By Greg Fenrick

After learning more about the basics of dust collection from Donaldson Australasia’s website, it reminded me of a summer job where a dust collector sure would have been handy. During that summer I worked with four other students hired to clean the boilers at our local power plant. This power plant provided electricity for the city of Estevan Saskatchewan. Local lignite coal was used and every summer, the boilers were shut down to chip the impurities deposited from the burning of this coal. The heat and dust was stifling, even with dust masks, which is all they gave us. Even if these boilers still exist twenty years later, I’m sure health & safety laws have changed how this these pipes are cleaned today.

As I understand, one of the primary maintenance costs for a dust collection system are the filter bags. This is what caught my attention about Donaldson’s Dalamatic dust collectors, which come standard with their Dura-Life long life filter bags.

According to Donaldson’s literature, their Dura-Life filter bags, provide as much as two to three times the life of standard bags. Increased bag life means less service requirements and disruption to equipment operation as well as a reduction in overall maintenance and bag costs. This is achieved in four key steps. Firstly, dust accumulates on the outer surface of the bag. Secondly, a blowpipe (jet tube) injects a burst of compressed air into the filter bag. Thirdly, airflow is briefly reversed which inflates the filter bag and dislodges the dust and fourthly, the dust cake falls into a collection hopper.

As shown in the pictures below, traditional polyester bags have been woven with a needling process that creates larger pores where dust can embed into the fabric, inhibiting cleaning and reducing bag life. Dura-Life bags are engineered with a unique hydroentanglement process that uses water to blend the fibres. This process provides more uniform material with smaller pores, resulting in better surface loading and better pulse cleaning and doubles the bag life. Tough EPA tests in North America have shown that Dura—Life bags have 30 % less emissions than other market options.

In any environment where dust is either a nuisance or a health hazard, and is a major part of a mining operation, Donaldson’s dust collection systems certainly deserves serious consideration to help reduce filter bag and maintenance costs.