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Dust Collection: How to Create a World Class Customer Experience

Dust Collection Customer Experience Summary:

• Industrial Dust Collection buyers place high importance on customer experience when making purchasing decisions
• Customer experience is defined by the interactions a buyer has with a company before, during and after a sale.
• There are five things industrial buyers value most in their purchasing experience: Product knowledge, Responsiveness, Service, Relationship, and Educational Resources

If you were to ask most people what’s most important to them when making a purchase historically it’s come down to three things – price, quality, and service. But as buyers have become more savvy and have less time to spend on purchasing, customers now place equal if not more importance on customer experience when making dust collection purchasing decisions. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. And a recent Walker study found that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

Customer experience is defined by the interactions a buyer has with a company before, during and after making a purchase.

What makes a good customer experience when purchasing dust collector parts

We recently sent a survey to our customers to understand what they currently value when making purchasing decisions and to learn where there may be gaps and opportunities for improvement.

By understanding our buyer’s perspective it helps us build an experience tailored to the different needs and wants of our customer.
We’ve organized our findings into five core components that customers valued most:

Top 5 Key Components to a Customer Service Experience

  1. Expertise and Product Knowledge
  2. Responsiveness
  3. Service
  4. Relationship
  5. Educational Resources and Tools


Dust Collection Purchasing Survey Graphic 1

Dust Collection Expertise and Product Knowledge

Expertise and product knowledge were voted as the most valued component in a dust collection customer service experience. Dust collection needs vary significantly even within the same industrial application. Today buyers value sales reps who function first as product experts who understand their specific dust collection challenges. Finding the right dust collection products that will optimize performance requires vast technical knowledge on a filters, valves, troubleshooting, dust collection engineering and more. When a sales rep delivers and establishes their expertise, this evokes trust and assurance to the customer that their buying journey and partnership will be successful.

“I had a very good conversation with internal sales, Mark. Sharing technical knowledge and information is always helpful!” – Customer Testimonial

Leveraging Technology to Improve Responsiveness

Responsiveness is critical to industrial dust collection customers in order to keep their system running at peak performance. A customer may need dust collector parts for an upcoming inspection, an unexpected explosion, or replacements for broken or underperforming parts. To help solve issues before they turn into more disruptive maintenance problems, it’s vital to get a response back to the customer promptly.

To improve response time, companies can leverage technology in innovative ways that cater to the customer.

For example, at USAF our sales reps can be reached through multiple channels including direct phone line, email, online quote request, online chat, email nurturing and marketing automation, or via the main line where a live person will answer and direct your call immediately. Investing in several channel options allows USAF to communicate with customers quickly, using their preferred communication method.

Further, as more of the buyers journey moves online, and as more buyers now prefer online communication over phone and face to face contact, particularly in response to COVID-19, companies need to adapt by investing in technology that will streamline the buyers journey by moving more customer interactions online. This could include any or all of the following solutions:

  • Chatbot Artificial Intelligence
  • Call Center
  • Marketing Automation & Email/SMS nurturing
  • Content marketing – Includes videos, blogs, eBooks, case studies

“The products I purchase are specialized and by me contacting Patty and her quick response back to me works for our relationship and I wouldn’t change it. She does a fabulous job!” – Customer Testimonial


Dust Collection Purchasing Survey Graphic 2


Customers face so many choices when it comes to where they purchase dust collector parts. One key component to the dust collection customer experience is service. Great service isn’t about being short-sighted and merely searching for the next opportunity, instead it’s about prioritizing solving customer problems and focusing on long term wins.

Today’s industrial buyers expect a service experience that combines one on one human connection with the efficiency that technology brings. An example of this could include the following touchpoints that combine technology with personal outreach:

  • Regular phone call check ins by sales rep before, during and after a sale to help the customer identify the right product and confirm successful delivery.
  • Email nurturing that includes how to advice and relevant educational information on dust collection.
  • E-Commerce product catalog for direct online sales
  • Post-sale shipping and tracking notifications by email or text
  • Post-sale customer satisfaction survey by email

While technology has changed the way we do business in critical ways, particularly through e-commerce, the need for human connection will never go away. Companies who can master this hybrid model by finding the right balance of human vs. technology touchpoints will be the most successful in the future.

“I think you’re already doing a great job. Bonnie is always fast to respond to my emails (always within an hour, often within minutes). On top of that she calls me periodically just to check up. She is a true professional and you should consider her a major asset to your company. Without her being my sales person I cannot guarantee that I would be even purchasing from you, there are local guys that I could buy from but I keep coming back to USAF because the service is so good.” – Jake Z.


