Choosing Laser Fume Extractors

Guide To Test Your Fume Extraction System

During industrial activities such as welding, toxic metallic fumes are released into the air and without a fume extraction system, these toxic fumes can cause serious health problems among workers in the industrial workplace – or even damage production equipment.Testing of your smoke extraction system is key to capturing these toxic metallic fumes before they spread around the industrial workplace and cause damage.

To ensure your fume extraction system captures all toxic fumes and operates at optimal levels, it’s important to be aware of what and where to measure in the system, as well as the system’s baselines. Let’s dive into how to test your fume extraction system.

How to test your fume extraction system

There are two major guidelines to guide you when testing your fume extraction system: Static pressure and flow. To put it simply, these two guidelines normally depend on each other for optimal performance and if you’re using a MIG torch in welding, the only required measurement is static pressure.

A standard gauge is normally used in measuring this static pressure and it’s recorded using different measure units depending on location. For example, in the US, it’s measured in inches of water column (w.c) while elsewhere, it’s measured in Kilopascal (kPa).

Fume extraction system baselines

So, you may ask, “Well, what’s the average amount of static pressure needed to weld anything?”

It’s worth noting that there’s no specific amount of static pressure or flow needed since it all depends on the material you’re welding, the welding position, filler material, etc. For example, you wouldn’t need huge amounts of static pressure or flow to extract smoke when welding a lowly raised flux core wire. The only time huge amounts of static pressure or flow is needed is when the welded material is raised high. This is because more smoke will be produced when the material is highly raised as opposed to a lowly raised one.

Here’s an example to better understand this: Let’s say you’re welding a material at 240 amp while on a surface that’s flat. In this case, you’d achieve about 60w.c of static pressure in order to extract smoke. 50w.c is normally the baseline static pressure needed for fume extraction systems and failure to reach that level of static pressure means your fume extraction system won’t capture all the toxic metallic fumes. You need to ensure there’s both high static pressure as well as high flow rate from the extractor to the torch.

What affects static pressure

Your static pressure could be low due to the filter being full of metallic particulates. When the air filter is stuffed with these particulates, it is compacted by the pressure produced, which makes it hard for air to travel through. This blockage eventually causes the internal static pressure to rise while the flow lowers and this isn’t ideal for the system to work optimally.
If you are interested in learning more about Fume Extraction Systems, please contact IP Systems for more information.

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