Key outcomes:

  • 95% of particulates captured across a range of particle sizes
  • Energy usage reduced by 90% compared to alternative hoods

Synergetics was approached to design an optimised dust extraction hood for a paper mill. The ideal dust collector needed to be compact, low power consumption, and have high capture efficiency for a range of particle sizes. The process began with a series of experimental lab tests to understand the mechanisms of dust generation, peak locations and the distribution of particle sizes.

Dust particles being shed off a roller as the paper is accelerated

Figure 1: Particle image velocimetry (PIV) analysis shows that as the roll of paper passes over a roller the rapid acceleration sheds particles of dust. Some of these particles are entrained in the flow over and follow the paper around the roller.

Once the mechanisms of dust generation were understood, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling was used to assess dozens of different hood designs. Further simulations were then used to fine tune the best of these designs and achieve an optimal solution.

The finished hood captured 95% of the dust generated by paper passing over the rollers, reducing the settled dust in the facility by 89% at the dustiest location. The dust reduction was observed across the entire range of generated particle sizes. The added advantage of targeted extraction is the reduced power consumption, with the hood consuming approximately 10% of the energy of alternative non-targeted hoods.

The optimised dust hood installed over a roller in the paper mill.

Figure 2: The optimised dust capture hood after being installed over the roller. The size was kept to a minimum to avoid interfering with operations and maintenance of the paper mill.