The AER Control Systems Twin Draft Product was developed from a request for a new local technical trade school looking for welding benches. In order to keep the costs down these benches would use filters that are thrown away rather than cleaned. Three different sizes were developed, a 3, 4, and 6 foot wide table top. The Twin Draft has a full enclosure mounted on top of the tables and the table has a downdraft suction down into the table top as well as a back draft to draw the fume or dust to the rear of the enclosed top thus the name Twin Draft. The filtration consisted of metal cabinets housing different filters that would be thrown away to keep the cost down because typically schools will not generate that much welding fume. The standard filters would consist of a metal mesh for sparks followed by a 95% efficient fiberglass media inside a metal housed box. On top of the filters are options for either a 1.5 or 3 HP blower motor to create a very strong downdraft and back draft suction to pull the contaminants away from the operator. The benefits of using the Twin Draft is because of the table top enclosure, the enclosure contains the welding fume from escaping throughout the welding shop, once the fume is contained the air suction pulls the fume away from the welders breathing area protecting the welder from harmful contaminants that could get into their lungs.
A few years ago AER Control Systems developed a high end mist and smoke collector designed for customers looking for longer filter life and less maintenance. The AER Fine Fiber and MOD Fiber Mist and Smoke Collectors were created to meet this need. The AER Fine Fiber is a low airflow unit and the MOD Fiber will handle higher airflows due to its modular approach. Both of these series of unit consist of two stages of pleated fiber bed media filters, one set of filters is designed for mist while a higher efficiency set for smoke. The longer filter life is obtained by using a depth loading media which essentially means a thicker filter forcing the mist and smoke to take longer to travel through. The pleated fiber media consists of interwoven very fine fibers created into a thick media. Higher efficiency is obtained by introducing a variety of more efficient media on the back end of the thicker media.
For one of AER Control Systems’ customer a longer filter life and less maintenance were obtained. The application is on a CBN grinder using oil as a cutting fluid generating high pressure mist (very fine) and heavy smoke producing oil mist and smoke for 24 hours a day 7 days a week. A standard mist collector with 95% efficient fiberglass vee-bags with a HEPA after filter was initially used on this application. The vee bag and HEPA filters only lasted 3 weeks. A MOD 2 Fiber Smoke unit was installed in its place and the HEPA filter life went to a minimum of 3 months.
Another one of AER Control Systems’ customer decided on the MOD 3 Fiber Collector and about four years ago they purchased one to try. This customer has the MOD 3 Fiber unit on a grinder using oil as a coolant running 2 shifts 6 days a week. This customer was so happy with the unit and its filter life where they have yet to change filters after four years and currently have 12 of the MOD 3 Fiber units. Please see unit application photo on the AER Control Systems Facebook page.
1. Are all the brands the same?
If you have a brand that says Aercology, Donaldson, or AER Control Systems then all the parts, filters, motors are identical. All of the suppliers are the same source. The color and model numbers are different, but that is all.
2. How long should my filters last before they need to be changed?
That question is always difficult to answer as the life of the filters depend upon how dirty your coolant is, the volume of mist you are capturing, and the type of machining process. If you are grinding or machining cast iron versus cutting then your filters will need to be changed more often because you are probably collecting very fine metal particulate along with the coolant. If you are running the mist collector only an hour or two versus 24 hours day then during the shorter running time, the filters will last longer. A typical rule of thumb on the Centrifugal Mist Collector filters is 3 to 6 months.
3. I see that the drum houses two filters a thin one (Throwaway) and a thick one (1st Stage), do I need to change both of these filters?
No the design of these two filters is the thin filter or throwaway will see more dirt than the thick or 1st stage one so it will need to be changed more often. We sell the 1st stage filter six at a time called a 6-pack for this reason. If you change the throwaway often in theory you should not have to change the primary.
4. How can I tell if the filters are dirty or need to be changed, can I place a gage across the filters to measure the pressure drop?
You really can’t put a gage across the main filters because the drum that houses the filters also is part of the fan, so it would be the same thing as measuring pressure drop across the fan, you wouldn’t be measuring the filters just the fan. The only true method of determining if you have to change the throwaway is to visually look at the filter and hold it up to the light, if it is more than 50% blocked with dirt then it needs to be thrown away. You might need to look at the throwaway filter one month at a time until you know how long this filter will last. I would recommend keeping a record on each unit.
5. I have had my centrifugal mist collector for a while and at first it ran smooth and quiet, but after a few months it is noisy and it vibrates, why is this happening?
The centrifugal mist collector has a drum which houses the filters and the fan, the drum spins at 3450 RPM, AER Control Systems balances each and every drum so that no vibration occurs when we ship a new unit. If the inside of the drum or filters see a large amount of in-balance or weight such as a large amount of dirt, metal, or the gel in water soluble coolant then these are just a few things that will cause the drum to start to vibrate. If you catch this early then we have options or solutions to prevent this, please contact AER Control Systems. If you don’t catch this early the vibrating drum will cause damage to the bearings in the motor, either the bearings will need to be changed or you will need a new motor, please contact AER Filter Sales for the motor replacement.
