What is a Fume Extractor Used For?

May 3, 2021 | Laser Filter

Wondering what a fume extractor is used for? Read on to learn just a few of the ways a fume extractor can and is used in various industries and applications.

Fume Extractors are filtration machines that rid the air of harmful dust and fumes that are produced while working on various industrial processes. Therefore, the point of a fume extractor is the health of the workers. There are local, regional, and nationwide regulations by institutions such as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), that need to be upheld. For example, OSHA has set Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs), which must be adhered to.

OSHA and other Safety and Health organizations can conduct surprise inspections to check this, and businesses can face hefty fines. More importantly, employees may get sick, and business owners could face potential legal repercussions if they were found to be negligent with the air quality in the workplace, and thus with the workers’ health. Employees that were exposed to polluted air could for example develop occupational asthma or even fatal pneumonia. There is a vast range of health issues caused by impure air, and unfortunately, many business owners have not realized the pressing need to test and clean up their air. For further information, here is a list of the major institutions regulating Safety and Health in the Workplace:

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety – CCOHS (CAN)                                                

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health – NIOSH (USA)

Occupational Safety and Health Administration – OSHA (USA)

Health and Safety Executive – HSE (UK)

On the other end of the spectrum, employees that realize that the business owner is taking care and protecting everyone’s health, they will be more motivated in the workplace. Fewer sick and personal days and increased output at work are the results of such improved workplace morale.

How Fume Extractors Work

Depending on the area of application an air filtration system may use different types of filters or even multiple filters in line. A ductless filtration system will employ a high-quality filtration medium combined with a powerful fan. The recirculation of air allows for a ductless unit, which saves money on ductwork, as well as electricity bills (less power consumption). With our extractors, we usually employ large-capacity carbon filters (with the EZ Lift feature) and positive air pressure. To name but a few, we have invented our own self-cleaning laser fume extractor (with easily accessible blowers, electronics, and a patented self-cleaning filter system), and designed the world’s first source capture filter for large format printers, consequently allowing the use of such large printers in formerly barred spaces such as malls and commercial office locations. ASHRAE, HEPA, and ULPA filters are used to capture anything from light dust to particles such as allergens (e.g., pet hair and dander) and even microorganisms (e.g., bacteria).

This makes them ideal for the everyday household ventilation system. Filters are either disposable or self-cleaning. As the name states, disposable filters are discarded as they reach capacity. Each of these has its own unique benefits. Disposable models have a lower initial cost but do require regular replacing of the filter. Self-cleaning models cost more initially, but provide future savings, as the filters are reusable. Cleanable filters are an excellent choice for work areas that produce high particle levels in the air. These filters are efficient against dust particles as well as against some chemicals. They are simply cleaned by applying pressurized air adjacent to the filter. The pollution will be gathered in a catch can, making disposal simple. On the other hand, filter mediums, such as activated carbon, are used to absorb toxic vapor and chemical fumes.  

Fume Extractor Setup

The fume extractor can be connected to an extraction hose kit or attached to the fume generating machine itself (such as a welding machine, soldering machine, or a laser cutter). This way, the fumes can be collected right at the source. Air contamination and a negative impact on employee health also become less likely. Many fume extractors come with optional features, such as automatic start-stop, automatic cleaning, shunt alarms, and power adjustment. And it goes without saying that the installation of the correct filter is essential in achieving a high-end fume extraction and air quality result. This is why our exceptional customer service is happy to assist you in detail with all the fume extractor needs for your specific business. Take the worry out of choosing the correct filter application for your production process, and let us guide you every step of the way. And, as previously mentioned, we are highly experienced in custom-designing filter solutions and are more than happy to assist you with this as well, if need be.  

Industries Where Fume Extractors Are Used

A wider range of industries than one would expect requires the use of fume extractors. To name but a few, these are welding, sanding, soldering, 3-D printing, spray painting, and plastic bonding and gluing. At Filtrabox.com, we have specialized in unique modular-bench filtration systems to work with lasers, printers, electronics, and in health & beauty (i.e. to remove fumes during keratin treatments). The modular capacity of our fume extractors makes them exceptionally practical. You can start out with a smaller model, and add on to your extractor as your business is growing. This allows for optimal usage of your financial resources. Only invest money into expanding your machine when you are absolutely ready for it! Additionally, our carbon filters are equipped with our “EZ Lift” feature. While it holds more carbon than other leading models and comes with superior efficiency and capacity, it also comes with easy-lift handles and an ergonomic design. This way, there is no strain on your back when you change filters. 

Types of Fume Extractors

As there are so many different industries that utilize fume extractors, the types of extractors are nearly endless, and with that comes an immense price range. Fume extractors can be purchased from anywhere from just under $1000 to just under $10,000.

How Long Will a Fume Extractor Last?

Due to the many variables involved, the lifespan of the filter in a fume extractor is nearly impossible to predict. It depends for example on the size of the filter, the amount of carbon in the filter, the duty cycle (hours used per day), and the material being worked on, since some materials produce a larger amount of toxic fumes and dust than others.

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