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How to select fume collectors for welding operations

Welding produces weld fume particulate that is harmful if people breathe it in. Weld fume collection is essential to maintaining a safe, clean, and healthy workplace.

Donaldson offers a variety of weld fume collectors. The best option depends on the type of welding in your process and how the work area is set up.

Here are factors to consider when choosing a weld fume collection system:

  • What types of materials are being welded and what kind of particulate do they produce?
  • What is the rate of fume generation?
  • How are work cells laid out?
  • Is the welder stationary or moving around the piece they’re working on?
  • Are there physical space limitations due to the facility’s structure?
  • Is it important to have flexible space, with the ability to rearrange work cells?
  • Are workers willing to use a portable system or a capture hood?

Work with a qualified professional to evaluate these factors. Then determine which capture method is better—source capture or ambient air capture.

Source capture is more effective. This method captures fumes before they reach welders’ breathing zone or disperse throughout the facility. Source capture options include hoods, extraction arms, and downdraft benches. Also, welders can use portable equipment to have flexibility in their work environment.

Types of source capture collectors:

  • Easy-Trunk™ and Porta-Trunk™ – Portable fume collectors to filter smoke, dust, and fumes in metalworking, welding, and grinding
  • Trunk 2000 – Ceiling-mounted, self-contained weld fume dust collector with extraction arms for moderate-to-heavy welding applications
  • Weld bench – Work bench designed for fume collection in welding operations
  • Remote weld bench – Remote workstation for welding that integrates with other Donaldson Torit® air filtration products

Source capture is the preferred method for weld fume collection, but it has limitations:

  • Some plant layouts do not allow the use of source capture equipment
  • If welders work on longer welds, stationary equipment cannot move with them
  • Relocating portable equipment can be difficult and time consuming

If source capture systems cannot be implemented, then consider ambient air collection.

Ambient air collection addresses the overall air filtration in the room. This method reduces the concentrations of weld fumes, but it does not address each weld process.

Maintaining proper air movement in the designated work zone is vital to effective ambient collection. Since weld fumes naturally rise 10 to 15 feet above the shop floor, that height is where air intakes should be located. Filtered air should be returned near the floor level to support natural circulation in the work area.

Ambient air collectors are typically placed throughout a facility. They can be used for challenging facility layouts or in addition to source capture.

DenTech can help determine the best weld fume collection solution for your facility. Contact our experts and we’ll review your operating conditions to select the appropriate equipment.

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