The main goal of establishing a relationship between the customer and their sales rep is to create a consistent experience across all touchpoints in the dust collection journey. The sales rep is the direct connection from the company to the customer, and to ensure the process is as smooth and positive as possible the sales rep should be a customer’s first go-to contact for orders, questions, or issues.
Have you ever called a customer service line for a large retail or phone company? You often find yourself frustrated at being bounced around through several different departments before you even speak to the right person. A direct sales rep for a company keeps an eye on the customer’s entire journey to ensure their experience is positive and to also help mitigate any issues that may cause a bigger problem down the road.

“Bonnie was incredibly kind, helpful, and persistent (in a good way) with our last order” – Thomas J.

Educational Dust Collection Resources and Tools

Expertise, product knowledge, responsiveness, service, and a relationship are all important to the dust collection customer service experience. Providing additional educational resources and tools throughout the purchasing journey is crucial to building trust and long term partnerships. Examples of successful educational resources can include:

  • eBooks that provide in depth analysis on a key topic such as dust collection design
  • Regular blog posts that answer common questions customers ask
  • 3D animated product demo videos
  • Instructional maintenance videos – includes installation, assembly, how-to and troubleshooting advice
  • Engineering drawings of products
  • Detailed spec sheets
  • Project case studies

Here are the most popular dust collection resources USAF has complied over the years that are most valued by our customers.

Dust Collection Resources:

5 Ways a Dust Collection System Improves Plant Efficiency and Saves Money

Why you may need a new dust collection system for your application and how a new system can improve operations.

What is a Dust Collection System?

Dust collection systems are engineered and designed to filter airborne dust particles and debris that can cause damage to plant equipment, create a hazardous work environment, and negatively impact plant production.

Installation of a new dust collection system for your facility either by replacing an old unit or expanding your existing operation, can mean an improvement in plant maintenance, waste collection, an increase in product quality, and plant efficiency and production. A new dust collection project can be a long process. Let’s start by exploring the top 5 benefits of a dust collection system.


The Top 5 Benefits of a Dust Collection System

  1. Meet Compliance Regulations and Standards
  2. Boost Productivity
  3. Improve Product Quality
  4. Enhance Health and Safety Standards
  5. Preserve Quality of Equipment

Meeting Compliance Regulations and Standards

Many industrial industries in the U.S. must comply with strict air pollution control standards . These standards can be set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), OSHA, or local governing entities such as the AQMD in California.

All agencies require industrial facilities to maintain and meet air quality standards to ensure a safe and clean environment for their plant, employees, and the surrounding community. To get started on what air permits may be needed for your specific application and location, check out our guide on dust collector air permits.

The risks of non-compliance are health and safety risks to employees, explosions, failed inspections, and fines from agencies such as the EPA. All companies, large or small, are susceptible to these risks. Cemex, one of the largest producers of cement in the U.S. was fined by the EPA for $1.4 million in 2011 for exposing people to sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. Cemex was also ordered to install pollution controls at its Ohio cement plant as part of the settlement.

Enhance Production

An accumulation of dust particles and debris on industrial equipment can interfere with overall plant performance. A dust collection system can collect these dust particles before they can interfere and compromise the health and performance of your manufacturing equipment. When your dust collection system is not performing well either due to extended wear and tear, or because your dust collector is undersized and overextended, your entire operation is at risk. Maintenance issues that go unchecked can result in an unexpected plant shut down that can close down operations for days, weeks or more. It may be difficult to know if your unit is undersized, overextended, or too old. In these cases, consult with a dust collection engineering firm and request an engineering study. By doing so you’ll get recommendations that can minimize the risk of inefficient and poorly working equipment as well as frequent and costly maintenance.

Improve Product Quality

For many manufacturing facilities, dust in the air can mean dust on their products. Dust can settle and accumulate on products during the manufacturing process. This has a negative impact on the quality and consistency of finished goods. A dust collector will reduce and effectively capture these dust particles, allowing for product quality to improve and maintain consistency.

Enhance Health and Safety Standards

Inhalation of hazardous dust affects human health and a dust collection system is vital to removing these hazards and to keep employees safe. Industries like woodworking, chemicals, iron casting, asphalt, etc. operate facilities that continuously emit hazardous contaminants, debris, gasses, and chemicals. If the hazardous dust particles and debris aren’t removed, employees inhale this polluted air and are at risk for both short-term and long-term health issues. A dust collection system can minimize this hazard. To get a better understanding of the long and short term health risks check out this guide on the health impact of dust collection systems.

