Counteracting Emulsion Clumping

A new line of emulsion mist collectors is capable of running 24/7, thanks to an automatic sprayer that counteracts clumping.

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Mist collection systems offer a number of environmental and safety advantages by removing the mist and fumes produced during machining operations. In fact, 50 percent of shops in the upper-echelon benchmarking group for our 2015 Top Shops survey reported using them compared to only 27 percent of the lower-performing shops that were surveyed.

A new line of Handte EM Profi emulsion mist collectors from Camfil Air Pollution Control (APC) is said to offer high collection efficiencies, reduced maintenance, lower operating costs and the ability to run 24/7 for shops using emulsion-mist coolants for milling, drilling, tapping, turning and grinding. According to the company, the Handte EM Profi collector uses long-life, coarse- and fine-filter demisters followed by a final-stage HEPA filter with combined efficiencies of 99.9 percent on particles of 0.3 micron and larger. It is an alternative to fiberglass V-bag filters, which lose efficiency as media becomes saturated, the company says. 

A key component of the 24/7 operational capability of this system is an integrated, automatic sprayer designed to counteract emulsion “clumping” by maintaining the correct water-to-oil balance while cleaning the demister filters. In a typical emulsion mist collection system, the emulsion tends to thicken to a honey-like consistency, which can potentially gum-up filters and other internal components, requiring downtime for periodic maintenance. The Handte EM Profi spraying system is said to eliminate this problem by performing a self-cleaning spray function that results in greatly reduced maintenance and filter life as long as six years for the primary demister filter.

Using the default setting, the sprayer will activate for 30 seconds every two hours. However, the cleaning cycle can be varied depending on factors such as ambient temperature, humidity and elevation. For example, a mist collector operating in a high desert environment will require more frequent spraying than one in a humid climate.

The company says the mist collector also features a leak-proof design that includes a tight sealing system for the collector door. After they are manufactured, they undergo a comprehensive inspection program using dye-penetration tests to verify that there is no leakage through the weld seams on the housing. As a result, a 12-year warranty is offered on the collectors.

During routine annual maintenance, the unit can be serviced by a single technician on the ground (no lift equipment is needed). Service life between change-outs is up to six years for demister filters and two years for HEPA filters. The company says large maintenance doors and quick-clamping elements facilitate fast filter replacement without requiring tools.

Basic collector units can handle air volumes ranging from 1,700 to 8,000 cfm, and modules can be combined to accommodate larger airflow requirements. Small, space-saving models are also offered for low-airflow applications of 500 to 1,400 cfm. A range of accessories and configurations are available to best suit the mist collection application.

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