Where Does The Dust Go?

Published on
January 10, 2022 3:38:28 PM PST January 10, 2022 3:38:28 PM PSTth, January 10, 2022 3:38:28 PM PST

Today are talking about dust, our favorite topic. And we are here to talk about how does iQ Power Tools collect that dust? 

We are just going to break down all the different aspects of what our dust collection system looks like. We'll do some cuts and we're going to answer you guys' questions. 

So why collect the dust?

Silica dust is what basically the dust that comes from cutting of any concrete products, tile products, anything that contains silica. Silica is one of the most prevalent materials on the earth. And that's why it's used in building products and things. One of the things is very dangerous about Silica dust is it's kind of like little glass shards. And if you can imagine those little glass shards floating in the air, and then you breathe those in, and that's the dust you see. Actually, you make a cut with a power cutter or some sort of saw or when you're grinding, those little things floating in the air are actually little sharp pieces of glass. 

You breathe those into your lungs. It embeds itself into the little air sacks of your lungs, and then your lung reacts by creating scar tissue over that little piece or that little air sack to cover over that little shard. And then you just lost that little piece of your lung, the capacity of your lung has just been diminished by that little bit. You keep breathing that dust in, more and more of that dust stays in your lungs. More scar tissue is created, and you lose more and more of that capacity until at some point you only have 50% lung capacity or 25% lung capacity left. And you'll start noticing in your breath, that you just can't take those deep breaths or you start walking upstairs and you're really incapacitated.

So it's really a very dangerous, but very slow, progressive thing. And we really want to tell young people out there. I tell old guys it's really too late for us because, we breathed all the dust in already. Young guys wear a mask, use engineer controls, do something to protect yourself. If you see dust in the air, make sure you're not breathing it because it goes into your lungs and it stays there. So very, very important.

So then there's the whole OSHA Regulation.

OSHA has guidelines over the amount of dust that a person is allowed to breathe. It's called the permissible exposure level or PEL. OSHA has told us that we are allowed to breathe, and I don't know if you can see this, but there's a little bit of dust in that jar. This is the amount of dust that OSHA says that we can breathe in one week. You can see that little bit amount, and that would be actually inhaling. So that's one week's worth of dust in that jar. Very small amount. If you kind of go up the scale here, this is one year's, this is 52 weeks of dust. That's what OSHA says that you're allowed to breathe.

So when you make this cut, this is a little kind of a concrete brick size paver. When you make that one cut, you're releasing that much dust into the air. So you can see the exposure and how you could be way over exposed just by making that one cut. And so that's really what motivates iQ Power Tools is to capture that dust. And the better job we can do at capturing that dust at the source in what we call engineered controls, then you don't have to rely as much on respirators and other PPE as we call it. Now, we still encourage you to wear PPE and respirators and masks, even if you're using our tools. But this goes a long way into keeping the job sites safe.

A lot of people use water to cut, to bring that dust down, but that doesn't necessarily solve the silica problem all the time. Correct?

That's correct. Because when you're cutting with water, it does suppress the dust, but it basically has turned it into a mist. And now you're breathing in that mist that has the dust in those little mist pockets. So you're still breathing that dust in. So why using water does not eliminate the dust hazard. If you're running a wet saw, you still should be wearing a dust mask.

And with that, I'm pretty sure that helps efficiency. Now, I'm not cleaning up the mess. I'm not breathing it and I'm not cleaning it. It's a win-win, right? 

So now that we know why we do what we do, let's kind of dive into the basics of the iQ system. And what we really want to share with you guys is that it's just that. It's a system. It's not just the vacuum or just the blade, everything works together. 

As I make a cut, the blade is going through the material and it's pulling that material or that dust down into the louvred system. As you can see below, in our little mock up here, we can explain exactly what's happening. The table and the louvres are going across the top slot right here. And you can imagine that the blade is right up at this portion. It's spinning down and it's shooting that dust down into the louvres.

Now the louvres act like a little valve. So it's focusing the amount of vacuum that we have in the system and concentrating on right where that blade and that little rooster tail is coming off of the blade. So that's how that's, that's why they work together. And it's very important to have fresh louvres in your system and everything working properly.

Does it matter if that top slot is a little bit lower, or does it need to be pretty flush with those louvres?

It needs to be flush. There are two screws in here and this slot can be adjusted up, so it's nice and tight to the bottom of the table and the louvres are running nice and close. You want to minimize any air leakage, so you're focusing again that vacuum.


Make sure that that blade is cutting through your louvres. We get a lot of phone calls where the people don't necessarily put it all the way down and then they're cutting on top of the louvres and then they wonder why they're not collecting the dust.

Yeah, so you see, when you get a fresh set of louvres, there's just this little notch in here and your blade will actually cut through those louvres and opening up a nice slot. So that's normal. 

So after the louvres, what's the next piece of it?