Dust Collection Safety

Another serious risk for the company is the possibility of a fire or explosion due to an accumulation of combustible dust. There are only four conditions needed for an explosion to occur:

4 Conditions That Create an Explosion

  • Oxygen
  • Enclosed Space
  • Ignition Source
  • Combustible Dust at the Right Concentration Level

Do you work in an industry with combustible dust? Some of the industries that are susceptible are:

Agriculture (grain, flour, sugar, etc.)
• Wood
Metals (aluminum, zinc bronze, etc.)
• Rubber
Chemicals (coal, sulphur, etc.)
• Pharmaceuticals
• Pesticides
• Plastics
• And More

Learn how you can prevent a dust collector explosion with these resources we’ve gathered together here.

Preserve the Quality and Prolong the Life of Equipment

When dust particles and debris are created inside a manufacturing facility the contaminated dust settles onto other surfaces such as computer systems and manufacturing equipment. A buildup of dust can be harmful and result in malfunctioning equipment. This can also create unnecessary, frequent, and costly maintenance in order to keep harmful dust and debris from accumulating. With a dust collector system purifying and collecting dust particles, the chances of excessive dust build-up is minimized.

To find out if you may benefit from an engineering study at your facility, contact a US Air Filtration engineer today. If you’re looking for additional resources on dust collection systems and the buying journey, download our free Dust Collector Purchasing Guide that touches on key topics like dust properties, volume, air-to-cloth-ratio, dust collector styles, low maintenance design features, and more.

Video: How Much Does a Dust Collector Cost?

Rotary Valve FAQ’s

What is a Rotary Valve?

Rotary valves (also known as airlocks, rotary feeders, or airlock feeders) are used to transition material from one pressurized point, such as a dust collector, to another unpressurized point, such as a drum or bin. Rotary valves help seal a pressurized system against loss of air and pressure. Rotary valves also help ensure loss of product during processing is minimized.

Rotary Valve Applications

Typical dust collection applications for rotary airlocks are dust collection, pneumatic conveying, pollution control, mixing, feeding, weighing, drying, and blending. Some of the relevant industries for rotary airlocks include metalworking , cement, minerals, agriculture, wood, paper, rubber, textiles, grains, paint, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and many more.
Typical Products for a Dust Collector Rotary Valve

  • Baking Soda
  • Corn or Corn Meal
  • Cloth
  • Flour
  • Grains
  • Grits (Corn)
  • Minerals
  • Oats (Rolled or Whole)
  • Peanuts (Roasted)
  • Soybean Flakes (Raw or Spent)
  • Starch (Granulated or Powdered)
  • Talcum Powder
  • Paint
  • Tobacco (Ground)
  • Wheat
  • Woodworking or paper pulp
  • Yarn
  • And more

How to prevent a dust collector explosion

Rotary Valve Construction

The main parts of a rotary valve comprise of the following:

  • Housing
  • Vanes
  • Motor (Can come in various combinations for a multitude of applications and environments. For example; speeds, explosion/spark proof, chain driven vs. direct driven, and more.
  • Drive, reducer or gear box which takes speed and converts it into power

Round rotary valve

Rotary Valve Options

Depending on your industry, application, and environment there are a few rotary valve options that could work for your facility. Here are some of those options in further detail:

  • Temperature:
    • High Temperature: Can expand when exposure to high heat. The rotary valves vanes are also shortened to leave a gap between the vanes and housing.
    • Low Temperature: Should be used or low or regular temp
  • Vanes: Standard is 6 vanes but 8 vanes can be made available, but would be more time and cost consuming.
  • Size: Sizes can vary from 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and larger depending on application
  • Shape – Square or Round
  • Duty: Heavy duty or regular duty
  • Material:
    • Cast Iron (standard)
    • 304 Stainless Steel (resistant to most chemicals)
    • 316 Stainless Steel (resistant to chemicals 304 stainless steel can’t handle)
    • Chrome Plated Cast Iron (harder than steel, best for abrasive material)
  • Tips:
    • Beveled Steel Tips (standard – beveled spins counter clockwise so as not to compact the material and bind the vanes)
    • Replaceable Steel Edge – (good for applications that vary in their process)
    • Urethane Tips (best for large particles that may wedge between the vanes)
  •  Rotor: Open or Closed

Taeha Valves

Taeha is one of the major brand name valves amongst Goyen, Mecair, and Asco. Their die casted aluminum valves are specially designed for air pulse style dust collectors.

Connection Styles of Taeha Pulse Valves

There are five types of Taeha pulse valves, and they are segmented by connection type. You will see the connection type indicated at the end of a Taeha pulse valve part number.

