What Do I Need To Know Before I Purchase an Industrial Vacuum?

When you start to look for chip collection vacuums and open most websites it is overwhelming. For the average person that knows little about Industrial Vacuums, the terms and vocabulary can be extremely confusing.Let me try to make it clear and simple when it comes to chip collection systems. It is completely different from dust collection or to be more exact, wood dust collection, which most people know more about, which will be explained below.

What is the most important thing you should be looking at when it comes to collect chips?

Well, when collecting chips, either metal chips or plastic or any other kind of chips or particles that are not dust, the most important thing to consider is the suction power (lift), the negative pressure, and the air flow which is known as CFM (cubic foot per meter).

Remember, chips are heavier then dust. In order to collect them, you need lift power which is measured by the metric system as “water lift” or mmh2o, or by the imperial system Mercury lift, measured by inches. The larger the number, the better it is.

When it comes to negative pressure it is measured by a negative PSI, again, the higher the negative number, the better it is.

And last is the air flow which is most commonly known as CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute which is the imperial system, or by the metric system M3/h, cubic meters per hour.

Why CFM or air flow is NOT the most important thing when it comes to collecting chips?

The amount of chips you are collecting either from a machine while it is cutting, or off the shop floor are not that much in volume that you need such a powerful airflow. The airflow comes in to play in other circumstances which I will explain later.

So, the heavier the chips or the higher you have to lift the chips, for example overhead duct systems, the more lift and negative pressure is needed.

In order to achieve that most companies are using vacuum systems that are powered by Turbines. The more powerful the Turbine unit is the heavier the chips that can be collected, and the higher they can be lifted. However, you must remember that the CFM will not increase too much. It all depends on the design of the Turbine itself and the angle of the fan blades. The more suction power you have, (Lift Power) the less the CFM is going to be.

The best Turbines and Centrifugal Fans are designed and built in Italy and Germany, which manufacture the best preforming units anywhere.

Now that you know the basics of what to look for in industrial vacuums, let me explain to you one more thing and that is the difference between Turbine propelled units and Centrifugal fan units.

We at Rozzelli Industrial Vacuums are one of very few companies that manufacture our vacuums for chip collection with Centrifugal Fans. DO NOT USE WOOD DUST COLLECTION VACUUMS, WHICH ARE EQUIPPED WITH FANS, TO COLLECT CHIPS.

You see, Centrifugal Fans are usually used in dust collection and not chip collection, however our engineers in Italy were able to design the fans that we are using in such a way that they are able to have enough lift power to be able to be used in those applications.

The most important reason we prefer to use Centrifugal Fans at most times, rather than Turbine is because when you have the combination of lift power and high CFM you are able to collect chips from further away, or while chips are flying while being cut, substantially better then Turbine.

You see, because the Turbine has such a low CFM power it is unable to collect chips that are too far away from the hose.

With Turbines you must be no more than 3 inches or less away from the hose in order for the turbine to draw the chips in. When you are using a high CFM our units can collect flying chips from much further away from the hose, especially when it comes to collecting chips while cutting them, and the more powerful the unit is, the higher the CFM, in much higher numbers then the Turbine.

Let’s take one comparison situation between our Turbine and Centrifugal Fans, each with a 10HP motor.

In a Turbine application you get a 3500 mmh2o lift power and 358 CFM.
With Centrifugal Fan application you get 540 mmh2o lift power and 2400 CFM.

With a Centrifugal Fan with 540 mmh2o you have plenty of lift power to lift the chips to a height of about 5-6 feet off the floor and have plenty of CFM to collect chips that are flying more than 12”-14” away from the hose, and are able to use multiple collection exhaust points on the machine to do so.

With the Turbine, the more collection points, (exhaust points) you have, the less the distance from the hose you need in order to collect any chips.

This is why Turbine is being used in all home vacuums appliances, and not a fan, because the appliance is practically having to rub and stimulate the carpet hairs in order to be able to suck the dirt in.

Try lifting your home vacuum appliance just ½” off the floor, and you get absolutely no suction.

In order to achieve great suction and CFM, caption of chips with a turbine, you have to use an extremely powerful turbine unit, 20HP to 30HP to collect efficiently from multiple suction points.

We can use Centrifugal Fans or Turbine on Central Vacuum Systems. Why you ask? Well, you can achieve almost the same performance from both. The only difference is that a Central Vacuum System with Turbine will require the use of a few units connected in line with extremely high HP versus the Centrifugal Fans that will require fewer units connected together.

If you have additional questions, please call us at 1-800-284-3943 and we will be happy to explain this further.