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Dust Gets Flattened on Demolition, Recycling Projects

When IronHustler president Dave Schielein began investigating alternative methods of dust suppression on demolition and recycling projects, the company had been using the same technique that most firms try: manually spraying the area with a hose. But Schielein was dissatisfied with the results.

"It was an expensive approach, having a worker spend an entire shift spraying the site," he observes. "Even worse was the fact that it was so ineffective. The powerful spray would actually dislodge dust from the ground and send it airborne. And the sheer volume of water quickly soaked the debris, turning it into a muddy mess. If we had to haul any material to a landfill after completing a job, we were actually paying extra for the water weight."

After doing some initial research, Schielein purchased a dust suppression unit from a European supplier. "It was basically just a snowmaking machine, with a few revisions," he says. "The suppression performance was a disappointment, and that machine wasn't very user friendly. Ease of operation and portability were among the primary problems."

Undeterred, Schielein continued his research, comparing equipment from several manufacturers. He ultimately selected a DustBoss DB-60 from Dust Control Technology.

"Most people don't realize that dust suppression is a technical issue," Schielein comments. "All of the components have to be designed to work together, including the fan speeds, blade pitch and atomization nozzles. We liked the fact that Dust Control Technology concentrates only on suppression, and they're not concerned with selling a wide range of equipment. Dust management is all they do."

The results were immediately apparent. "The effectiveness was the first thing we noticed," Schielein states. "The DB-60 covered a huge area with a very fine mist. Equipment from other suppliers tended to produce large droplets, more of a spray than a fog. And even the oscillating models couldn't match the coverage area."

IronHustler estimates the company saves a net six hours of labor per day during demolition and recycling activities, allowing employees to concentrate on core activities and avoiding potential worksite hazards. "The DustBoss started paying back from the first day we used it," says Schielein. "It's easy to operate and can run unattended all day, and at today's pay rates, that can save us as much as $2,000 a week."

IronHustler has since purchased a second DustBoss unit, a DB-30 that's just the right size for on-site concrete recycling operations, which have become a company specialty. "The smaller unit is perfect for our crushing and recycling," says Schielein.

"In fact, this technology has proven so successful for us that we now include DustBoss literature in the package whenever we quote a job," he adds. "Customers see that as part of our proposal, and they know we're employing state-of-the-art dust suppression technology."