Manufacturing facilities in the U.S., and globally, are running at capacity. The demand for all types of finished plastics remains high in all markets. Plastics processing covers a broad range of operations. Several of the more common processes include: blow molding, calendaring, compression molding, cutting, grinding on plastics, heat sealing, injection molding, plastic casting, plastic curing, plastic extrusion, plastic machining and plastic welding.
Injection molding, compression molding and blow molding processes are used to convert raw thermoplastics from pellet or powder form into common useable plastic parts such as forks, bottles and cabinets. This process involves heating the plastic pellets or powders to a liquid state and then injecting, or blowing, the liquid plastic into a cooled mold where it is held under pressure until it cools to the solid state again.
Plastic extruding involves forcing molten plastic through a shaping die under pressure. This process starts with solid pellets or powders being fed into a hopper where the plastic is heated to a liquid or molten state. The plastic melt is then forced through the die with the formed material emerging from the die. The plastic is then cooled with water or air and post-processed to create the desired part as necessary.
The last thing you need is your plastic dust and fumes collection equipment becoming a contributing factor to unscheduled downtime and lost production. We want to use our experience to help you. For example, a PVC plant in North America had an elutriator baghouse that needed to move more air to meet their production requirements. Years ago we converted the dust collector to BHA PulsePleat® filter elements, and at the time, it met their needs. Recently, demand increased again, and the plant needed to move 40% more air than the original design. We worked with the customer to design a BHA PulsePleat filter that met their filter-area requirements and prevented the need for new capital projects to replace the dust collector.
Key benefits from air filtration for the mist, fumes, smoke and dust generated by plastic processing include:
Contaminants from plastic processing applications can produce wet mists, fumes and dust from extrusion and molding processes as well as dry contaminants on machining applications.
Mists, fumes and dust from plastic molding and curing machines result when thermoplastics are heated to a liquid or molten state. The primary contaminant is a submicronic smoke (> 0.1 µm) consisting of plasticizer emitted as the plastic is injected or poured into the die. Fumes from plastic processing extrusion machines also result in plasticizer smoke emitted as the plastic emerges from the die.
Dusts and fine particulates from plastic dry processing machines and cutting applications range in both size and properties depending upon the plastic type. These dust particles can range in shape from fiber fragments to fine round spheres. Based on the operation, in addition to the dust particles, heat from the machining process can result in fume or smoke being emitted along with the dust particles. The dusts produced may also pose a combustion or explosion hazard.
Recommended Approaches for Plastics Dust Contaminants