  1. B Type – Threaded (screw) style
  2. C Type – Compression coupling
  3. F Type – Has an flanged inlet and coupling connection outlet inlet flange and the outlet is a coupling connection
  4. M Type – Manifold Valve is integrated into the air manifold.
  5. S Type – Straight Screw type. This particular style of connection is unique to Taeha and only one other valve manufacturer. The connection style is threaded but the inlet and outlet are straight or considered a pass through. The sizes for this valve are also limited and only comes in 2 ½” pipe size.

Taeha Valve Part Numbers

Now that we have differentiated between the different connection types, we can examine the string of four digits in a Taeha valve part number and what they indicate.

For this example, we will be using the Taeha part number TH-5825-B. The first two digits in this string of numbers will tell you if your Taeha valve is remote or integral.

  • 58 – is a remote valve
  • 48 – is an integral valve

The second digit will tell you if the valve has one or two diaphragms (single or double diaphragm pulse valve)

  • 58 – is single diaphragm remote valve
  • 48 – is a single diaphragm integral valve
  • 54 – is a double diaphragm remote valve
  • 44 – is a double diaphragm integral valve

The last two digits, 25 in this example, indicate the size of the valve’s opening in millimeters. A 25 millimeter sized valve would be equivalent to 1 inch when converted. So, part number TH-5825-B is a remote single diaphragm 1” valve with a threaded connection style.

Finding in-stock replacements for Taeha valves can be frustrating. There are only a couple of vendors that supply Taeha valves, kits, or enclosures and US Air Filtration is one of them. If you are looking for a replacement, you can easily request a quote and receive one within 24 hours by submitting your parts information to the link below.

Cartridge Filter Media

Selecting the right filter media for your cartridge dust collector plays an important role in keeping your system running at peak performance. You want to ensure the filter media you choose is best for your unique application and specific needs. Choosing the incorrect cartridge filter media can negatively impact the life of your filter, escalate energy usage, and increase the risk of dust build-up resulting in a dangerous dust collector explosion.

Most Common Cartridge Filter Medias

For a majority of cartridge dust collector applications, about 90% can be handled with just one of these common types of filter media. There are other specialty media’s that can help with unique environmental conditions, but it is rare and can cost two to three times as much as Spunbond polyester filters.

80/20 Cartridge Filter Media

80/20 filter media is comprised of 80% cellulose and 20% polyester. It is one of the most common and lowest priced filter media available for basic applications. This mixed filter media will provide more strength than a 100% cellulose cartridge filter.

Industry UseTreatmentsBenefits
Blasting, Paint Booths, General Dust FiltrationFire retardant (FR): can be added to help keep flame from bursting; doesn’t increase temperature resistance, Anti-StaticLowest price, widely available commodity filter for basic applications

Nanofiber Cartridge Filter Media

Nanofiber comprises of a thin, synthetic web of fibers that is overlaid on top of a substrate, usually 80/20 but sometimes polyester. This works similar to a PTFE membrane on a filter bag; the web of fibers will act as a dust cake and capture a bulk of the dust particulate. One of the other features of Nanofiber is that in comparison to 80/20 filter media, nanofiber can withstand greater cleaning demands.

Industry UseAvailable TreatmentsBenefits
Plasma cutting, Metalworking, Castings, Smoke or very fine dustFire retardantBetter at handling superfine dust versus 80/20

Spunbond Polyester Cartridge Filter Media

Spunbond polyester performs well in applications with heat, or abrasive dusts. This option is ideal for applications that require a strong filter media with enhanced dust release.

Industry UseTreatmentsBenefits
Cement, Cardboard, Sandblasting, Abrasive BlastingFire retardant, PTFE, Hydro-Oleophobic, Anti-staticHigh burst strength, increased dimensional stability

Polyester Cartridge Filter Media

Polyester is rigid and contains additional pleats, making it more permeable and allowing an easier flow of air.

Industry UseTreatmentsBenefits
Cement, Cardboard, Sandblasting, Abrasive BlastingFire retardant, PTFE, Hydro-Oleophobic, Anti-staticHigh burst strength, increased dimensional stability

Cartridge Filter Resources

Do you have an upcoming cartridge filter project? To get you started, below is a complete checklist of dimensions and questions to help you get the right fit.

Find Your Cartridge Filter

Are you ready to find your cartridge filter? We have a variety of standard cartridge filters in stock with the option to view, request a quote, or order through our online catalog. If you need a quote you can simply submit your request by clicking the link below and we will provide a response in 24 hours.


Cartridge Filter Construction

Cartridge FiltersCartridge dust collectors are designed to be modular and compact while engineered to capture fine dust particulate. Common applications include metalworking and castings, powder coating, rubber manufacturing, bulk powder processing and more. This type of dust collection system requires cartridge filters. The right cartridge filter for your system will be dependent on your dust collector’s design and application. Below we are exploring some of the most common construction options for cartridge filters.

