Mist Collectors for Grinders

Mist Collectors for Grinders

Grinding is a great technique for finishing products by smoothing surfaces or other final steps like adding grooves. Given the number of goods that can be produced with flat surfaces, techniques like surface grinding are very common. Other examples of grinding techniques include centerless grinding (typically faster than surface grinding and requires fewer passes) or cylindrical grinding (for specific round product shapes). These different types of grinding have their advantages and use cases, but also have some common challenges. In contrast to most other machining operations, grinding generally does not use an enclosure unless the facility has a customized enclosure for grinding (however these enclosed grinders usually have very high demand oil applications, discussed further below as a case study). Open-air grinding leads to dirtier operations that release lots of byproducts like oil mist. The heat generated by the wearing surface can lead to friction, burning, or swarf accumulation which is why a mist collector for grinders is recommended.


Oil Mist from Grinding Wheels

The abrasive surface of the wheels used for grinding can come in a variety of materials, usually aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, diamond, or cubic boron nitride. These materials also vary in hardness, which will play a role in determining what the process quality is. However, some materials can cause the previously mentioned issues of heat generation. In some cases, the heat generated can also lead to loose material, lower production quality, and burn marks. Modern machine operations typically address this issue through oils that cool the cutting surface and provide lubrication. The use of oil will improve the process quality and the longevity of the tools but will produce mist and workplace issues that require the use of a mist collector for grinders. This issue is exacerbated by the open-air workspace of grinding. 


Typically, the type of oil used will depend on the material of the product. The Manufacturing Product Reference Guide typically recommends light or heavy-duty oils for common materials like aluminum, with the added recommendation of synthetic oils for materials like stainless steel and plastics. Each of these oils will have its considerations such as the particulate formation, current regulatory guidelines (OSHA at a minimum but not a best practice), and viscosity/density (typically, synthetic oils are the cleanest to work).


Mist Collector for Grinders
Aeroex Mist Collector for Grinders


Causes of Oil Mist During Grinding

A common refrain among oil mist collection for machining is “the faster the process, the finer the particles”. Oil mist is applied to promote speed and reduce heat generation, but this increased speed of machining (in this case grinding) causes subsequent problems. At typical speeds where oil mist becomes a practice, oil mist is producing sprays of droplets mechanically and vapors of oil thermally. As grinding speeds increase, the amount of heat vaporizing the oil will also increase. Vapors are much harder to deal with than droplets because they are significantly smaller in particle size, meaning there are more of them but they are smaller and harder to filter. The size and volume of these vaporized particles mean that an efficient mist collector for grinders is required. 


Risks of Oil Mist from Grinding

Oil mist can be contained within the machine enclosure immediately after application but left any longer and accumulation would cause films to develop in your equipment. If exhausted or the hood is lifted, the oil mist will be circulated or released into your shop floor. If you do not have an enclosure, then release is already an issue. Oil mist can create visibility issues from the misty haze, which then lands on your floor and creates slip hazards. While in the air, it can be breathed in by staff or create irritation in body parts like the eyes. If exposure persists, there will be health issues and possibly a workplace that contravenes regulatory requirements for health and safety.


How to Remove Oil Mist from Grinding

The answer to the challenges of a grinding process made efficient with oil coolants that cause dangerous mists? An oil mist collector for grinding that provides an efficient source control solution achieving sub-micron particle removal. The mist collector will need to capture the large droplets mechanically dispersed from the grinding process, as well as the smallest particles vaporized from the heat of faster grinding. It should be efficient, and powerful enough to provide the cycles desired in your shop.

For machining applications like surface grinding, cylindrical grinding, or centerless grinding, Aeroex typically prescribes the use of the Mist-Fit series of oil mist collectors for grinding. Aeroex takes a different approach to open-air grinders than other machine applications and includes configuration options that ensure the source control solution that captures all pollutant particles before they can be released into the shop (at which point elimination by ambient control is much harder to achieve).

