Has anyone tried using a water filled container as a filter for dust
collector exhaust air? Sort of like a bong in reverse - the dirty air
gets exhaused under water and bubbles up to the top, where the water
will filter out all the sub-micron dust?
I'm just looking for a cheapskate alternative to 0.5 micron filter
Any suggestions, comments or other ideas?
"Rainbow" makes/made a vacuum cleaner that works in exactly that fashion.
With only 'so-so' effectiveness at keeping the really fine stuff down.
I'd see _practical_ difficulties with a dust-collector -- due to the
_volume_ of air involved, and the need to have _little_ bubbles. Which
translates into the need for a non-trivial area of bubble-generation.
WAG says probably 'several' square _feet_ per 1000 CFM capacity.
Not to mention the static-pressure requirement. A water filter induces
A back-pressure of _at_least_ 1-1/4 PSI, per inch of water depth. the
effectiveness of particle removal goes up as (a) the bubbles get smaller,
and (b) the depth of the water gets greater. To scrub _small_ particles,
you may need several inches of water, _and_ some 'mesh' layers (to break
up larger bubbles that have formed by coalesense).
With proper consideration of design, one can probably cobble up something
that will work. It likely won't be simple, nor inexpensive (regardless of
how 'cheap' it's built :), however.
Actually, my shop vacuum cleaner uses the same thing. A very old
one, "Thermax" or whatever the name of the company was. I've got it in-line
with a centrifugal cleaner. The water filter is the last element.
All I can say is: it works a treat. Not one bit of fine stuff gets out of
that wet bucket. If it gets into the intake, then it's gone.
I'm surprised the system is not more widely used. It makes a lot of
sense to me.
I would guess that bubbling that volume of air through water would be
a real task. Sure a large wet filter pad might be effective, but what
about running the exhaust air through a spray chamber? I'm sure that
would get rid of most of the fines. The commercial/industrial way is
to run it through a grid of electrostatically charged wires and
electrostatically precipitate all solids.
I once had a monstrous centrifugal fan directing air into my lounge
room with mist sprays directed into the intake. The effect was
fabulous on a hot, dry day, and the ferns in the lounge room just
loved it :)
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