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WELD SMOKE RISKS: A SPECIAL CHALLENGE FOR FUME COLLECTORS

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WELD SMOKE RISKS: A SPECIAL CHALLENGE FOR FUME COLLECTORS

CMAXX filtration system managing weld smoke

The CMAXX for managing weld smoke on display at FABTECH 2017. This install is showing an ambient filtration method.

Managing weld smoke risks means dealing with very small particle size, toxic metals, and the combustibility of metal dust. Weld smoke and fumes are different from other types of dust, and a system needs to be designed to deal with it. A CMAXXTM dust and fume collection system will meet any metalworking or weld smoke control needs.

 

WELD SMOKE RISK: HEALTH

 

One of the risks of weld smoke is hexavalent chromium. This compound can cause skin sores and lung damage, and cancer of the lungs, kidneys, and other organs. Many metals are alloyed with chromium to make them corrosion resistant.

 

Most of the particles in welding fumes come from the welding wire, but some of them come from the material being welded. Some of them can cause allergic reactions and an immune response called “metal fume fever”. Lead and manganese can damage the brain. Others, like hexavalent chromium and nickel, are known carcinogens and increase your risk of cancer.

 

The particles that are put into the air as fumes from welding are extremely small. Most are smaller than one micron. This means they are small enough to get inside human cells and cause damage. This also means that welding fumes are lighter than air, especially when heated. A system for collecting these fumes must be designed to handle very small particles.

 

MANAGING WELD SMOKE RISK: FIRE AND EXPLOSION

 

Welding produces metal dust and gases that may be combustible. Some metals, such as aluminum, are very explosive as a dust. Almost all metal dusts have the potential to explode. Handling welding fumes means using appropriate fire suppression and prevention measures.

 

Spark Arrestor - Spark Trap

Spark Arrestor also commonly refereed to as a Spark Trap is being installed in a maintenance weld shop

Suppressing sparks to keep them from getting into the collector can help prevent explosions from welding smoke dust. Spark Arrestors are important in keeping most sparks from getting to the collector. An explosion isolation valve can prevent a fire from traveling back through the ductwork. Chemical control systems can suppress or extinguish a flame, but only certain chemicals are approved for fires involving metal dust.

 

Filters can also be important for fire suppression in a welding smoke system. Filters with a fire-retardant coating they will resist burning and help control a deflagration. Some collectors are designed with filters that help isolate an explosion and keep it from causing damage inside the workplace. DeltaMAXXTM filters with fire-retardant coating will prevent a fire from occurring inside a dust collector.

 

HANDLING WELD SMOKE

Figuring out what type of fume extraction system to use in your facility is an important decision for managing the risks from weld smoke. Our systems engineers will consult with you to help you determine the best way to manage your weld smoke risk.

Portable fume collector for managing weld smoke

Shadow portable weld fume collector at FABTECH 2017. Designed for managing weld smoke

If there are not very many welders and they don’t always work at the same place, portable collectors can be a solution. They can be useful for handling point of source capture. An ambient system is designed to move a volume of air out of a large area and through filters.

 

For managing weld smoke, portable collectors can be easily moved around, but they are not as powerful as a larger collector. Central collectors are the most efficient for large areas, but if they are inside they take up floor space. Locating the collector outside is usually recommended for safe explosion venting.

 

One of the biggest advantages with an ambient system that recirculates the air back into the facility is energy cost savings. When heated or air-conditioned air is vented outside, the energy used is lost. Many businesses find that a fume collection system can pay for itself within two years with money saved in energy costs.

 

CMAXXTM dust and fume collectors have proven themselves in the welding and metalworking fields. Our newest product, the SHADOWTM portable collector, gives you even more options for managing weld smoke . DeltaMAXXTM nanofiber filters are the best available material for capturing metal fumes. At Imperial Systems Inc., we are committed to helping you control your weld smoke risks.

(as seen in The Fabricator Magazine)

 

REPLACEMENT DUST COLLECTOR FILTERS: OUR BEST-SELLERS

You know we manufacture our DeltaMAXXTM filters for our own dust collectors.  If you’re looking for replacement dust collector filters and you own a collector made by another manufacturer, you should know that some of our top selling filters are replacements for the other guys’ OEM filters!

 

WHY PEOPLE BUY DELTAMAXX REPLACMENT DUST COLLECTOR FILTERS INSTEAD OF OEM

Basically, a cartridge filter is a cartridge filter. There’s nothing magical or special that makes one company’s filters superior. As with any product, there are different levels of quality. Choosing a manufacturer who makes a quality product instead of junk is always going to be important.

So let’s assume that most of the big-name OEM companies, like Donaldson Torit, Robovent, and Camfil Farr, make a quality filter. You own one of their collectors, and you’re putting their filters in it. Why would you think about switching?

 

Here are three good reasons:

  • Isn’t that always the best reason? Our replacement dust collector filters are guaranteed to perform as well as, or better than, your OEM filters. And almost everyone who comes to us for replacements finds that our prices are better.
  • NO GIMMICKS. We don’t play games with filter gimmicks. Drug companies that keep releasing “new and improved” versions of the same medication so they can keep their patents. Some OEMs try to do the same thing. Weird new shapes, cool-looking inserts, special new gaskets. Do you really need any of them? Probably not.
  • Getting a good price doesn’t help if the filters aren’t as good. That’s why our guarantee promises you that while we’re beating your OEM’s price, you’re not sacrificing filter quality.

