Erkat Develops Efficient Dust Extraction Systems
for Rotary Drum Cutters

Erkat contributes significantly to occupational health and safety on construction sites. Modern dust extraction systems combat dangerous dust particles as closely, simply and efficiently as possible.
It is a known fact that dust can cause illness. However, the high level of danger is sometimes underestimated. Dust particles often penetrate deep into the lungs unhindered and irreparably damage the airways as well as lung tissue. Dust diseases (pneumoconioses) are the most common officially recognized occupational diseases.

On construction sites, in particular, there is a backlog demand of protective measures as most building materials contain quartz. This triggers the disease silicosis, which can even lead to lung cancer. According to a study in the U.S., more than 700 people in Los Angeles alone die every year as a result of the dust generated on construction sites. Dust particles at the workplace consequently come under the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (Gefahrstoffverordnung), therefore exposure must be kept as low as possible.

The issue of dust extraction will always be topical on demolition sites. Numerous manufacturers are already working with the relevant systems to one simple principle: Water nozzles produce a fine mist, which is spread using a turbine and can achieve a range of up to 340°. However, the flaws are obvious. On the one hand, sensitivity to wind: The finely atomized mist is more unsteady when the range increases and no longer reaches the direct working environment in winds of force 1 and above (1,1 - 5,5 km/h). On the other hand, the correct setting of the systems with changing working conditions: In mechanical machines there is a high personnel expenditure; in electromechanical machines which are controlled via remote control or automatically, the procurement and maintenance costs are very high.

Proximity is the be-all and end-all
Erkat is a dedicated pioneer in the development of a simple, robust and particularly reliable system, which meets the requirements of demolition companies. As interference by wind cannot be prevented, the mist must be brought as near as possible to the direct working environment. The adjustment of the dust extraction system should be as simple as possible and be carried out directly by the excavator driver.

By using proven components, Erkat developed a new universal console which is fitted with integrated water spraying nozzles. The mist is applied directly to the cutting head or the milling area, the hose is routed under the dipper arm for optimum positioning, and the water supply is fed via a separate tank outside the machine. To achieve effective dust extraction, a water pressure of at least 15 - 20 bar is required. Optionally, the universal console can be fitted with an additional supply line hydraulic filter to protect the hydraulic motor.

This new innovative system is already being used successfully with the transverse cutting heads of models ER 1500 and ER 1700. Further models are under development.

For indoor use where water spraying is not possible, Erkat also offers a new extraction system for dry dust removal system. A mobile system with dust extraction air tubes provides optimal dust extraction directly where dust forms (for example, surface milling).

Erkat is contributing significantly to the health and safety of construction workers with its developments. And there is no end in sight. The company is working on systems with differing numbers of water nozzles and is producing special modules for specific working conditions. Advancement is reflected in the cutting head flushing system, for example, where the water nozzles are integrated into the rotating cutting head and the water supply is fed via the gear box. This enables a continuous mist to all sides. In addition, there is a special water spray system with ATEX approval, which was specifically designed for underground operation in potentially explosive atmospheres.

Source: Atlas Copco

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