Sulphur hexafluoride tracer gas as an alternative to pitot tube traverses in balancing industrial dust collectors

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 79, No. 891, 1986

DALE L. McKINNON, Graduate Student Mining Engineering Department, JEAN-PIERRE FARANT, Affiliate Professor, Mining and Metallurgical Engineering Department, and Director, Environmental Laboratories, School of Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

Dust collectors are used to reduce airborne dust levels generated during crushing at a mining operation and their adequate maintenance is required to ensure effective control of health and safety hazards associated with dusty conditions. Although the pitot traverse technique is commonly employed to balance these dust collectors, the use of an alternative—the equilibrium concentration tracer gas method—is proposed in this paper. This method, which uses sulphur hexafluoride as a tracer gas, can be used to balance airflows in dust collectors and to determine hood collection efficiency accurately and effectively. This technique also reduces some of the errors inherent to pitot tube measurements.
Mots Clés: Dust collectors, Health and safety, Pitot tube, Tracer gas, Sulphur hexafluoride, Crushing.