Over the past decade or so, there has been a significant change in the way tools have been made to meet the needs and requirements of the user. This has led to a large amount of investment in R&D by tool manufacturers to design and develop durable products that can deliver an efficient overall process and a high-quality finish on a variety of surfaces. In addition, there has also been a focus on dust-free sanding, which Mirka has pioneered with the help of its innovative tools, abrasives and extraction systems that, when combined, provide users with a dust-free work environment.
Laboratory tests have shown that without dust extraction, dust in the air per kilogram of sanded material is over 200 grams per kilogram, and dust on surrounding surfaces is almost 800g/kg. These may not seem like large quantities but when they accumulate over a long period, they could potentially turn into both a fire and health hazard for the business.
Extraction systems appear to take up a lot of space, but dust particles can be a major health issue for employees and could possibly lead to respiratory problems. This is why more and more businesses, no matter their size, are investing in systems to allow them to work in a dust-free way.
However, investment in a suitable mobile extraction system is not a short-term injection of the business’ cash, it should be viewed as a long-term commitment, so that it can provide an effective solution for a cleaner workspace, a reduction in prepping and tidying up at the end of the day, and avoid potential dust contamination of other tools and surfaces.
In addition, Mirka knows that space on the workshop floor is at a premium, so to enable users to easily move and store all the items needed to provide a dust-free sanding environment it has introduced a modular trolley. The trolley provides the user with two major benefits.
The first is it is easily adaptable for the job at hand and any future jobs that the tools and abrasives might be used for. The second is it provides the user with enough storage to ensure a tidy work area and reduces the need to go looking for items as everything is one place.
Having a dust-free environment ensures control of the sanding process and allows for multiple work phases to be undertaken in the same room, delivering efficiency both for the business and in terms of tool usage.
The lack of dust also reduces the risk of ‘dust pills’ and clogging as the dust can no longer collect in lumps on the sanding discs to the same extent and there is no longer a danger that sanded dust will build up and create grooves on the sanding surface and fill up the disc reducing its sanding capacity.
This means that an abrasive such as Abranet maintains its aggressive properties over the entire surface much longer than traditional paper materials that have long wilted and faded, making sanding more even and efficient.
Mirka’s top tips to achieving a dust-free environment
- Ensure that tools and dust extractors are regularly serviced for optimum performance
- Make sure the fleece bag in the mobile extraction unit is not full and does not have any rips or holes. If it does, replace it.
- Periodically remove and clean the motor filter. This can be done by placing it in a bag and gently knocking the dust out of the filter. Or better still, use another vacuum or extractor to clean the filter. Once it is clean, replace the filter in the machine.
- Make sure the seal between the tank and upper section of the extractor is clean and not damaged.