The Mist-Fit mist collector for grinding delivers a series of separation processes that remove any oil mist with increasing efficiency in each stage. The primary mechanical and secondary demister capture up to 95% of oil mist, notably the mechanically generated particles that are larger. The next stage in the filtration series is a depth loading fiber bed with high media volume – this MERV 15 rated filter will capture up to 95% of the oil mist particles. This efficiency is often more than sufficient for standard applications, but our products also carry HEPA filters durable enough for long-lasting air purification for machining while providing the highest standards in removal efficiency (99.7% @ 0.3 µm). 


Case Studies in Mist Collectors for Grinding

We have seen that grinding as an open-air machining operation poses challenges to workplace safety and quality that can be effectively treated with Aeroex’s Misfit Solution. However, many grinding applications push the limits of current machining practices. Aeroex is at the forefront of these applications and is delivering mist collector solutions.

A customer specializing in biomedical manufacturing was using enclosed grinding centers with high-pressure oil. The demanding nature of the high-pressure oil meant the customer had gone through multiple competitor mist collectors before trying the ARO Series mist collector. The result was the client not seeing any oil leave the machine for the first time. Efficiency was the best they had seen, and they achieved longer filter life than competitor oil mist collectors. As a result, the ARO series deployment was expanded from a pilot station to all the machines in the biomedical manufacturing facility. 

Aeroex has seen similar client journeys with other grinding operations. A recent example includes an aerospace parts manufacturing facility. The specialized grinding equipment was enclosed and high-pressure oil was being applied. This aerospace manufacturer went through several competitor mist collectors before ultimately selecting the ARO Series mist collector.

Our mist collectors for grinding are made in Canada, provide the best value and lowest lifecycle cost (achieved through low filter maintenance frequency), and encompass design principles that reflect Aeroex’s leading knowledge of machining processes like grinding. This article provides a brief overview, contact Aeroex today for a specialist who will guide you through the strategy of selecting a solution that provides you your desired outcomes for the best value. 


Air Filtration System for Wood Shop

An overlooked hazard in the woodworking industry is toxic fumes that come from the woods and the products you work with. Regardless of whether you operate an industrial-scale woodworking operation or are a casual hobbyist, the danger of long-term exposure to toxic fumes from the wood you work with should not be taken lightly. Aeroex air purification systems equipped with carbon filters are specifically designed to filter out hazards such as toxic oil fumes.


In today’s blog, we further discuss the impact of toxic fumes in the woodworking industry and how Aeroex Technologies offers an engineered air purification solution that is capable of reducing toxic fumes from your woodshop facility. 

Health Risks Associated with Toxic Fumes from Woodworking 

Wood Processing Fumes 

Exposure to toxic fumes can come directly from the constituents of coniferous trees such as cedar and pine woods. Wood dust is considered a Group 1 carcinogen according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Specifically, exposure to fumes from wood dust can result in health issues due to the natural chemicals of the wood and substances in the wood i.e. bacteria, molds, pesticides, and fungi being released into the work environment as fumes. 

Wood dust emits fumes in woodworking processes such as sawing, routing, sanding, and other operations, freeing microscopic particles into the workplace that can irritate the eyes, noses, and mouth of your shop personnel. Toxic effects will range depending on the species of wood. 

Long-term exposure to cedar and pine wood fumes can exacerbate the symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma, and in some cases, can result in the permanent damage of lung tissue. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Western red cedar, in particular, has been proven to contribute to the development of asthma. Plicatic acid is a common allergen and exposure to red cedar wood dust that contains this acid is what can cause an asthmatic reaction. 


Case Study: Dundalk Leisurecraft 

Aeroex Technologies offers the expertise needed to ensure that the toxic fumes emitted from woodworking businesses are reduced in the working environment. 

Canadian manufacturer, Dundalk Leisurecraft specializes in building rustic, solid wood indoor and outdoor furniture, saunas, tiki bars, gazebos, and more – all constructed from maple, pine, and cedar. Dundalk reached out to our team about finding a solution for dealing with the toxic fumes that were being emitted into their work environment – specifically, from working with red cedar. 

Dundalk had a working dust collector in place, but their shop personnel was experiencing some of the symptoms associated with toxic fumes from wood dust. Their existing dust collector system was effective at collecting wood dust, however, it was also circulating toxic fumes from the wood dust around their facility. They needed an air purification system that was able to mitigate the exposure of their shop personnel to these fumes. 