AER Control Systems installs either a magnehelic or mini-helic gauge on just about all of their units so the customer knows when to clean or replace the filters. These gauges are round, 5” in diameter for the Magnehelic and 3” in diameter for the mini-helic. These gauges are mounted on the side of the AER Control Units, but could be difficult to see from the ground. If you can see the needle and the numbers on the guage then that is a good start.
The function of a magnehelic guage is to measure the static pressure, it has two inlet ports a low side (minus) and high side (plus). On air filtration units these gauges are located on the suction side of the blower; the airflow is being drawn into the blower inlet so the lowest static pressure is the port that is closest to the fan inlet as this is the most negative or lowest static pressure reading. The dirty side of the filter is the high side or plus side and is reading the higher static pressure. The reason why we use the magnehelic gauge on our units is to sense the change in pressure drop across the filters that AER Control Systems uses in their units.
Why would you want to know the change in pressure drop? This is the one indicator of when the filters are becoming dirty, the higher the reading the more the pressure drop is across the filters. With clean filters in the unit the magnehelic guage reading will be very low, somewhere between zero and one is a good rule of thumb, although this could be higher if the airflow is higher, the higher the airflow or air velocity going through the filters the higher the clean filter pressure drop. As the filters become dirty the air velocity and airflow will begin to drop due to restrictions in the filter because of the dirt but the blower is trying to move a higher airflow and becomes stronger so the difference between the low side and high side increases.
How will I know when to clean or change my filters? The first time your filters become dirty you will have to keep a close eye on the design airflow, as the design airflow drops, the guage reading will raise. When the design airflow drops too much you will notice the collector is not performing as it should, the suction strength is not there, and you see more particulate filling up your shop. This is the point at which you should clean or replace your filters, but before you do that place a mark on the face of the guage with a Sharpie or something similar at the needle reading so next time when the needle reaches this mark you will know by looking at the guage that the filters need to be changed.
Where do I purchase filters? You can purchase filters at AER Filter Sales (203-239-0340 or www.aerfiltersales.com) color palette.
If you are looking for a dust collector cartridge filter that will provide you with better efficiency, more effective filter cleaning, lower filter pressure drop, and longer filter life than the NANO Fiber is the cartridge filter for you. Let us look at each of these in more detail and explain.
Why is the NANO Fiber more efficient?
The NANO Fiber is more efficient because of how the media is created, the fibers in the NANO Fiber cartridge range from 0.07 to 0.15 microns and creates a mesh type filter layer. To give you a reference as to how small this fiber diameter is, picture if you can fibers that are 1000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Now comparing the overall filter efficiency of the NANO Fiber to the standard 80/20 media most commonly found in the industry, the 80/20 has an overall efficiency of 85% efficiency at particles of 3 to 10 microns or an efficiency rating of MERV 10. The NANO Fiber cartridge can have as high as a MERV 15 which means that it can capture 85% of particles that are 0.3 to 1 micron and 90% at larger than 1 micron particles.
Why is filter cleaning better on a NANO Fiber?
The 80/20 media because of its less efficiency is a depth loading media, meaning that the dust particles become embedded into the pore of the media and over time air pulse filter cleaning will have a difficult time removing that dust particle, eventually the filter will have to be replaced. The NANO Fiber media however because of the very small diameter fibers keeps the dust particles on the surface of the media. When air pulse the NANO Fiber, the dust comes right off easily. You also have a savings on compressed air usage since you don’t have to air pulse clean the NANO Fiber as much.
How does the NANO Fiber improve the pressure drop across the filter?
It is really the same reasoning as above since the dust sits on the surface of the media and does not become embedded than the pressure drop is less.
How does the NANO Fiber extend filter life?
Since the dust sits on the surface of the NANO Fiber it air pulses or cleans the filter easier and not as often because the dust comes off compared to being embedded in the media. The media becomes weaker the more the filter has to be air pulsed and life is shortened on the 80/20. The NANO Fiber will save you money on maintenance time and cost.
The bottom line, the NANO Fiber is more efficient (less dust going into the air or shop), air pulse cleans easier with less headaches (lower compressed air cost and energy savings), and longer filter life (less filter maintenance time and longer overall cost). If interested in the NANO Fiber cartridge for you dust collector please contact AER Filter Sales.
