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Mitigate Dust Hazards With Good Equipment and System Design

By Chuck Kerwin and Gus Carrington, AZO Inc. |

By carefully considering equipment and plant design in processes involving powdered materials, fugitive dust issues can be reduced significantly Powdered ingredients that unintentionally leak from equipment in a manufacturing plant are known as fugitive dust. The risks associated with fugitive dust are very real. The three major risk factors are: 1) combustion risk 2) operator exposure (inhalation and contact) risk and 3) product hygiene risk. It is difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate all dust from a manufacturing plant, but controlling fugitive dust starts with equipment design. Minimizing dust in and around bulk-material-handling systems is most effective when less dust is allowed to escape from your material-handling system. This article provides information on design strategies and considerations for building effective dust containment into new equipment. This approach may increase upfront equipment cost, but will lower operating costs and avoid dust-issue headaches later. Dust reduction by design The importance of plant housekeeping should not be overlooked in controlling dust, but there is more to it. Automated powder-handling systems are made up of multiple components, working in concert, to move ingredients from storage…
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