Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring

Effective dust control in sugar processing

January 2024 Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring

BLT WORLD specialists work in conjunction with the global ScrapeTec team to offer dependable solutions for specific problems at the transfer points of conveyor systems in many industries where dust and material spillage are concerns, including the sugar sector. BLT WORLD is the distributor for ScrapeTec in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

“The risk of explosions caused by sugar dust emissions on conveyor belts in sugar production is an ongoing problem that engineers around the world are trying to prevent. ScrapeTec experts developed a new dust control system about five years ago, that is proving to be highly effective – not only for preventing dust formation and material spill, but also to minimise the risk of explosion at critical sections along the conveyor route and transfer points and for more efficient belt cleaning,” explains managing director, Ken Mouritzen.

Apart from the benefit of cost savings, DustScrape and AirScrape dust suppression systems are highly effective in minimising exposure of workers to environmental pollution, which is a major problem in dry bulk handling, caused by fugitive dust. Although conventional dust prevention side-seals do reduce conveyor problems in the short term, these components quickly deteriorate as a result of friction, and can also damage the belt of the conveyor during extended periods of use.

The success of the combination of the DustScrape and AirScrape contact-free AirScrape conveyor belt skirting system systems is in effective energy-free dust suppression. This compact and easy to install skirting is available in food grade-compliant materials and also adheres with most new dust prevention guides, to prevent health and safety issues onsite. This advanced system also minimises product loss, by effectively preventing material from escaping into the surrounding environment. As a result, users benefit from substantial savings of energy, housekeeping and maintenance costs, without the need for collection of material spills.

“In a recent installation, we have solved many production problems for our customer, who was losing almost 5% of materials on conveyor belts, as a result of dust and material spill,” says Mouritzen.

DustScrape consists of a durable filtering cloth that is installed above the conveyor belt to retain dust particles created by conveyed materials, while remaining permeable to circulating air. This long-lasting filter cloth, with cleaning and dust-releasing properties, is available with different qualities, including anti-static features for specific applications − for example, in sugar processing or underground mining. The dust-retaining filter cloth, which is manufactured in rolls, can be extended to any required length, and is suitable for any conveyor belt width.

The DustScrape dust emission prevention system comprises a filter cloth, support arches and skirts, arms to hold the system above the belt, and a rubber curtain to eliminate further dust development – all sized to specific requirements. This system is easy to install and can be retrofitted to existing conveyors, for continuous operation and for extended periods.

The contact-free AirScrape conveyor belt skirting system is a highly effective side seal that lies over the conveyor belt, without contact, and creates negative pressure on the belt, due to its specially-designed blade structure. Because this system hovers freely above the conveyor belt, skirt friction and belt damage are eliminated and service life of every component of the conveyor is extended.

Conventional skirting is pressed against a conveyor belt to keep dust and material in the middle of the belt, but after a period, wear of the skirting and belt can be so severe, that material and dust escapes. Material spillage at transfer points needs to be removed and regular maintenance of belt skirting and transfer points is necessary. Studies show that even five years after installation, and with continuous use in harsh conditions, the AirScrape system shows hardly any signs of wear. This durable system consists of non-flammable and antistatic polyurethane materials and blades made from stainless steel. FDA-approved materials are also available for specific conveyor handling applications.

The recently launched SureSupport system works in conjunction with DustScrape and AirScrape to deliver support and stability to the belt at transfer points. Other advantages of this system include quick and simple installation, and reduced maintenance time and costs.

The PrimeTracker ensures the belt is constantly in the correctly aligned position during operation, thus eliminating problems with belt mistracking.

The TailScrape system enhances performance of the AirScrape by sealing the transfer tail in the rear area, and also works according to the Venturi concept to prevent dust generation and material spills. The intelligent blade structure on the underside of the system creates negative pressure in the conveying area, preventing the escape of materials. Dust is kept in the material flow by air intake.

The SpeedScrape secondary belt cleaner design is based on the inclined and staggered positioning of tungsten blades, which increases the scraping surface to as much as 150% of the conveyor belt width. This high-performance system allows scraped material to be easily discharged.

Correct installation of suitable equipment ensures cost efficiency, optimum performance and safety, reduced risk of breakdown and extended service life of the conveyor system.

BLT WORLD specialists offer a comprehensive bulk handling solutions service to all sectors, including shipping, mining and quarrying, civil engineering and construction, general engineering, food processing and agriculture.

For more information contact Ken Mouritzen, BLT WORLD,+27 87 188 2818, [email protected],

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