Cartridge Filter Construction

Top ConstructionBottom ConstructionOuter ConstructionFrame or Top MaterialShape
OpenOpenOuter Bands: Commonly made out of nylon and used to hold pleats in place.Polycore (hard plastic)Round – Most common. Standard cartridge filter diameter sizes for this shape are 12.75”, 13.8”, and 13.9”.
FlangeClosedExpanded Metal: A sheet of metal perforated with dashes which are off set, and then stretched out or expanded over the pleats. The same metal frame can be added to the inside of the cartridge. This construction can be referred to as inner and/or outer expanded.Galvanized Metal – Most common Oval
Closed with Bolt HoleNone: The outer construction can also have neither a band nor frame.Stainless Steel – Least common, most expensiveConical

Cartridge Filter Media

  • 80/20: Constructed of 80% cellulose, 20% polyester which provides more strength to the cartridge filter than 100% cellulose.
  • Nanofiber: A thin, synthetic web of fibers which is overlaid on top of a substrate, usually 80/20 but sometimes polyester.
  • Spunbond Polyester
  • Polyester
  • Specialty Medias: Aramid is one example of rare cartridge filter media. This specialty media can cost up to 2-3 times more than Nanofiber or Spunbond.

Cartridge Filter Treatments

Cartridge Filter Resources

If you have an upcoming cartridge filter project, below is a complete checklist of questions to help you find the right fit.

Find Your Cartridge Filter

Ready to find your cartridge filter? We have a variety of standard cartridge filters in stock with the option to view, request a quote, or order through our online catalog. To request a quote, simply submit your request with the link below and you will receive a response in 24 hours.

Baghouse Cage Construction

Dust Collector filter bags are designed for use in pulse-jet style baghouses and these filter bags require internal support structures referred to as cages. The purpose of a baghouse cage is to provide the support needed for filter bags to stay open during the dust collection cycle.

The type of cage you have will depend on the design of your baghouse; top or bottom load. If you have a top load baghouse , your top construction is a rolled flange top. If you have a bottom load baghouse, your top construction is a split collar top. Besides the top configuration, there are multiple variations and options for cage construction. Below are some of the most common features and configurations for baghouse cages.

Video Option: Guide to Filter Media

Top Construction

  • Rolled Flange Top also referred to as a “Turned Down Flange”. Can come with or without a venturi – Most common for top load baghouses
  • Split Collar – Most common for bottom load baghouses
  • Split Ring
  • Rolled Flange with Handle

Venturi Option

The purpose of a venturi is to help speed up the air being pulsed through the bag. It acts like a turbo booster and ensures a proper clean with an efficient sonic ripple. The most common venturi size is a 6” depth, and will normally come welded to the cage. Typically the longer the bag, the more important it will be to have a venturi.

Bottom Construction

  • Welded Pan – Most Common. Each vertical wire is welded to the bottom of the pan.
  • Crimped – Wires are crimped over the bottom of the pan.


  • Galvanized Steel – Most common
  • Mild/Carbon Steel
  • 304 Stainless Steel*
  • 316 Stainless Steel*
  • Titanium – Best for highly corrosive applications

* A good option if your application consists of moisture or chemical conditions that create an environment corrosive to metal.

Vertical Wires

The number of vertical wires on your baghouse cage will depend on the type of filter bag media you are using. For a felt bag, you will usually have a 10 or 12 vertical wire cage. For a woven bag, you will commonly see a 20 vertical wire cage. For example, fiberglass bags typically use 20 vertical wire cages since the media is flexible and requires more support.

Ring Spacing

Ring spacing is used to support the vertical wires. Ring spacing is typically 8” but can also be as small as 4”.


Coatings such as epoxy can be applied to baghouse cages and are commonly used for corrosive environments.

Two-Piece Baghouse Cage

Two piece baghouse cages are used in dust collectors that facilitate the use of long bag technology. Two piece baghouse cages are often used when bag lengths exceed 150” and go all the way up to 300” in length. This style of cage is sectioned off in the middle creating two separate parts. They can be linked together with following connection types:

  •  Finger connection
  • Slide Lock 2 Punch
  • Slide Lock 1 Punch
  • Twist Lok ™

Baghouse Cage Resources

Do you have an upcoming baghouse cage project? Follow this link here to get access to a complete check list of the questions that are needed to find the best fit for your application and budget.

For additional resources on filter bag media, construction , and air-to-cloth ratio you can access our filter bag eBook below.

Find Your Baghouse Cage

Ready to find your cage? Get a quote within 24 hours by simply following the link below and providing your filter bag request.

