for properly aligned transfer points and centered loading with components such as inspection doors, internal wearliners, idlers, impact and support beds, and belt guards and cleaners.
  • When a load zone chute replacement is not possible, the MaxZone Plus system for a swift, low-cost solution to off-center conveyor belt loading. The MaxZone Plus can be installed into an existing MaxZone system or retrofitted to other containment systems.
  • Dust Suppression with chemical-solution injections that reduce and even eliminate dust. Benetech dust suppression also instills systemic solutions such as managing materials that repel water from their surface.
  • Efficient Washdown Systems help remove dust after bulk material is conveyed while also minimizing water usage and integrating drainage, curbing, and water shielding.
  • Wet Dust Extraction uses energy from a bifurcated fan to encapsulate dust particles into atomized water, removing 99.7% of dust while eliminating the need for compressed air, belt maintenance, and bag changes.
  • Dry Dust Collection combines advanced technology and custom engineering to offer superior safety, cleaning action, and low-pressure efficiency.
  • Easy-to-install conveyor components provide premium support and containment for industrial dust control.

Bulk material handlers all over the world implement Benetech industrial dust control to decrease inhalable and respirable dust hazards, reduce the risk of fire and explosions, satisfy regulatory compliance, and lessen maintenance work and expense:

  • Aggregates
  • Biomass Power Plants
  • Coal-fired Power Plants
  • Cement Plants
  • Mines/Quarries
  • Pet Coke Power Plants
  • Ports and Terminals
  • Pulp and Paper Mills
  • Recycling Facilities
  • Refineries
  • Steel Mills and Coking Facilities
  • Waste Transfer Facilities

Benetech: Your Ally for a Dust-Free Production Environment

Total industrial dust control calls for the dust to be suppressed as well as removed from the air. Whether your concern is dust at transfer chute loading, conveyor belt loading, or the entire load zone, Benetech can partner with you to identify your dust type and size, define your needed containment, and apply your solutions according to your budget and schedule. Contact us at (630) 844-1300 to speak with a specialist.

Posted in Dust Control