A cyclone dust collector is the simplest and lowest cost air-material separator. Most commonly found in grain and woodworking facilities where fibrous dust is managed, cyclones frequently serve as low-maintenance standalone dust collectors requiring no compressed air for cleaning. Cyclones can achieve high collection efficiencies when dusts are over 20 microns in size. Cyclone dust collectors frequently serve as pre-filter systems which reduce the dust loading to downstream baghouse and cartridge dust collectors. A cyclone pre-cleaner can save wear and tear on the filters and cleaning systems, thus reducing the associated maintenance and servicing costs of the dust collectors. In facilities which process different ingredients on the same production line, cyclones are especially useful as receivers to capture the majority of saleable product while the fines pass through to the baghouse dust collector to be discarded. A cyclone can be quickly cleaned to accept the next product batch, eliminating the need to clean remaining fines from the baghouse filters, a more tedious procedure. Cyclones have a relatively simple construction and generally have no moving parts. They are essentially comprised of six sections—the inlet scroll section, conical housing, inner vortex tube, collection “surge” hopper, and optional scroll clean gas outlet.
Cyclone dust collectors operate via centrifugal force. Dusty air enters a scroll type inlet and rapidly forms a cyclonic motion. The subsequent vortex within the dust collection chamber separates dust particulate from the air stream by throwing it towards the outer housing walls. Cleaned gas and fine particles then exit via the internal vortex tube.
There are a number of reasons to consider acquiring a cyclone dust collector to meet dust collection requirements in a facility. Here are 5 factors that should be taken into consideration beforehand.
Dust Control Needs
The size of the cyclone dust collector system needed is proportional to the volume of airflow required to capture and convey particulates to it. A dust control assessment of the facility can help determine the size and type of system needed. How large are the particulate contaminants to be collected? Is ventilation air to be exhausted or returned to the manufacturing area? Is dust generated only during a particular process or is it generated constantly? Such an evaluation will help determine the cyclone dust collection system that meets your needs.
Once an assessment of the plant’s dust control needs is completed, companies will be in a position to identify what type and size cyclone system to purchase. A cyclone dust collector can be less costly up front than a baghouse or cartridge dust collector, but will it meet the long-term particulate matter (PM) collection efficiency needs for the facility? Alternately can a baghouse perform reliably without the need for an upstream cyclone? With only one air-material separator, the overall system pressure drop would be lower compared to a cyclone/dust collector system, resulting in long term energy savings in the form of reduced fan horsepower. This needs to be weighed against the maintenance costs if cleanability is a requirement for the application.
In any facility, dust and particulate collection efficiency relates to the size of the airborne particles and their distribution within the air or gas stream. Consider the size of particulates circulating in the plant or factory before purchasing a system. Cyclones are efficient at removing large particulate matter (over 10 to 20 microns in diameter.) If the application is for collecting larger particles such as 200 mesh, a standalone cyclone may be perfectly acceptable. In other cases, when the contaminants include particles smaller than 10 microns in diameter, a cyclone may serve as a “pre-cleaner” for baghouses and cartridge collectors by reducing the dust load and pre-filtering coarser material.
An important consideration is where the cyclone dust collector will be installed. A standalone cyclone system is a relatively compact, highly efficient, and cost-effective air-material separator. However, if a downstream dust collector is also required in the system, this requires more floor space and often, more headroom. A cyclone and baghouse or cartridge dust collector system result in two separate discharge points for the collected dust, which can complicate the overall system.
Naturally, a foremost consideration is the health benefit of eliminating dust in the workplace. Once airborne, the dust and particulates can present many health hazards to those exposed to them. Fine dust particles composed of a combination of the chemicals in various materials such as metals, wood, silica, and minerals can lead to respiratory issues, poisoning, allergic reactions, and some kinds of cancers. If a cyclone dust collector affordably meets the budget needs, it can greatly improve working conditions for staff.