Filter Bag Media: Teflon

Industry Use

Teflon dust collector filter media is one of the most expensive types of media used in pulse jet baghouse dust collectors. It is also commonly known as PTFE or by proprietary names such as Gore-Tex© and Tetratex©. It’s generally used for severe environments operating at high temperatures. Industries that use PTFE filter media range from cement, steel foundries, and energy.

Dust Collection Characteristics

For some of the most challenging applications like coal fired power plants, incinerators, carbon black plants, and steel foundries Teflon can be advantageous. Teflon offers great performance when operating at a maximum continuous operating temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are operating above 450 degrees Fahrenheit keep in mind that you may need to oversize the bag to account for the shrinkage that will occur at that extreme temperature. Teflon also delivers superior dust cake release and high filtration efficiency in applications that demand high resistance to acids and moist heat. A common weight available for Teflon is 22 ounce. Below are more characteristics of Teflon filter media.

Teflon Filter Bag Media

Relative Cost$$$$$$$
Max Continuous Operating Temperature500 Degrees F.
Energy AbsorptionGood
Filtration PropertiesFair
Moist HeatExcellent
Mineral AcidsExcellent
Oxygen (15%+)Excellent
Teflon delivers superior dust cake release and high filtration efficiency in high heat applications that demand high resistance to acids and moist heat. Must oversize bag for shrinkage that can occur in temperatures above 450 Degrees F.
Steel Foundries
Coal Fired Power Plants
Carbon Black Plants

Filter Bag Treatments & Finishes

• PTFE Membrane
• Glazed

Benefits of Treatments & Finishes

PTFE Membrane : PTFE on PTFE can provide maximum protection against harsh chemicals, highly abrasive dust properties, and high moisture. PTFE on PTFE does come at an extremely high cost, but is typically used after all other options have failed.

Glazed: This is a pre-treatment process for the filter fabric and involves the high pressure pressing of the fibers at elevated temperatures. This fuses the fiber ends to the body of the filter medium and the results in improved mechanical stability.

Filter Bag Resources

Looking for more resources on filter bag media, configurations, air-to-cloth ratio, and more? Access and download our filter bag eBook below.

Find Your Filter Bag

Ready to submit details about your filter needs? Simply follow the link below, provide your filter bag information, and get a quote within 24 hours.

Industrial Dust Collection System Design Considerations

Table of Contents

Dust collection systems are key to maintaining appropriate conditions for employees and equipment in industrial workspaces. Dust collectors are designed and constructed to filter airborne dust and debris that can cause injury or illness to employees, damage or degrade equipment, and negatively impact plant production. In light of this important function, it is essential to choose the right dust collection system to maintain a clean, productive, and compliant work environment. Below is an overview of some of the considerations to keep in mind when designing and selecting a dust collector system.

Dust Collection Design Considerations 1

What Regulations Are Applicable to Dust Collectors?

bag house and enclosure

Certain industrial operations—e.g., chemical manufacturing, food processing, and metalworking/woodworking—generate significant amounts of airborne dust and debris. As these compounds can negatively affect human health, numerous federal, state, and local regulatory organizations—e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)—impose strict guidelines aimed toward preventing employees and passersby from exposure. One key method industry professionals employ to comply with regulations is integrating dust collector equipment in their facility to minimize dust accumulation.

In addition to choosing the right dust collector for a facility, plants are required to attain the right permits. Air permits are legal documents provided by a local or state agency to businesses that generate above a certain level of air pollution. Air quality permits indicate the air emission guidelines—e.g., air pollution limitations, control equipment requirements, and filtration efficiencies—to which the business must comply. These guidelines may vary by municipality, country, or state.  Factors that impact air permitting requirements include plant size, application, industry, and equipment employed. As such, it is essential to communicate with the governing body closest to the facility’s location to acquire the most relevant information.

Dust Collection Design Considerations 2

How Does the Project Scope Affect the Ideal Type of Dust Collector?

chemical dust collector

The dust collection expectations of a facility significantly influence the type of dust collector that should be employed. Some of the factors to keep in mind when choosing a dust collector design include:

Type of material. The following dust properties influence which dust collection method is most effective:

  • Size (small or large)
  • Bulk density (loose or compact)
  • Composition (acidic or basic)
  • Temperature (room temperature or elevated)
  • Moisture level (low or high)

For example, baghouse dust collectors are suitable for sticky and hightemperature dust, while cartridge dust collectors are more appropriate for finer dust particles. If the dust is highly explosive or flammable, a spark detection system, explosion vent, or sprinkler vent may be necessary.

