Based on the elements of your operation, there are many factors to take into consideration when considering spray technology as your dust suppression solution. A few of these factors include: the process and material producing the dust; where in your operation the dust is being generated; and the utilities and resources (electricity, compressed air, water, labor, etc.) available.
Wet systems using spray technology are used for dust prevention (humidity/moisture content in the material is increased to prevent dust from becoming airborne) and dust control/capture (humidity/moisture is added to the air to capture dust particles that are already airborne).
These systems use spray nozzles to apply water and/or chemicals such as wetting, foaming and binding agents to dust particles. However, the system configuration varies depending on the goal – dust prevention or airborne dust control in mines. Most operations require both prevention and suppression to effectively control dust. It is important to understand the differences between these two systems to ensure proper spray nozzle specification and operation. See Figures 1 and 2.
No matter the application, wet systems are a popular choice as they are highly effective and implementation is typically fast and straightforward. Wet systems provide a long-term solution that can provide years of trouble-free performance with regular maintenance.
Continuous mining, Crushing and screening
Dust particle size
Spray drop size
Water quality and availability
FIGURE 4: If the drop diameter is larger than the dust particle diameter, the dust particle will follow the air stream around the drop. (Shown left.) If the diameters of the drop and the dust particle are comparable, the dust particle will follow the air stream and collide with the drop. (Shown right.)