Surface preparation, such as using a shot blaster to remove paint or using a floor grinder to remove an epoxy coating, creates a heavy amount of abrasive, irritating dust. Using a dust collection system is key to creating a safe, healthy work environment and goes far beyond simply minimizing clean-up. To help you better understand the equipment and how to choose the best options for your next project, we’re breaking down the fundamentals of dust collection systems. Want a deep dive on this equipment? Check out the video below where we go well beyond the fundamentals.

How Does a Dust Collector Differ from a Vacuum

Even people experienced in surface preparation confuse vacuums with dust collectors and vice versa, but they’re actually very different. Dust collectors connect directly to the shot blaster or grinder to remove the dust as it’s being created, before it can go airborne. Vacuums are designed for cleaning up and removing dust and dirt from the floor.

When you look at how they are designed to operate, this can make more sense of their use. Dust collection systems are a high-volume, low pressure design, which means they take in massive quantities of dust but they aren’t equipped with high pressure suction to lift the dirt and debris off the ground. This is because it’s not necessary to lift as the dust is going straight from the grinder into the hose.

Conversely, vacuums are low volume, high pressure machines that can lift dirt and dust from the surface but aren’t designed to handle large amounts. That’s why they are used more in precision cleaning.

Why Are Dust Collectors Essential Equipment

If you’re working in concrete surface preparation, the right dust collection system is a necessary part of your equipment inventory. When using a compatible system with your surface preparation equipment, you can eliminate virtually all dust from your work area which offers three key benefits.

The first is simply safety. Grinding, scarifying, and shot blasting concrete generates a high-volume of dust which can get into your team members’ eyes, ears, clothing, and especially in the respiratory system, which is particularly dangerous. Concrete contains silica dust, and breathing it in can lead to silicosis, a respiratory illness that can be fatal. Eliminate the dust, and you eliminate the risk.

Second, it’s a legal requirement. OSHA has strict guidelines about minimizing silica dust at the job site, and while there are several methods that comply with their guidelines, a dust collection system is both the most thorough and efficient way of doing so.

Additionally, using a dust collection system will keep your tooling and equipment in better condition for a longer period of time. Concrete dust is highly abrasive and irritating, and as goes airborne, it will settle into your grinder, shot blaster, or other equipment and, over time, will wear out components.

Get the Right Dust Collection System for Your Next Job

Want to learn how to choose the right dust collection system? Watch our Fundamentals of Dust Collectors video to learn about what features to look for, how to choose the right size, and so much more, or just give us a call at  (815) 278-1308 or fill out the form below to connect with a customer service member.