What are the benefits of dust extraction?
The benefits of using a dust extracting vacuum may seem obvious, but it’s not just about keeping your work area clean (although that’s definitely one of them).
The benefits of effective removal of airborne particles include:
Increased air quality and better health for you and/or your employees
Increased efficiency in material removal, saving you time
Increases longevity of tools and consumables, saving you money
ATEX extraction creates a safe environment when working in an explosive atmosphere
What is L Class & M Class dust extraction?
If you’ve been browsing different dust extractors you’ll see “L Class” & “M Class” is mentioned a lot… but what does it actually mean & how does it affect you?
L Class Filtration
The L stands for “Low” and is suitable for personal use on soft woods with low-toxicity dusts like gypsum in plasterboard with a maximum tolerated exposure value >1.0 mg/m3. If you are working with construction materials containing Silica (e.g Sandstone, Concrete & Brick) then an M Class system is required (https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/cis36.pdf)
M Class Filtration
The M stands for “Medium” and is the minimum legal requirement set by HSE for dust extraction in work places. M class extractors are suitable for any dust types with a mid-level toxicity and a maximum tolerated exposure value of 0.1 mg/m3 (there is also a H class for the real nasty stuff like asbestos, formaldehyde, mould & germs). It covers the most common materials such as hard woods & concrete.
What features should I look for in a dust extractor?While most models have similar suction levels, there are other features to consider if you want to maximise performance and efficiency:
Auto Start Function
Dust extractor runs only when the power tool is running, saving on power.
Some extractors support on-board storage to keep everything you need in one place.
Auto Filter Cleaning
Helps to keep a consistent air flow as well as a longer life for the machine and consumables.
Detects a drop in air speed usually indicating a clog.
L Class Rated Dust Extractors
M Class Rated Dust Extractors
What is ATEX?
ATEX stands for “ATmosphere EXplosible” and is the designation commonly given to the two European Directives regulating these atmospheres:
- The ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU outlines the requirements and certification procedures for equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres. It states manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the safe performance of equipment, which needs to be certified according to the required specifications for the areas where it will be used.
- The Directive 99/92/EC, also known as ‘ATEX 137’ or the ‘ATEX Workplace Directive’, provides employers with guidance on how to specify the different zones and defines minimum requirements for the protection of workers potentially at risk of encountering explosive atmospheres. The directive also explains how to select the right group and category of equipment for different explosive atmospheres.
ATEX is classified into different zones
|Classification related to explosive gases:|
|0||A place in which explosive gases are continuously present or for long periods of time or frequently.|
|1||A place in which explosive gases occasionally appear.|
|2||A place where there is normally no presence of dangerous gases, or only occurring for a short period of time.|
|Classification related to combustible dust:|
|20||A place in which combustible dust are present continuously, or for long period of time or frequently.|
|21||A place in which explosive dust clouds occurs occasionally under normal activity.|
|22||A place in which explosive dust is not likely to occur or only occurring for short periods.|