The Aeroex team of professionals assessed their shop needs and installed 2 IRIS-200 Air Purification Units that use activated carbon filters for ambient air cleaning to remove the fumes in their workshop. After the installation of the IRIS-200 Air Purification Units, the Dundalk staff noticed that the smell of the toxic fumes as well as their symptoms were substantially reduced. 

Wood Smoke 

Some woodworkers finish wood using fire in their facilities to create a sought-after charred wood or shou sugi ban inspired effect – however, finishing wood with fire can leave woodworkers exposed to the negative health implications of wood smoke. 

Wood smoke is notorious for containing thousands of irritants and carcinogens such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Benzopyrenes – both of which are toxic to humans. Like the effects of exposure to wood dust, exposure to wood smoke can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation in addition to headaches and nausea. Long-term exposure to wood smoke can also worsen the symptoms of existing respiratory conditions such as asthma. 

Case Study: Montreal Bagels 

Montreal-style bagel businesses authentically produce their bagels by hand and in-shop. Using wood-fired ovens to cook these bagels is what gives them their notable flavour. However, the untreated wood smoke released from these ovens can lead to large environmental and health issues without an air purification system. 

Luckily, Aeroex Technologies offers experience working with Montreal-style bagel businesses that use wood-fired ovens to produce their bagels. Our line of IRIS and ARO air purification systems can keep wood smoke emissions at bay – mitigating the environmental and health risks associated with their untreated release. 


Wood Treatment and Finishing Products 

Wood treatment and finishing products commonly used in woodworking shops can also lead to health issues. 

In wood treatment, there are certain pesticides used as preservatives to maximize the service life of the wood. Small amounts of treated wood chemicals can escape or leach from the treated wood. The number of pesticide chemicals released from the wood will depend on a few factors. However, working with treated wood in a workshop will exacerbate the release of these chemicals into the work environment as wood dust fumes – exposing you and your personnel to its effects. 

Wood finishing products such as oil-based stains, varnishes, and shellacs emit fumes that contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can degrade indoor air quality and negatively impact human health. Breathing issues, nausea, dizziness, eye and throat irritation, and headaches are all potential symptoms of exposure to the VOCs in the fumes when using these products. Long-term exposure to these products’ toxic fumes can also result in wood stain poisoning with symptoms that include a burning sensation, blurred vision, and collapse, and cancer in more serious cases. 

If you’re concerned about exposure to toxic fumes from wood treatment and finishing products in your woodshop, consider Aeroex’s line of IRIS air purification systems. As in the case of toxic fumes from wood processing, IRIS purification systems utilize activated carbon filters for ambient air cleaning to remove toxic fumes and improve indoor air quality in your workshop. Get a quote for an IRIS air purification system today!


Air Filter Systems for Toxic Oil Fumes in Woodshop

As you can see above, there are a myriad of ways in which exposure to toxic fumes can occur in the woodworking industry. Long-term exposure and improper precautions to fumes from wood processing, wood smoke, and wood treatment and finishing products can negatively impact the health of you and your shop personnel.

It is for this reason that a proper air purification system is in place to remove the presence of these particles and protect you and your workers from the long-term effects of exposure to toxic fumes in the woodshop. 

Aeroex air purification solutions target toxic fumes that are common in many woodworking facilities. We use multi-stage filtration techniques that target the sources of air quality issues. Our systems are designed to capture the smallest particles with the highest efficiency, and our made-in-Canada devices are designed to maximize the lifecycle of your filters (important given the volume of toxic fumes produced in large-scale woodworking operations). 

Models in our IRIS and ARO series are capable of mitigating the impact of toxic fumes using ambient or source-capture filtration. Aeroex offers the ability to augment any existing ventilation systems you have with an air purification solution. This can be an option when you already have some mitigation measures in place at the source, but wish to improve the working conditions across your shop. 

Given the various options and models, we recommend that Aeroex get to know your operation to make a recommendation about the most affordable and efficient options. With over 20 years of experience and a variety of filtration media to choose from, we can assess your woodshop’s unique needs and offer you a tailor-made solution to remove toxic fumes from wood processing, wood smoke, and wood treatment and finishing products from your facility. 

To get started, contact Aeroex today.