  • Daily dust disposal quantities. Estimated dust disposal volume and frequency helps determine which discharge method is most convenient. For example, bin vent and cartridge collectors are suitable for lower volumes of dust, while baghouse dust collectors are better suited for large volumes of dust greater than 55 gallons per day.
  • Air velocity (in FPM). The velocity requirements in a dust collector depend on the weight of dust particulate; the heavier the dust, the greater the speed required to convey dust particulate through the dust collection system.
  • Air-to-cloth ratio. also referred to as the air-to-media ratio—is the amount of air that passes through one square foot of filter media. While a lower air-to-cloth ratio is generally indicative of better filtration efficiency, optimal ratio depends on the particular dust collection system and the facility.

Dust Collection Design Considerations 3

What Are the Key Components of an Industrial Pulse Jet Dust Collector?

5 most commonly replaced dust collector parts

Dust collector systems are generally tailored to accommodate specific workspace and air purification needs. Although the exact components vary from system to system, all dust collectors consist of the following elements:

  • A blower to facilitate the movement of air through the system
  • A ductwork system to contain the dust-laden air as it moves through the system
  • A filter to capture dust
  • A filter cleaning system and discharge mechanism for dust removal
  • A dust receptacle to temporarily store the dust
  • A dust removal system to dispose of the collected dust
  • A control panel to automate each cleaning cycle

Dust Collection Design Considerations 4

Baghouse vs. Bin Vent vs. Cartridge Dust Collectors

Baghouse FAQ

As indicated above, dust collectors share many of the same basic components. However, the design and construction of these elements may vary depending on the type of dust collector. The most commonly used dust collection system for dry dust collection utilizes pulse jet technology.  Three of the most common pulse jet dust collector designs are:

  • Baghouse dust collectors: These dust collectors are large, making them ideal for use in high-volume and high-temperature dust collection applications. Baghouses rely on fabric bags to capture dust and other particles as they move through the system. Once the dust-laden air is filtered, clean air is expelled from the system.  Baghouses can accommodate airflow volumes up to one million CFM or more.
  • Bin vent dust collectors: These dust collectors are generally used to vent air during loading operations for silos and other similarly sized containers. Bin vents rely on the natural upward movement of dust and debris during loading to filter dust particulate and prevent dust from escaping the container.
  • Cartridge dust collectors: Cartridge dust collectors operate similarly to baghouse dust collectors, except they utilize cartridge filters made from pleated filter media instead of fabric bags. Their pleated filter design and finer filter media allow for better filtration of smaller dust particulates. Additionally, as they are generally more compact than baghouses, they are better suited for use in confined spaces and smaller dust loads.

Dust Collection Design Considerations 5

The Industrial Dust Collector Design Process

Dust Collection Design

When planning the design and construction of a dust collection system, it is important to have a clear understanding of how the system should perform within the facility. As indicated above, some of the factors to keep in mind include dust type, dust collection volume, air velocity, and air-to-cloth ratio. These considerations, among others, influence how the system should be designed and constructed.

Three of the design elements affected by these factors are:

  • Dust collector ductwork serves as a transportation network for the dust-laden air within the dust collector. Ductwork size and complexity depend on the size and complexity of the system, while diameter depends on the type of dust generated and its expected volume and velocity. During the design and construction of this system element, limiting the complexity (i.e., using straight lines and minimal curved or transitional elements) and size helps ensure better system efficiency.
  • Dust removal mechanism. The ideal dust removal mechanism depends on the type of dust collector employed, the type of dust being collected, and the dust loading rate. The main mechanisms utilized include:
    • Enclosed box (i.e., a pipe system funnels dust into an enclosed box),
    • Drum or bag (i.e., the drum or bag is removed, emptied, and replaced once it is full),
    • Rotary valve (i.e., the valve allows dust to flow from the dust collector into a drum or bin)
    • Screw conveyor (i.e., a screw conveyor carries collected dust from the system to a designated storage/disposal area).
  • Explosion venting. If the dust collected by a dust collection system is combustible, appropriate measures—such as integrating explosion vents or panels, flameless venting, or spark detection and extinguishing systems—should be implemented to minimize the risk of explosion and fire outbreaks.

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How Much Does a Dust Collection System Cost?

Dust collectors vary in size, ranging from the compact units used in small, residential or hobby workshops to the large-scale systems designed for industrial facilities. Smaller units—accommodating airflows up to 1,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM)—generally cost between $100 to $5,000, and are suited for small, residential shops, while larger units—handling airflows between 2,000 to 10,000 CFM—cost between $10,000 to $80,000, depending on the unit size, filter media, and fan size. Custom dust collection systems for highly specific or unique applications range between $50,000 to $1 million, depending on the system requirements.

