Since automakers turned to aluminum for car and truck chassis, a new hazard surfaced for collision repair shops. Indeed, aluminum dust is extremely combustible and may be the cause of devastating explosions. How should these shops address the issue of aluminum dust hazards? Their first step should be to look into OSHA's Combustible Dust NEP approved NRTL certified equipment like Tiger-Vac's "Wet Mix" immersion separators.
Introduced in 2008, OSHA's Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (NEP) contains policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that create or handle combustible dusts. These dusts may cause a deflagration, other fires or an explosion. Aluminum dust, like all other combustible dusts, falls under the OSHA NEP, which is a law in the US. These safety standards are found in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (20 CFR) and the provisions for Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Certification are generally in Part 1910 (29 CFR Part 1910). In this context, proper housekeeping methods include the use of a dust ignition protected industrial vacuum cleaner system. Policies and procedures of the OSHA NEP help protect workers by requiring equipment used is designed for safe use in the work place.
Hazardous locations where combustible metal dusts are present are classified Class II, Division 1, Group E. The recovery of combustible metal dusts must be performed with great care using OSHA approved NRTL certified equipment (See an example of a NRTL certified equipment’s Certificate of Compliance by clicking here). The shop owner can ask the manufacturer for a certified “Wet Mix” Immersion Separator designed for the safe recovery of aluminum dust. The user must then read the instruction manual in order to get familiar with the safe way of using the equipment.
Tiger-Vac's "Wet Mix" immersion separators use liquids to neutralize aluminum and other combustible metal dusts. Mineral Oil is commonly used as, in most cases; combustible metal dusts generate hydrogen gas in contact with water. If hydrogen gas is produced during the process the equipment must provide a way to allow for the escape of the gas that would otherwise build up pressure in the equipment and could cause an explosion. Workers Health and Safety is a top priority and must be ensured by getting the right type of equipment complying with the OSHA NEP.
About Tiger-Vac Inc.
Manufacturer of specialized vacuum cleaners designed for specific industrial applications, Tiger-Vac has over 40 years experience and an unmatched commitment to the safety of your workers and your work environment. Recognized as an industry leader, Tiger-Vac offers a complete line of explosion proof/ dust ignition proof vacuum cleaner systems for the recovery of combustible and flammable materials, vacuum systems with manufacturer certified HEPA and ULPA filters for cleanroom applications and contamination-controlled environments and vacuums for all heavy-duty applications in hazardous locations, such as metalworking, powder coating, aerospace and the food industry. For more information on our complete line of products and to learn more about industrial vacuum cleaners, visit our website: www.tiger-vac.com