So You’re Buying A Dust Extraction Unit?

When you buy a piece of technology, it’s not unreasonable to assume that it’s going to work first time. Why shouldn’t it? After all, it probably wasn’t cheap and so quite rightly you feel you’ve paid for the privilege of the time and effort gone into designing and producing something that is going to help you do things easier and quicker. And purchasing a dust extraction system is no different.

Running a workshop presents a multitude of occupational hazards, so when you invest in dust extraction equipment to control the shop’s air quality, you don’t want to end up having to spend more money and time having someone keep checking an inefficient filtration system, or even worse, paying them to replace it. To save you time and money, and to make sure your worker’s health is not compromised.

Dust Extraction Units

Dust extraction units work by drawing in the air from the workshop by a fan system (known as the “impeller” because it sucks air in, rather than pushes air out). When the air begins to circulate, the centrifugal forces created by the rotating air flow push the dust and wood waste particles to the outside of the impeller unit. The larger, denser wood chips fall into a receptacle below the impeller and are collected, whereas the finer dust particles travel upwards into a bag filter where it is then trapped as the air continues to pass through.


In order for the process to work effectively, the impeller needs to rotate fast enough in order to move the wood dust and chips at a rate of 1066 metres (3500 feet) per minute- the rate at which the particles remain suspended in the air. So when looking at the performance of dust extraction units, you will see that the performance is always given as Cubic Feet per Minute, or CFM. This is a rate calculated by multiplying the air speed by the area of the duct. Therefore, for most woodworking machines used in the home, the typical duct area is about 4 inches (10cm), meaning an airflow of at least 400 CFM is required.

Aside from CFM, the other metric used to measure the power of the dust extraction equipment is ‘resistance’, which is calculated as the number of inches of static-pressure loss. Because pressure is lost and airflow is interrupted by the ducting needed to channel the wood dust and chips to the collectors, the length and material used to create the duct is important in determining the system’s performance. Similarly, any instances of bending or the ducting changing direction will also increase resistance and reduce the amount of static pressure. Therefore, in order to ensure the optimum level of static pressure, it is best to ensure that the space designated for the ducting to be installed in is as level and straight as it can be, with as few obstacles as possible, and preferably as close to an outlet as practicable. This will not only increase performance, but also reduce operating costs by reducing the burden on the machinery.

So when you are considering options for your workshop’s air filtration system, it’s important to understand the type of waste that you are likely to create in that environment, as well as the space’s capacity to accommodate an effective filtration system effectively- whether that’s uninterrupted access to an outlet or sufficient CFM performance.

By Sam Hurley

Sam Hurley is a Junior Marketing Consultant at FDC in Ibstock one of the UK’s leading Sales Driven Marketing Agencies. you can contact Sam by visiting the FDC Website

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