If not handled properly, oil mist can become a safety hazard when it’s released into the ambient air. Not only does it pollute the air we breathe, but it can also create puddles on the floor — cue the “Slippery when wet” signs and workers’ comp forms.
Rather than allowing this oil mist to build up on the floor (or worse yet, in our lungs), oil mist eliminators can take care of that superfluous substance, relieving machine collectors, our floors, and our lungs from exhaust residue.
What is an oil mist eliminator?
Oil mist eliminators are designed to keep ambient air free of harmful products. This can occur at one of two places:
- On the outside of the machine, where an eliminator is mounted on the machine to remove excess effluent before it enters ambient air or ducting.
- Within ducting, where the eliminator, or separator, is installed in-line to remove excess effluent as it travels through the ducting, before reaching the collector. Rather than being installed to a specific machine and removing the oil mist before it enters the ducting, these separators are designed specifically to work in ducting and remove the oil mist once it enters the filtration system.
Eliminators that are installed within the duct or system, such as US Duct’s oil mist accumulator, are typically mesh, with woven fibers or mesh made for catching oil particulates. The oil coalesces on the fibers, gathering and growing until the volume weighs it down enough to fall into a drain port (also referred to as a drum). US Duct’s accumulator specifically does this via three wire mesh cones that slow the airflow down, creating more time for the oil mist to accumulate along the surfaces. Once the extracted effluent pools in the drain port, it can either be disposed of or returned to the machine for future use.
Choosing an oil mist eliminator — one size does not fit all
While installation location is one differentiating factor to consider when it comes to oil mist eliminators, you should also consider your application and the size of the oil mist particles you need to filter.
When you need to extract submicron oil mist particles from horizontal airflow, a fiber bed eliminator is the way to go. These eliminators are most effective at extracting tiny excess oil mist droplets as airflow pushes them horizontally through the fibers. Similar to fiber bed eliminators, mesh eliminators decrease in efficiency as individual particle size increases. However, they are often viable solutions because of their price and ability to be installed horizontally or vertically. When dealing with larger oil mist particles, a vane eliminator gets the job done with zig-zagged, chevron-shaped plates, providing plenty of surface for the mist to accumulate.
Benefits of capturing oil mist
Excess, unattended oil mist can be problematic both inside and outside of mechanical systems. Effective oil mist collection systems can help:
- Keep hazardous substances out of employees’ respiratory systems
- Prevent dangerous slips caused by oil collected on the floor
- Lighten the load of the airflow
- Reduce the chance of leaks caused by over-pooled effluent
- Save significant amounts of money by re-upping and re-using reclaimed oil
- Protect the system’s health and longevity by keeping it clean and slowing corrosion
Pair oil mist eliminators with US Tubing for next-level protection
While oil mist eliminators are highly effective, they can’t do it all on their own. If connection points at the ductwork aren’t tight or sealed properly, an eliminator cannot prevent all oil from escaping. However, by combining an oil mist eliminator with US Tubing, you are one step closer to a full-protection solution.
US Tubing steps in with its fully-welded, airtight, clamp-connect system when the eliminator falls short — effectively carrying away errant oil not captured in the accumulator. While US Tubing doesn’t remove oil mist from the air stream, its fully encompassing gasket and adjustable clamping system are 100% effective at preventing leaks, thus eliminating pooling and dripping outside of the system.
Ready to “de-mistify” your work environment? Talk to a Duct Guy to learn more about oil mist management and which solutions will be best for your application.