Commercial Dust Extractor (Vacuum or Dust Collector) for Concrete Surface Preparation Machines

Commercial Dust Extractor (Vacuum or Dust Collector) for Concrete Surface Preparation Machines

A dust extractor, also known as a dust collector or vacuum, is an important piece of equipment that helps to collect dust and other airborne particles in or from an area. Dust extractors come in many different types and sizes, but they all work similarly by using a fan to draw in air, trapping the dust particles in one or more filters.

What Is a Dust Extractor?

A dust extractor is a vital tool in keeping a work area clean and free of dust and other contaminants. But how does a dust extractor work?

Dust extractors draw dust and debris from the surface of a work area using suction. The dust and debris are collected in a bag, which can be disposed of as needed.

Dust extractors are used in conjunction with dust-generating tools, such as walk-behind or handheld concrete grinders, concrete saws, concrete drills, and shot blasters, to ensure that the work area is kept as clean and safe as possible for yourself and others.

How Does a Dust Extractor Work?

A dust extractor consists of four main components: a powerful vacuum source (fan), an airtight container, filter(s), and a bagging system to capture the dust and debris once it has been separated from the air. The vacuum source moves the air and debris from the floor into the airtight container. The airtight container is designed to capture and hold debris after the air has passed through the filters. The bagging system collects the debris for disposal. These can be a one-use bag or a continuous sleeve of bag material, such as DiamaPro Infinity Bags, allowing the operator to seal off both ends for disposal.

Most dust extractors also come equipped with a multitude of filters that trap small particles before they have a chance to escape back into the atmosphere. This helps to ensure that the air in your workspace remains clean and safe to breathe.

Dust extractors can be used for a variety of purposes, including reducing allergies, improving air quality, and preventing fires. Dust extractors are often used in industrial settings, such as factories and warehouses, where there is a lot of dust generated.

How are Dust Extractors Rated?

Dust Extractors come in different sizes and power requirements. The key is to select one that matches the grinder’s dust output. Dust Extractors are tested for CFM and water lift. These two values are important when comparing one unit to another. The person supplying the grinder should be able to help pair it with the appropriate dust extractor.

CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. Also referred to as the amount of airflow, the CFM is how much air volume the internal fan can move over a certain amount of time. When the Dust Extractor is at its highest speed, the measurement is taken using both the volume of air and the rate at which it moves. The number depends on a few things: the fan’s motor, the blade pitch, and the length and/or shape of the fan blades. Ultimately the greater the CFM, the more air a fan moves and the more dust that can be moved into the airtight canister.

Water lift measures the amount of lifting force the vacuum has. To test the water lift, the motor pulls water up a tube and gravity tries to pull the weight of the water back down. Eventually, they equalize and meet in the middle when the unit holds all the weight it can. It’s not uncommon for a dust extractor to be able to pull 90″ – 100″ in a static water lift test. The importance of water lift is that the stronger the pull, the larger the debris your dust extractor can remove from the floor. CFM is great for all the debris floating around in the air, but you need suction force to pick up whatever is on the ground.

CFM and water lift must work together to make an effective dust extractor. Obviously, the higher the number, the better for both values. A balance of the two is better than having one rating high and the other low. Don’t be fooled by just looking for the largest CFM number you can find; Compare the suction force (water lift, pressure) value as well to see which one has the best balance of both for the class you’re considering.

Power Requirements

Dust Extractors come in different power requirements. The electrical power requirements are 110v, 220v, or 480v. Comparing the CFM and Water lift of each unit and determining the electrical power available will help in deciding the unit best suited for your application. There are also models that can run on propane engines if electrical power is not available or you want to eliminate heavy and expensive electrical cords. These units will also come with 1, 2, or 3 motors. The greater the number of motors, the more power it will have. DiamaPro Systems manufactures Duct Collectors in many different configurations, one should surely fit your needs.

What Are the Different Types of Dust Extractors?

1. The Cyclone Collector

  • The most common type of dust extractor is the cyclone dust collector. This type of unit uses centrifugal force to separate the heavy dust particles from the lighter air molecules. The dust-laden air is drawn into the cyclone, where it is spun around at high speeds. The centrifugal force throws the heavier dust particles outwards toward the walls of the collector, where they drop into the bag. The dust-free air is then blown out through the top of the cyclone and into the room.

