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Thermal cutting applications in general are notorious for generating high levels of fume and particulate substances. Their presence in any operational environment poses serious health risks to workers and can be damaging to cutting machinery. The most popular thermal cutting application is called plasma cutting.

Plasma cutting “is a process that cuts through electrically conductive materials by means of an accelerated jet of hot plasma.”

Typical materials cut with a plasma torch include steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass and copper, although other conductive metals may be cut as well. Industries where plasma cutting is often used include fabrication shops, automotive, industrial construction, and scrapping operations.

Hexavalent chromium, often called hex chrome, is usually associated with the activities of plasma cutting in modern metalworking. Hex chrome poses a serious health threat for people working with stainless steel. It is well known to increase the risk of lung cancer and other cancers. When exposed to the skin, it can cause irritation and skin sores.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), industry’s first line of defense against fumes generated from plasma cutting is dust and fume collection systems. The use of integrated dust collectors in plasma cutting systems is an effective way to reduce employee exposure to fume and also to protect machinery.

It is recommended that dust collectors that use cartridges are more suitable for plasma cutting applications.

Envirox offers a wide range of dust filtration units suitable for most dust application types including plasma cutting systems. They provide a large variety of round bags and flat bag filter products and systems.

Their Nederman dust filtration systems, a well-known brand in the international air filtration industry, consist of the highest quality dust collectors.

Envirox’s plasma cutting dust collectors have air volume ranges of 3 100 m³ to 21 000 m³, which includes reverse jet cartridge filters. They are ideal for getting rid of fine dusts and fumes that may contain hex chrome.

An example is the FMC cartridge dust collector; a weather-proofed dust collector used in outdoor locations and has been independently tested with ATEX compliant features for explosive dust.

When selecting and designing a dust collector, serious consideration must be given to thermally generated dusts. This should include the filtration challenges for collectors due to particle size, very high dust load, and combustible dust risks. Choosing the correct filter area is therefore very important to achieving maximum effect.

Envirox cartridge filters have a large filter area in relation to their size which ensures that they work with both dry and fine dust, while the cassette filters have a large filter area and work extremely well when there is a low to medium dust concentration in the industrial process filtration and dust collection application.

Other things to consider include the size of the dust collector and the need for hazard analysis to determine the right filtration strategy.

Envirox provides tailormade solutions to ensure that your specific dust filtration requirements are met. All this is done on the back of their extensive experience in providing a professional service that fits your operational style.