This blog is a continuation of a previous blog on the PBM-4 we manufacture for an OEM. AER Control Systems also manufactures a larger 6 cartridge unit called the PBM-6; everything is the same as the PBM-4 except more filters, larger motor and blower to move more airflow. The PBM series is a very functional dust collector and has many uses, you can mount one of these units on the floor of your shop hook up the power and hook up the compressed air, turn it on and let it pull in the ambient dust floating around your shop and filter it. The filters are self-cleaning by manually pushing a button which allows compressed air to blast the inside of the filter and dust falls off into dust drawers under the filters for disposal. If you decide you want to improve on the capture efficiency and make it easier for the PBM unit to pull in the ambient dust then you can add hinged side panels. The function of the side panels is to funnel the air and dust into the large opening of the PBM unit. If you want to improve the dust capture in your shop you have to contain the dust, the best way to contain the dust is to have an enclosure like a paint booth with side walls, a roof, and
in the back wall you would mount either one or several PBM units side by side depending on how large the booth is. The general rule of thumb is one PBM-6 for a 10 foot width by 10 foot height. The booths can be constructed of anything as long as the dust is contained; some of our customers have placed our units inside of existing rooms and made the room a booth or enclosure. We have sold metal booths in various sizes with light fixtures for visibility.
The AER APB downdraft table is a very popular unit, it is a self-contained cartridge filter dust collector with its own blower, all mounted under the downdraft table. The APB comes in several size table tops, 42”x 50” (APB4250), 42” x76” (APB4276), and 48” x 102” (APB48102). Each size table has either two, four, or six cartridge filters going from small to large. Each model has two choices for a very strong motor blower per model depending on the application. The downdraft table velocity is easily 250 feet per minute or higher depending on the tabletop size. The very high velocity is important for drawing the dust down into the table. The APB comes standard with a manual push button air pulse cartridge filter cleaning system, dust drawers under the cartridge filters, a filter pressure drop gauge and a manual motor starter make the APB unit a drop in place ready to go. The APB is very adaptable, the filter cabinets and blower cabinet under the table are modular which means that if you want the blower to discharge out one side or the other you can, although the standard is to discharge out of the back. AER has built these tables with a larger tabletop overhang than standard, which is 6”, we have gone to 12”. Sitting on the tabletop is a back and side hinged side shield (nice feature for longer parts), but sometimes we are asked to remove the back and hinged sides for what we call a flat top. Flat tops are beneficial if your operator wants to walk around the table to work on the part. AER has also added an enclosure that sits on the table top to enclose the part and contain the dust while it is being worked on. The enclosure could also have a backdraft which draws the dust to the rear of the enclosure. If your process generates spark we can include a spark arrester, or water and sand pans to protect the filters. The standard cartridge filters are flame retardant 80/20 blend; if you need more efficient filters we have our NANO fiber available. If your process needs an extra back up filter to protect against Hexavalent Chromium Fume or silica for example we can offer a HEPA after filter. If you want to roll around the APB we can add casters for portability. One of the very special designs that AER did was to mount a lazy susan to hold a 2000 lb part in the center of the table.
Have you ever wished that someone made a small self-cleaning cartridge dust collector? AER Control Systems manufactures a nominal 800 CFM cartridge dust collector with either a 1 or 1.5 HP blower or a 4” or 6” inlet. This unit provides a more efficient dust collector than our Dust Cab 800 shaker bag dust collector. The VSCF-800 is a very compact unit, the footprint is only 25.5” wide by 24” deep, and the overall height with the motor is about 4 feet tall. The standard unit has a 125 square foot cartridge filter, a dust drawer, manual push button air pulse filter cleaning, and a mini-helic filter pressure drop gauge to indicate when to change the filter. This unit started out to be a simple dust collector, but our sales force has created many options for this small unit including casters, hopper and stand, HEPA After filter, and an on-demand filter cleaning system called our Smart Pulse. The photo below includes just about every option mentioned above all wrapped into one unit, starting on the bottom you have casters mounted to a base plate where the legs and hopper are attached which support the VSCF-800 that has the Smart Pulse cleaning and a HEPA after filter mounted on the top of the unit.
1. What is Crystalline Silica (Quartz) and in what materials is it commonly found in
Crystalline Silica (Quartz) is a component of sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar.
2. Who is exposed to Crystalline Silica?
Anyone who works with the above materials is exposed. Operations such as cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing these materials would be at risk for silica exposure or silicosis. Workers also involved in sand products such as glass manufacturing, foundries, and sand blasting. Anyone who works with ceramics and stone in stone shops is exposed to silicosis. Manufacturing of soaps and detergents is also a source for silica exposure. More than 100,000 workers are exposed and are at high risk in the USA.
3. What is Silicosis?
Silicosis is a disease of the lungs due to the breathing of dust containing crystalline silica particles. This dust can cause fibrosis or scar tissue formations in the lungs that reduce the lung’s ability to work to extract oxygen from the air. There is no cure for this disease; prevention of the dust exposure is the only answer. According to the Secretary of Labor more than 250 people die from Silicosis in the United States per year. We have to work towards the exposure to silica by providing dust collectors that protects the worker’s breathing zone.