2. The Cartridge Collector

  • Another type of dust extractor is the cartridge dust collector. This type of unit uses a series of filters to trap the dust particles. The air is drawn through the filters where the dust particles are trapped on the surface. The clean air then flows out through the top of the unit. A commercial air-scrubber falls into this category.

3. Pulse Jet Dust Collector

  • The pulse jet is the most cost-effective and widely used method for removing dust and dirt from the air. The pulse jet works by accelerating dirt and dust through a series of chambers and ducts. The dirt and dust are compressed and forced out of the final chamber, where it is caught by a filter.

4. Hybrid: Cyclone and Cartridge

  • In the concrete surface preparation world, the Hybrid Dust Collector is the most common type. When the air and particles are drawn into the airtight canister, they are spun around at high speeds. Most particles fall to the bottom of the canister. Then the air moves through the main filter capturing finer particles. When the air exits the sealed canister, it moves through a HEPA filter before going into the atmosphere. The HEPA filter (high-efficiency particulate air [filter]) captures 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns (µm).

Dust extractors can be used in a variety of settings, such as in industrial plants, woodworking shops, and homes. They are an essential piece of equipment for anyone who wants to keep their work area or home clean and free from dust.

Air Scrubber:

This is a vacuum for the air. Some will have a HEPA filter capturing small airborne dust particulates, and all will have a primary air filter like a residential furnace. They come in various sizes which are based on CFM (cubic feet per minute) of airflow. To figure out the size best for your project, take the square foot of the room and multiply it by the ceiling height. Example: Room size = 20’ x 30’ = 600 with a ceiling height of 10’ = 6000 cubic feet. If you use a 2000 CFM air scrubber, the air in the room will be exchanged once every 3 minutes. DiamaPro Systems manufactures air scrubbers in 500 CFM, 1000 CFM, and 2000 CFM. These are great to use in an area where maximum dust control is needed, which could be on every project. If you are unsure of what size air scrubber would work best in your situation, reach out to a Certified DiamaPro Systems Technician for assistance!

Dust Extractors Maintenance:

While dust extractors will require regular maintenance, such as purging and changing filters, they are very simple to work on. The Dust Extractor manufacturer should have a printed maintenance schedule available. DiamaPro Systems uses a QR Code sticker on the unit that can be scanned to obtain all types of information including maintenance.


Suction Loss

  • Needs to be purged – As the unit is used, dust will get impacted into the main filter reducing suction. The first thing to try is to purge the filter. DiamaPro Systems produces two types of dust collectors, self-purging, and manual purging. The self-purging model automatically shakes the filter, removing most of the impacted dust. The time interval can be set according to the amount of dust you will be extracting. The manual purge requires the operator to purge as needed.
  • Damp dust – These units are designed to pick up dry materials. If damp or wet material is picked up, the filters will clog to the point where no air can move through it. The remedies are to remove the filter and dry it out or replace the filter with a new one.
  • Clogged Hose – There will be times when what you are removing will compact into the hose. Some debris can be large with an irregular shape. When moving through the hose it may interlock together making it difficult to enter the canister. Keeping the hose as straight as possible when using it will help. Gradually picking up this type of debris will also minimize the clogging issue.

Tripping Circuit Breakers

  • Most 110v Dust Extractors draw 20 amps of power. Most residential outlets produce 15 amps. This can be an issue. Not only the outlet is rated for 15 amps, but the wiring is also rated for 15 amps. Make sure there no other pieces of equipment are running on the same circuit as the vac. If it keeps tripping, a portable generator can be used to run the vac.

Vac plug will not fit into the wall receptacle.

  • Being the vac should run on a 20-amp circuit, it has a 20-amp plug. It is a different configuration than a 15-amp receptacle. Although changing out the plug or using a 20-amp conversion pigtail is an option, it is NOT recommended. Running too much power through 15-amp wiring could cause too much heat and could start a fire. A portable generator with a 110v 20-amp receptacle should be used to run the vac at this point or locate a 20-amp house power outlet.

Dust extractors play an important role in keeping work environments clean and safe. They are commonly used in factories, workshops, and other commercial settings where there is a risk of dust accumulation. If you’re serious about the health and safety of your workplace and ensuring long-term health, a dust extractor with a HEPA filter system is a non-negotiable investment for your business.