Some of the main factors that influence the cost of a dust collection system are:

  • Dust type: what is/are the dust’s composition, properties, particle size, combustibility, temperature, moisture level, etc.?
  • Dust load: how much dust must be removed from the air?
  • Filter media: what filter media is used in the system?
  • Air-to-cloth ratio: how much air should pass through the filter media?
  • Fan size: what fan size is integrated into the system?
  • Material handling and conveying: what material handling/conveying elements are integrated into the system to ensure efficient and effective dust removal?
  • Paints, coatings, or unit insulation: does the system require specialized paints, coatings, or insulation to ensure its durability?
  • Electric controls or accessories: what electrical controls and accessories are necessary for proper system function?

Dust Collector Maintenance Considerations

dust collector design features for easy maintenance

Once a dust collector system is designed, constructed, and installed in a facility, it is essential to implement an adequate maintenance program to ensure it continues to provide effective and efficient performance throughout its service life. Below we outline some of the typical steps in a maintenance program.

  • Verify the system operates within acceptable ranges (e.g., air pressure to solenoid valves, timing controls for pulse valves, compartment differential pressure, etc.)
  • Check the condition of the filter media, fan bearings, damper valves, door seals and gaskets, and other system components and repair/replace them if necessary
  • Empty the dust in the hopper if necessary

It is important to employ the proper safety measures to protect against injury during any maintenance operation. For example, when performing maintenance inside of a baghouse dust collector:

  • Ensure the unit is powered and locked down
  • Employ the proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Designate a lookout
  • Communicate the specifications of the operation (what, where, when, etc.) to all other employees
  • Verify combustible dust inside of the system is within safe levels
  • Formulate an emergency escape/retrieval plan

For additional maintenance tips, check out U.S. Air Filtration’s Dust Collector Maintenance Checklist.

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Industrial Dust Collector Systems From U.S. Air Filtration

Dust Collection Systems

For over 40 years, U.S. Air Filtration, Inc. has designed and manufactured standard and custom dust collection systems for customers around the world. We provide baghouse dust collectors, bin vent dust collectors, and cartridge dust collectors. To learn more about our design and manufacturing capabilities, check out our design services page or dust collector purchasing guide. For further assistance designing or selecting a dust collector for your facility, contact us or request a quote today to schedule an engineering consultation.

For maintenance, troubleshooting and other resources, watch our video “How Much Does a Dust Collector Cost?”, subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook & LinkedIn.

Filter Bag Media: P84

Industry Use

P84 (polymide) dust collector filter media displays excellent stability under dry high heat temperatures, has great filtration properties, and performs well even under elevated levels of moisture content. These are some of the reasons P84 is one of the more expensive filter medias used in pulse jet baghouse dust collectors. Industries that use P84 filter media range from waste to energy, power, and cement.

Dust Collection Characteristics

The stability of P84 filter media is a benefit to a wide variety of applications lime kilns, smelting, incinerators, coal fired boilers, and glass and ceramic industries. It can be utilized in operating conditions of a maximum 500 degrees Fahrenheit and offers a good resistance to mineral acids. If your baghouse is operating above 450 degrees Fahrenheit keep in mind that you may need to oversize the bag to account for the shrinkage that will occur at extreme temperatures. Media weight is typically available in 14, 16, and 18 ounces. Below are more of the characteristics of P84 filter media.

P84 Filter Bag Media

Relative Cost$$$$$$
Max Continuous Operating Temperature500 Degrees F.
Energy AbsorptionGood
Filtration PropertiesExcellent
Moist HeatGood
Mineral AcidsGood
Oxygen (15%+)Excellent
Excellent stability in applications with high dry heat temperatures, mineral acids, and alkaline.Must oversize bag for shrinkage that can occur in temperatures above 450 Degrees F.
Coal Fired Boilers

Filter Bag Treatments & Finishes

PTFE Membrane
• Singe
• Glazed

Benefits of Treatments & Finishes

PTFE Membrane: Applying a PTFE membrane will allow you to lengthen the life of your bag since the membrane acts as the filter cake. It would allow for very little dust to stick to the bag itself. As the dust stays on the surface of the membrane and does not get entrained into the fibers of the bag, this allows your filter to last twice as long. Other benefits include reduced wear and tear, savings on maintenance costs, reduced energy costs, and more.

Singe: A pre-treatment process that is achieved by passing the filter material over an open flame, removing any straggly surface fibers. The result is a uniform surface area that improves cake release.

Glazed: A pre-treatment process achieved by a high pressure pressing of the fiber at elevated temperatures. The fibers are fused to the body of the filter medium that improves mechanical stability.

Filter Bag Resources

To learn more about filter media, treatments, configurations, and air-to-cloth ratio download our filter bag eBook below.

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