Mist Separator

What is a Mist Separator?

A mist separator, also known as the oil mist separator, is a filter system used for separating oil mist and aerosols from the ambient air. Such system is commonly seen in the metalworking industries and is a necessary mean to protect workers from potential hazard derived from oil mists and vapors.

Mist separators can be used in processing centers, grinding machines, milling machines, cooling systems, honing machines, turning, machines, lapping machines, and so forth. They can be installed directly on the housing of the machines mentioned above to save space (sometimes connected to extraction hose). The configuration of oil mist separators is more complicated than you think. Therefore, always have it undertaken by a professional. 

Why is a Mist Separator Needed?

During the forming and cutting production processes in the metalworking industries, mist, vapor and fumes can be produced from the use of coolant lubricants. This is attributed to the effects of:

1. The vaporization of cooling lubricant in rapidly rotating tools. For instance, the vaporization generated when grinding or turning work pieces.
2. Back condensation of vaporized cooling lubricants that are applied on hot surfaces.

The resulting warm work pieces exposed in the open can pollute the ambient air with such emission. Theoretically speaking, any surface that is coated with cooling lubricants is regarded as a potential source of emission. When these surfaces become warmer and warmer, they are likely to contaminate the surrounding air, as well as working clothing, floors and oil rages. This poses an increased safety hazard for all employees working in the immediate premise, leading to potential damage to the human body, such as damage to internal organs, damage to the respiratory tract, mutagenic effect (cell damage due to radiation), carcinogenic reactions (cell damage that may lead to cancer), and irritations (e.g., skin or respiratory tract irritations).

Mechanism and Construction of Mist Separator System

An oil mist separator system is comprised of a lamellar, a casing, a tank (for liquid collection), and a syphone that allows a gas inlet and outlet to be attached in the middle of the duct via a flanger.

The lamellar is essentially plate that is arranged at 45 degrees against where the gas flows. Gases flow through the lamellar as the electricity flows, and the edge of the lamellar at which the collection tank is installed becomes negative pressured.

Contrastingly, the lamellar collides with the mist or vapor contained due to the centrifugal force produced between inertia and gas current, thus becomes attached to it. The gas flows on the surface of the lamella and are sucked into the collection container. Then, gravity pulls the collected liquid down into the tank from the container, which passes through a syphone and is discharged continuously.

The collection container of the lamellar turns to negative pressured again so there will be not re-scattering of the separated liquid. The separation efficiency is typically superb because of the fact that a lamellar is installed in accordance to the qualities of gases and mist.

Advantages of Mist Separator System

Some of the benefits of an oil mist separators include:

● Oil mist separators have high separation efficiency. The separation efficiency can vary depending on the characteristics of mist and vapor (e.g., the diameter of particle), gravity, content, and viscosity, but can reach over 99.8% in most cases.
● Oil mist separators have highly efficient filters that will extract oil mist effectively.
● In terms of stoppage, oil mist separators cannot be blocked even by dust-containing gases because of the inertia. Moreover, a cleaning system can always be retrofitted if the mist contains highly viscous dust.
● Oil mist separators allow optimum retention of lubricant oil chemical composition while reducing emission to the minimum. 
● Oil mist separators have a nearly perfect retention rate for reusable lube oil.
● Oil mist separators are not harmful for the environment as they are typically required to be complied with the domestic environmental regulations.
● Oil mist separators have low pressure drop and high gas velocity. Normal velocity is generally between 5 to 6 m/sec. 
● Oil mist separators are both heat and corrosion resistant. The element may be made of stainless steel or plastic, depending on the condition of the gas.
● Oil mist separators do not occupy too much space for installation. The installation cost is relatively low as well even for large gas quantity. 
● Oil mist separators are also easy to maintain and clean. Also, there are no driving parts or stoppage for mist separators so they are easy to repair, and no manipulation is needed during operation. (But this does not mean they are easy to install and configure as well).

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