So the next piece of it, after the top slot, the dust goes down and it comes down into this area. And right here, you see these two openings. That's the openings for the cyclones that are actually on this side of the machine. So the cyclones are pulling that dust in, into the cyclones. The dust that falls straight down travels down to here and that's your heavy debris chamber. So your heavier chips, things that don't get pulled off by the cyclone and out of the airstream fall down and landed this portion of the dust tray. So that's your heavier chips that go down there.

And then the dust that does go into the cyclone, the cyclone it travels in here and through a centrifugal force and some air pressure changes. The dust goes to the outside of the cyclone. It's spinning like a tornado and it drops down until it gets out of the airstream. And then it falls out of the cyclone and you can see it if I show you the bottom of the cyclone. It comes out of this portion here and then drops into this center section, which is your cyclone dust. And that's the majority of the dust collection is happens right here. So between the heavy debris and the cyclone dust, this is capturing 90 plus percent of your dust.

Is there a reason why we have four cyclones on this machine and not just one massive cyclone?

Yeah. We've tuned those down to get the right air velocity to shake this type of dust out. So that's really what it's there for.

So after cyclones, it goes to the filter, correct?

Yeah, so actually you can barely see it here, but in the center, there's a little tube. And so the clean air kind of makes a turn and goes up through the center of that cyclone and across this planet here on the top. And of course that's traveling out the back and it comes into your filter area here. So this is where you actually have a pleated filter. The dust comes on the outside of this filter and is cleaned out. And then it goes out through that hole back here, which is the vacuum. So you got clean air coming out the vacuum. And then of course the filter is able to spin and we have that agitator. So when you spin that filter, it cleans out those pleats.

How important is it for me to clean out that filter? And how often do I clean that filter?

It depends on the machine. The 362 has a lot more dust. So you want to clean that more often, that's every 20, 30 minutes you want to give that a spin. The 244 cutting tile has much less dust. So, that can be spun once a day, maybe twice a day.

So it goes through the filter and then it ends up in the dust tub, correct?

So once it all is in the tub, if you could just hit home again the difference between the three types of dust, because that was mind blowing for me when you guys first invented the 244 and the different size particles and why that matters.

Heavy debris comes out into this chamber and that's what falls really out of the airstream. The second chamber is your cyclonic dust that is filtered out. And again, that's about 90 plus percent of the dust between these two. And then when you spin this filter and the agitator flap drops that less than 10% of the dust into this area. And then at the end of the day, you drop this tub out and you empty it and that's your cleanup at the end of the day. But that's where the dust goes. And that kind of answers that question. People want to know what the dust goes in the slot and they understand that, but how is it distributed from there?

So we get a lot of comments that says it's not dust free. People say it's dust free and it's water free. It is water free, but it's not a 100% dust free. Let’s touch on that. Because I know sometimes people are making a cut and the light is hitting it just right and they see a poof of dust. 

What is that poof?

Yeah. I mean, no system is dust free, no dust collection system is dust free. There is some that is going to escape and get into the environment. When you do make a cut with the 362 or the tile saw, there can be a little poof at the beginning of the cut, at the end of the cut, but it's such a small amount of dust and we kind of have measured it out. 

Relative to how much dust you are collecting here, this little, small little patch of dust is that little poof that's getting away. And that proof that's actually getting away, the amount that is reaching your breathing zone is next to nothing. So what we really concentrate on is making sure that we do the testing here to make sure that the tools are OSHA compliant to their permissible exposure levels that PEL. And that's what we have on our website.

We have the white papers and the documentation to show that our tools are compliant. You can use them. If you have some municipality or contractor, somebody asking you, hey, can you use that tool? Is it safe? Does it meet the requirements? You got the white paper here to give them and show them that it does. So we've done all of that testing here and provided that for you.

Sarah Williams:

So I think that's all the question, unless there's any comments or questions back on Instagram or Facebook? I know I've been trying to go back and forth and read them and bring them on screen. So basically that's how our tools work everybody. It's a full system. So that's what we really want you guys to remember is that we've put a lot of brain work into these things and making sure that it's a simple, easy, full package for you guys. And we like to say integrated, integrated is the key term. You don't have the added attachments. You're not dragging around a vacuum behind everything you do. You don't have slurry everywhere and you're not breathing that dust. So if you guys have questions about our products and you're interested in more details.

And let me just expand on that system a little bit more. It definitely is a system. And as we develop these tools and people want to know if we go over to camera one, why we develop the blades that we have. We have to design the blades in order to run dry, but also they work with the air flow of the vacuum, so everything is working together to keep the blades cool. So it is a complete system and we encourage you guys, make sure you're buying the right blades, the iQ power tools blades to work with your system. Because if you put some other blade on the system and you don't have the best results, we can't help you then. If you're using our blades in our system, the blades stay cool, works with the airflow of the vacuum, cutting the material that we have. We got lots of different, we got five or six different blades for the 362 depending on the type of material you're cutting. And so it really all works together as a system. And so we encourage you to use it in that way.

And it's the same for the 362 Hard Scape, or if you're working on some of our tile saws, same concept.