Clearing the Confusion

Misconceptions About Retractable Clean Air System Compliance

Painting, sanding and coating can involve some of the most hazardous air pollutants in manufacturing – hexavalent chromium, isocyanates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). That work requires meeting some of the most stringent OSHA, EPA and NESHAP industrial air quality standards.

Duroair has developed a patented multi-stage industrial air filtration technology that captures more than 99% of particulates. The Duroair solutions feature retractable enclosures that can be customized to meet a manufacturer’s needs. The unvented recirculating solutions do not require ducting or make-up air. They are easy to install and are modular enough to adapt to each cellular workflow. The portable enclosures enable multiple jobs to be performed in tandem inside large spaces, which reduces interruptions, saves costs and improves the bottom line.

The multi-layer filtration places less expensive filters in front of more expensive filters to protect them and extend their life. It’s not efficient to use a $250 HEPA filter to capture dust particles and fine particulate. Duroair’s solutions range from a vented two-stage DuroCap™ system to its six-stage DuroPure™ recirculating system for the most hazardous environments with hexavalent chromium.

But skepticism greets any disruptive innovation, and rightly so. Environmental health and safety officers and facility permit officers have questions when they first learn they can bring clean air to large workpieces on the floor. The first question is, how can these unvented retractable solutions be compliant?

Duroair has undergone intensive third-party testing to verify that levels fall far below OSHA allowable standards. The test results can be found here.

The proof is in the outcomes and these solutions are in use in aerospace and aviation manufacturing, military bases, as well as other industries.

Let’s dispel the most common misconceptions about retractable industrial clean air systems.

‘If It’s Not Steel, It Can’t Be Real’

Let’s face it, the industrial world was built on solid foundations, literally and figuratively. Clean air in today’s industrial environment is a complex dynamic, which means stakeholders have many concerns to address. The assumption is that a solution must also be complex. And solid.

In reality, the flexible, transparent fabric for a retractable enclosure must meet the same codes and compliance requirements as a permanent structure – NFPA 33 for paint booths and NFPA 701 for clean rooms. The vinyl must be fireproof, and the vendor must prove they have performed appropriate testing on the fabric.

A Flexible, Portable Enclosure Will Not Be Compliant

The first three stages of the six-stage DuroPure™ system capture particulates, including hexavalent chromium and particulate isocyanates. The third stage filter can be changed to accommodate Merv15, HEPA, NESHAP 319 standards, depending upon needs. This provides the manufacturer with the flexibility to do different operations in the enclosure.

The next three stages include photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) and UV light to separate and destroy VOCs. The remaining clean air is recirculated back into the shop space.

Duroair has undergone intensive third-party testing to verify that levels fall far below OSHA allowable standards.

Venting Is Required, Which Means Another Exhaust Stack

Adding an additional exhaust stack for a clean room or paint booth is costly, as are the ongoing energy costs of importing air through an air make-up vent to replace the exhausted air. For a facility at its EPA limits, adding an exhaust stack often is a non-starter. Just adding ductwork for a paint booth can be disruptive.

Facility permit and EHS officers appreciate that Duroair’s patented air filtration systems meet ANSI/AIHA Z9.7 requirements, which cover Recirculation of Air from Industrial Process Exhaust Systems.

Yes, you can have a retractable unvented air filtration system that captures particulates and VOCs and recirculates clean air back into the work space. This is true for large objects or structures where there is a high volume of air required.

Duroair also has vented solutions that meet clean-air requirements.

The Retractable Enclosure Will Require Additional Electrical Access

The retractable enclosures have vinyl fabric with a 95% light transfer. The enclosures do not require lights or electricity because the fabric lets in enough light.

But manufacturers face many other electrical requirements with cellular workflow, such as:

  • Secondary lighting
  • Emergency stop
  • Rollers for very large pieces
  • VOC monitors
  • Preparation prior to painting

Duroair engineers custom clean air solutions to meet all these specific requirements. The solutions are flexible and can accommodate different zones in a spray booth and electricity if it is needed for Class,1 Division 1 work.

An Industrial Clean Room Cannot Be Portable

Industrial clean rooms require a contained, controlled environment, whether it’s a positive pressure room – designed to capture particulates before they enter the work area – or a negative pressure room – designed to trap contaminants in the room, such as when dealing with pathogens, or other biohazards.

A question that often arises regarding retractable clean rooms is how is it possible to create a seal with a temporary setup. Duroair designs the seal with a fabric skirt along each side of the enclosure so negative pressure creates a seal along the floor.

Flexible, Retractable, Compliant Solutions That Move With Your Workflow

One of our clean air experts can show you how we can create an industrial air filtration solution to meet your budget, comply with EPA and OSHA requirements, and work with your floor plan and space limitations to:

  • Increase operational efficiency
  • Find agile ways to safeguard critical tasks
  • Reduce downtime
  • Safeguard products without impacting productivity
  • Ensure employee safety
  • Meet all compliance requirements

Contact our industrial clean air experts today for a free consultation.

Learn How Duroair Designs Flexible Solutions That Move With Your Workflow
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