 

If you’re looking for replacement dust collector filters, it’s worth your time to get a quote from us.

 

We make replacement dust collector filters for almost all manufacturers, including:

  • Donaldson Torit
  • Camfil Farr

    various different fume and dust collector filter options

    Filters come in many shapes and sizes. These are a few of those replacement options

  • Robovent
  • Clean Air America
  • TDC
  • Lincoln Electric
  • Mac
  • Chemco
  • Nordson
  • Environmental
  • Micro-Air
  • Many others… just call us and ask!

 

HOW TO GET A QUOTE ON REPLACEMENT FILTERS

It’s easy to get a quote from us on filters made by most other manufacturers. Our specialized cross-matching system will match the part number you usually order with the right filter.

Don’t have a part number? We can still help you. Call us or send an email, and we’ll talk you through the measurements we need to get you a match.

 

Replacement dust collector filters for Donaldson Torit Filters

Replace dust collector filters for Donaldson Torit round and oval cartridge filters

HAVING FILTER PROBLEMS?

Sometimes the wrong kind of filter won’t work for some applications. For example, if you have moisture damaging your filters, you may need a spunbond material that can resist water. If you’ve experienced a fire in your dust collector, it’s definitely worth investing in some fire-retardant filters. If your regular 80/20 filters are getting plugged up with dust after only a few months, you might want to try a nanofiber filter that will collect smaller particles.

Whatever problem you might be having, we can help. Talk to a filter expert right now on Live Chat (during normal business hours) or fill out a contact form!

WELDING AND PLASMA FUMES HEALTH HAZARD

We get a lot of questions about fumes from welding or laser and plasma cutting. People are aware that there are health risks. Many of them have heard about hexavalent chromium. It is a very good reason to be careful when working around plasma fumes, but it’s not the only reason. “Hex chrome” is just one of the hazards involved.

 

WHAT’S HEX CHROME?

You may have heard that hexavalent chromium, often called hex chrome, is mainly a problem for people working with stainless steel. Stainless steel does contain much more chromium than other types of steel. However, many metals are either alloyed or electroplated with chromium to protect them from corrosion.

Metals don’t usually contain hexavalent chromium. Instead, when the metal is heated to a high temperature, the chromium reacts with oxygen to form compounds. Hexavalent chromium is one of them. This compound, when inhaled, is known to increase the risk of lung cancer and other cancers. When in contact with the skin, it can cause irritation and skin sores.

 

WHAT ARE THE OTHER RISKS?

Other common metals that people may encounter in welding smoke or cutting fumes include iron, copper, zinc, nickel, manganese, aluminum, tin, beryllium, cadmium, lead, and titanium. Most of these can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat. Others, like cadmium, are known cancer-causing agents. Some, such as lead and manganese, damage your nerves and brain. Beryllium can cause a fatal lung disease. Components of metal fumes can also cause kidney damage.

No metal fume or smoke from cutting or welding is safe to inhale. Even iron, which is not toxic, can accumulate in the lungs and cause long-term damage. The lungs are very sensitive to damage, and welding or cutting produces metal particles small enough to be easily inhaled. Whether it’s referred to as fumes, smoke, gases, or dust, it’s an airborne cloud of tiny particles that can make their way deep into your lungs. They can be as small as 0.3 microns, which is 250 times smaller than a human hair and about 15 times smaller than a red blood cell.

Other metals, including nickel, zinc, and copper, cause “metal fume fever”, a flu-like response to chemicals released by damaged cells in the lungs. The symptoms resemble the flu, with headaches, fever and chills, muscle aches, and coughing. Welding is the occupation most likely to result in this condition, but plasma fumes and laser cutting fumes can also cause it.

It’s often reported that drinking milk can help prevent this condition, and many people swear by it. Either way, it doesn’t prevent the long-term lung damage that occurs when metal dust is inhaled. Drinking milk won’t hurt, but avoiding the toxic effects of exposure altogether is a safer bet.

 

WHAT CAN I DO?

Fortunately, there’s no reason to put your health in danger just to do your job. OSHA regulations set safe exposure levels for almost all metal fumes. They recommend several methods to prevent over-exposure. A CMAXXTM dust and fume collection system (CMAXX Dust and Fume Collector) is efficient and effective. It can reduce or eliminate the need for uncomfortable and often improperly used respirators. Our team can advise you on the best ways to keep people safe when they’re welding or working around laser or plasma cutting.

The CMAXX Connected to an AKS Plasma Table

 

We hope this information is useful for the people who have asked us questions in the past and who come to us with questions in the future!

 

If you need more information, please click the CHAT NOW box during normal business hours for immediate help. You can also click HERE to request more information.

 

 

 

 

Facts about Plasma Cutting and Plasma Technology. Penrose: BOC, n.d. BOC. Web.

Gibson, Hugh. “Plasma Cutting Using A Hand Held Machine.” Plasma Cutting Danger!N.p., 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.

Plasma Cutter Safety Guide | Longevity-inc.com.” Plasma Cutter Safety Guide. Longevity-inc.com, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.

Sheahan, Kyra. “OSHA Safety Standard for Plasma Dust.” EHow. Demand Media, 28 Nov. 2010. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.

Stone, Joe. “OSHA Safety Standard for Plasma Dust.” Work. Demand Media, n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.

Zlotnicki, Steve. “Does Plasma Cutting Produce Hex Chrome.” Plasma Arc Cutting of Stainless Steel Will Produce Hexavalent Chromium. Esab-cutting, 12 May 2013. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.