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by Baghouse America

How Does a Cartridge Dust Collector Work?

When it comes to industrial dust collection systems, cartridge dust collectors offer significant benefits to many industries that need high-efficiency filtering of small particulate matter. By employing the right kind of dust collector for your system, you will see a reduced environmental impact, reduced employee health hazards, and reduced equipment maintenance.

A cartridge dust collector is a modular, compact collection system that removes dust and particulate matter from the air. This type of dust collector uses “cartridge” filters: cylindrically shaped, pleated filters that collect dust on their exterior as air flows through them. Depending on the size and airflow needed in a facility, a cartridge dust collection system can utilize anywhere from a few filters to dozens or even hundreds of filters.

Filters are often made of nanofibers that are extremely small and tightly woven. These fibers catch even the smallest dust particles. As a result, cartridge dust collectors are highly efficient at filtering particulate matter down to 0.3 microns and often reach or nearly reach the HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air [filter]) designation of 99.7% efficiency as defined by the United States Department of Energy.

How Does a Dust Collector Work?

Inside a cartridge dust collector, an industrial fan causes air to move through an inlet into the dirty air plenum. As air passes through the filters, dust and debris are trapped and fall to the bottom of the collection container. The filtered air passes into the next chamber, called the clean air plenum, and from here exits the system through a clean air outlet.

Over time, gravity alone is not enough for the dust to fall to the bottom of the collection container, and buildup accumulates on the exterior of the filters. This buildup reduces the efficiency and performance of the system, so devices capable of cleaning filters are essential to cartridge dust collector design.

Pulse jets send bursts of compressed air through the filters to blast loose dust and particulates as they accumulate. Some systems operate the pulse jets on a timer, but this can cause additional wear and tear on the filters if they aren’t dirty enough to necessitate cleaning. A better approach is to use the pulse jets when the slowed-down airflow from the dust and particulates, measured as differential pressure, reaches a certain level.

Benefits of Industrial Cartridge Dust Collectors

Because of their high efficiency for small particulate matter, cartridge dust collectors are ideal for fumes and dirty air down to 0.3 microns. Other dust collection systems are more well-suited for large particulates and heavier applications.

The pleated shape of the filters adds another unique and compelling benefit to cartridge dust collectors beyond their high efficiency. The pleated folds in the filter design increase the functional surface area. This increased surface area decreases the air-to-cloth ratio, which measures the amount of air passing through one square foot of filter media.

With an increased air-to-cloth ratio, the dust collector can eliminate dust from a larger volume of air without increasing the size of the collector. This principle makes cartridge dust collectors smaller than baghouse alternatives. Because of their smaller footprint, they find adoption in facilities where space is at a premium. They are often small enough for installation in the interior of a building.

The other primary benefit of cartridge dust collectors is that they are easily maintained. Eventually, cleaning the filters with compressed air is not enough, and a thick layer of caked-on dust accumulates on the exterior of the filter. At this point, filter replacement is necessary. In some baghouse collectors, a technician must enter the inside of the collection enclosure and remove each bag one by one. With cartridge systems, you can quickly replace filters from the exterior.

Choosing Your Ideal Dust Collector

If you need a new dust collector or are looking to improve your existing system, it’s always best to consult a specialist who has experience with multiple types of dust collectors. At Baghouse America, we understand that every dust collection and air filtration system is unique. We work with our clients to provide tailored solutions, including premium dust collection products at reduced costs.

Let us help you breathe easy. Schedule a call with our team of experts and have all of your dust collection questions answered.

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