Dust Control for Orbital Sander Stations

Orbital sanding creates lots of fine dust, requiring a comprehensive approach to air quality control. April 17, 2009

I have an area where I will have 20-30 people sanding with 5" orbital sanders. The space is 90' x 60' x 12' high. Some people have suggested booths and othere have recommended hanging. If we could use the hanging units (maybe 10 of them) we would save a lot of money. Other people have told me we would be forever cleaning the filters. Has anyone used these units to know if they would actually do what I need?

Forum Responses
(Dust Collection and Safety Equipment Forum)
From contributor T:
You need a series of downdraft sanding tables. All the dust will go into the table's filters. Workers could share a table. Air and dust is drawn in through the top and the filtered air is diffused out around the bottom. Hanging units don't capture all the dust, just what wafts up there. Not healthy to let any dust linger in the air. Always best to trap it at the source.

From contributor K:
Air cleaning units on their own are just simply not the answer in this instance. There is no way that you could move and clean the air sufficiently to meet the OSHA standards. It is likely that the only way to control the dust effectively is a three level approach. The first is dust pickup at the ROS - there is very good systems available. When directed to a vacuum system with an efficient cyclone can be the most effective process. The second approach is to use a downdraft table or other controlled air flow system that ensures that the worker is in a clean air stream. The third approach is an air cleaning device such as you mentioned.

Just as a secondary comment, when you are sanding commercially a 6" ROS is far more effective than a 5" also sand paper cost per sq ft sanded is significantly less. The other thing I would consider is that if there are parts I could run through a drum sander, there again would be considerable cost savings.