A dust collector filter is among the most important components for sandblasting cabinets. Machine footprint combined with Dust Storage Capacity is what created the need for dust collector advancements. Although we’ve made huge strides in innovation, dust collector filter maintenance is still an important factor.
Types of Dust Collector Filters:
- 1st came the Positive Pressure Dust Bag attached to the blower exhaust outlet. These are still used today but only by companies that don’t understand dust control and dust You would normally have 12 sq.ft. of filter in a 12 x 12 inch floor space with normal vertical bag height. Dust is collected inside the bag.
- 2nd came the Positive and Negative Pressure Tubular Dust Bags. These have more filter area for better dust capacity in the same 12-inch space. Using the same footprint as the single dust bag, these increase the filter area to about 24 square feet or double the dust storage capacity.
- 3rd to come was the Negative Pressure Envelope Bag. This special design allows bags to be flattened and stacked vertically one next to the other. With this innovation, the filter area in the same footprint jumped to 100 square feet of filter area. This is 4 times the area of tubular dust bags and 8 times the area of a single bag all in the same space!
- 4th came the Negative Pressure Cartridge Filter. This allows up to 228 square feet of filter in the same footprint as all the other types.
The Dust Collector Filter is the Most Important Part of a Blast Cabinet
The most important part of any sandblasting cabinet is the filter type and filter area. This captures, stores the dust, and allows the machine to function properly. Many manufactures of sandblasting cabinets ignore how critical this is to proper operation.
ProTip: Blower cfm air speed through a dust collector filter is affected by the filter area, measured in square feet. Any filter more efficient with slower air migration through the filter. HEPA filters have a maximum speed through the filter of 3.5 feet per minute and many of our primary filters are operating at this and slower speeds.
Dust Collector Filter Maintenance
Dust collector service and maintenance is the responsibility of the user, and unfortunately many users neglect to manage the upkeep. This is where the problem starts.
Real World Example: Imagine if you didn’t change your car’s oil filter for several years. Not only would the car’s performance suffer, you could damage the car’s engine shorten engine life.
Even if the user is on top of the maintenance, each machine’s maintenance cycle depends on the machine application. Applications using larger guns and softer abrasives require more service, maintenance, and cleaning. If the filter area is small, maintenance can turn into an every hour task. Neglecting the maintenance can result in a messy work environment with almost no visibility inside the cabinet.
When To Change Your Dust Collector Filter
Large amounts of compressed air going through a filter include minor amount of oils, humidity and material being removed from the part itself can all lower the ability of the blower to move air through the filter. At some point, if you don’t change the filter it will simply fail to work properly even with no visible holes or wear.
Regardless of whether the filter looks visibly dirty, Media Blast recommends you change the filter type used at least once a year for machines with daily operation of one hour and more. Performing this simple task can keep a sandblasting cabinet operating like new. Additionally, filter area can be upgraded and cleaning can be upgraded to automatic for difficult applications.