The ability to envisage a better way to solving the problems of his society has always been a trait of the engineer. Engineers employ their creative ingenuity in proffering solutions to the problems of mankind. Man was joyful on the advent of industrial revolution but man would have to contend with problems brought about by that revolution. One of such problems is pollution brought about by the effluence from certain industrial machineries and processes (1). And specifically is the issue of dust pollution. Industrial processes such as those involving asphalt or cement productions, for instance, releases dust effluents to the atmosphere, which if left uncontrolled could lead to serious health problems for those working in such plants or people living in the environment. There is therefore the need to design a device, machine or process that would extract the dust from the air before the air is released to the atmosphere, and such a device must be inexpensive but very effective to enable small scale business owners have access to it. Hence the design and construction of the “Dust Extractor Machine”.
1.2 BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT Professional workshops have known for decades that one of the most important pieces of machinery in the workshop is an adequate extractor. It’s only us serious DIYers that seem to question their wisdom. A clean, dust-free workplace is not only safer, but far less work in the long run. There is less cleanup and less airborne dust, which is very important when it comes to the finishing stage. Another important fact is that it is far better for your machinery to have this dust and shavings removed. Other then being forced back around the cutting area and affecting the quality of the work, fine dust particles can be sucked into electrical components, build up on moving parts or pile up in areas underneath your machinery (becoming a fire hazard in the process). Worst of all, these particles can find their way into your lungs. Dust extraction is NOT a replacement for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment,) but if it reduces the dust in your immediate work area, it means your Personal Protective Equipment is going to work much more efficiently too. The sad fact is that running machinery without dust extraction may affect your warranty if something does go wrong. Most workshops have access to a vacuum cleaner, either a dedicated unit or the better half’s household unit (only if you don’t get caught)! They’re great for cleaning the car and even getting the dust off the floor of the workshop. Isn’t it annoying when a little off cut or long splinter gets stuck in the hose? You hear the motor start to struggle and whine and you proceed to wave the end of the hose around in some strange ritual that will hopefully dislodge the offending piece. It really comes down to a simple rule – vacuums are made to vacuum and extractors are made to extract. Vacuum cleaners work on the principal of a low volume of air traveling at high velocity, while extractors work on high volume air, traveling at low velocity. Vacuums are great for lifting small quantities of fine dust from the bottom of your carpet through a small diameter hose. Dust extractors, on the other hand, are designed to cope with the quantity of waste constantly being produced, and the large diameter hose means no blockages (provided you have ENOUGH air volume). Air volume is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and even a small, basic 1HP extractor is going to give you 600+ CFM of air flow. Most cutting/drilling machinery will require at least 600CFM of extraction. Edge planers or jointers need slightly more (depending on size), but large milling machines such as thicknessers will require at least 800-900CFM at the extraction point on the machine. This is an important consideration before taking the plunge.
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