Aluminium dust filtration in fine craft work: an Italian case study

When the excellence of Italian manufacturing is called out, TAMA AERNOVA responds by offering filtration solutions that always fit for purpose and are perfectly integrated with the production processes. In the case in point TAMA AERNOVA is the provider of the design and installation of a dust extraction system for aluminium polishing process for a prestigious brand that produces functional design furniture using artisanal methods.

The customer's demands formed the basis for project decisions: on the one hand strictly related to the characteristics of the work area and on the other dictated by the processes involving noble metals and fine finishes; moreover, time schedules were set so as not to interfere with production activities. Preliminary discussions with the customer also made it possible to identify and anticipate potential problems related to the management of certain pollutants with the risk of forming explosive atmospheres.

When aluminium comes in the form of micrometric dust, dispersed in a turbulent air flow and in the presence of sufficient ignition energy, it can oxidise in a very rapid and extremely exothermic chain reaction with a substantial increase in pressure. In order to reduce the resulting risk of filter explosion, it is first necessary to adopt the most suitable type of filter media and then to provide the addition of specific accessory components, that are able to exclude potential ignition sources and to allow the controlled venting of excess pressure to the outside of the filter itself.

Thanks to the company's know-how and the skills of its technicians and engineers, TAMA AERNOVA identifies and proposes to the customer the ideal product to deal with the specific case, after examining its application and dimensions.

The Modul Air horizontal cartridge filter has therefore been fitted with ATEX components and vent panels on the roof, in order to limit the restricted access safety zone around these components. The filter unit, built of self-supporting panels in powder coated sheet metal, has a maximum capacity of 17,000 m3/h, that varies with the intensity of production optimised energy consumption and low production costs. Cartridges lie at the heart of the machine, arranged on a horizontal axis to facilitate replacement and general filter maintenance.

The dusty air is conveyed to the filter cartridges through the ducting system that connects the sanding machines, located inside the workshop, with the external Modul Air dust collector; this breaks down the pollutants that are sucked in, discharges the dust collected continuously in the hopper through a rotary valve, and returns clean air to the environment. A jet of compressed air, accumulated in a special tank inside the filter and controlled by a differential pressure switch, is injected cyclically onto the cartridges, helping the coarse particles to detach themselves from the surface to minimise the risk of clogging of the filter media and consequently reduce maintenance and cartridge replacement operations.

Overall, the system developed for the customer involves the supply of several elements operating in synergy to meet the needs arising from two different types of processing: manual sanding, equipped with our WD suction table, and automatic sanding, both connected to the same suction system, which leads dust and fumes to the Modul Air horizontal cartridge filter for their treatment.

TAMA AERNOVA also took care of logistics (transport and delivery), installation and testing of the whole system, which were carried out within the established time schedule and in compliance with the contractual constraints of a factory-laboratory where ancient craft tradition and technological innovation give life to tailor-made creations, an expression of the very best Italian product design.