Choosing the Right Dust Extraction System

Choosing the right dust extraction system for your workplace is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make, as employee health depends on it.

Assessing needs and options for the appropriate extraction system means establishing the type of industry, the dust produced and the available space.

Image of dust coming off of a saw.

© Anslem Kempf / Shutterstock

Various industries produce hazardous dust including composites, stonemasonry, electronics, pharmaceutical, carpentry, fabrication, aerospace, machining and many more.


How do dust extraction systems work?

Dry dust extraction systems work by continually drawing in air from the working area and filtering out any hazardous particles created during the production process. Large volumes of air enter the unit and are forced through a baffled inlet. The air is passed through filters and harmful dust is trapped by the filter media.

Dust particles are dislodged and deposited into a receptacle, where they will remain until the waste can be safely disposed of. Filtered air is effectively cleaned and returned to the room, minus the harmful dust particles.

Wet dust collection systems work on the same principle, in that they are aimed at removing hazardous substances from the air and returning clean air to the workspace. However, they use a combination of water and air pressure to remove dust from the atmosphere, driving the hazardous particles through a water spray or stream.

The dust is then allowed to settle at the bottom of the tank, where it will be safely disposed of later.


What are the health benefits of dust extraction?

When the air is filled with potentially hazardous dust, debris, fumes or chemicals, it can cause respiratory and other health problems for employees.

Dust extraction improves health and safety in the workplace in several ways, including helping to protect employees’ lungs from damage. It also prevents dust from collecting around equipment, minimising the risk of a potential fire or explosion hazard.

Businesses in the UK must comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 to protect the health and safety of the workforce. Dust extraction systems improve the air quality and enhance the safety of everyone within the building.


How do you choose the right system?

Consider the unit’s capacity in relation to its portability and weight, focusing on factors such as vacuum generation and airflow, as well as the motor power. The less the unit weighs, the easier it will be to move it, should this be necessary.

Consider how well it handles materials and prioritise ergonomic design that ensures the collection, handling, emptying and transportation of waste materials are safe every step of the way. The system must minimise contamination, and the collected dust must remain contained.

Consider the noise level when the unit is in operation. Even when your workplace sound level is considered safe by law, every additional piece of equipment can increase volumes. Industry experts advise that the dust extraction system’s sound level should be a minimum of 5dB below the ambient noise level of the area.

Always choose a filtration system that provides optimum performance and efficiency, even after prolonged use. Tough applications, such as concrete grinding, put greater demands on dust extraction systems, as they produce a large volume of fine particles. Consider choosing a PTFE filter for this kind of work.

Working with hazardous materials, such as chemicals and silica dust, requires special precautions, so ensure your chosen system has the relevant safety measures in place.

Finally, make sure the extraction system’s nozzle and suction casing are the right size. The inlet dimensions and filter area are relevant when determining whether the required airflow is achieved.

The length of the tubing and hose impacts the pressure drop, so greater pressure generation is needed from your dust extraction system when handling large quantities of dust. Avoid systems where the diameters are too small for the level of use, as this can quickly clog up the system.

As a leading UK manufacturer of dust, fume and mist extraction equipment, AirBench offers a selection of dust extraction systems for use in every industry.


AirBench Downdraught Benches

AirBench downdraught benches enable the user to work safely on the bench’s surface.

The dust and fumes are drawn down through the surface into the extraction bench’s internal filters. There’s no complicated installation required: simply plug in, switch on and start work.

We are experts in our field, having more than 10,000 downdraught extraction systems in operation in the UK and abroad.

Clients can choose from multiple AirBench models to ensure the correct specification for your requirements.


Vertex Cross-Draught Systems and Booths

Our Vertex Cross-Draught systems and booths are modular walls of extraction, drawing dust into internal filters through the perforated front panels. Internal filters are selected to suit the application, removing contaminants from the airstream and returning clean, filtered air to the workspace.

Vertex systems start from one single 1,200mm x 600mm extracted face, with no upper limit to their size. We can create walk-in dust and fume extraction booths to suit any application and can configure bespoke Vertex systems when clients specify alternative filter sets – a grinding booth for metalwork; a sanding booth for wood and similar dusts; or a fume extraction booth with carbon filtration.


Air Cleaning Systems

Our Air Cleaning Systems are based on proven AirBench fan and filter technology. They will remedy atmospheric dust issues if dust escapes from nearby processes.

Our MF units provide a simple solution to this problem, running continuously, cleaning and recirculating air in the workshop to improve the working environment.

Designed for factory use, our larger standalone AT systems clean high volumes of air continuously. They are particularly useful for environments where there is excess dust or fumes, such as welding facilities.

If you’re currently in the process of choosing a new dust extraction system, contact our team of experts to book a site visit for a demonstration, or for general help and advice.

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Why choose AirBench?

AirBench Ltd are the UK’s leading manufacturer of downdraught benches and cross draught extraction systems. We have more than 10,000 extraction systems in service in the UK and overseas. Along with our range of coolant mist filters and air cleaning systems, we are actively helping businesses across many industries solve their workplace dust and fume issues.


If you'd like to try an AirBench product for FREE simply book a demo and we'll bring one to you.