A Quick Guide to Spray Technology for Dust Suppression on Construction Sites
Dust on construction sites has many serious implications for worker and local community safety, equipment and its maintenance, and productivity. Thankfully, there are technological solutions available in spray form that will minimize onsite dust and related problems.
Here’s a brief guide to the problems dust can cause, the solutions and how they work.
Why is dust suppression important?
Construction sites can be extremely dusty places. Unpaved access roads, the cleared site itself, and associated yards and hard-standings can generate a lot of airborne dust. These, in turn, can cause several problems:
- The environmental consequences of dust generated from construction sites include a negative impact on air pollution and air quality. This can have health consequences for the local community, as well as affecting crop yields in the surrounding areas.
- The dust is likely to have health implications for onsite workers, too. The finest dust particles are known to cause respiratory disease and occupational eye problems.
- Aside from poor air quality, there are potential implications for safety,e. poor visibility.
- Dust can cause problems for high-value plant and equipment, affecting their safety and their efficiency, productivity and maintenance
- Excessive dust can slow down construction through poor visibility, poor ridability of machinery and by affecting the health of personnel.
What are the solutions?
Clearly, construction businesses must find ways to suppress dust for the sake of people’s health and welfare, and to save time and money. Damping down with water is a simple answer to some of these problems. However, using large quantities of water has environmental implications of its own.
Besides, most fine dust (also the most problematic type of dust) is also hydrophobic. This means that water alone will have little effect; the particles will simply bounce off and remain airborne.
The solution is to use dust suppression technology. Various products are available that can be mixed with water. They will bind fine dust particles and are applied by spraying. The use of these products can both reduce water consumption by two-thirds, and extend the dust suppression period by four or five times.
Clearly these products offer great value in terms of saving time and money, but also minimize the risks to the environment and human health from airborne dust. So, what products are available and how do they work?
How does dust suppression technology work?
The ideal solution to construction site dust is specially formulated liquid polymer products. These products are very simple to use: they are easily added to water and applied using the site’s existing spray systems or readily available technology. These could include water lines, water trucks, cannons, or overhead spray systems.
Note that while most products are added to water, some that are suited to the most problematic of areas are sprayed as waterless solutions.
The chemical components of the liquid polymers are carefully selected to provide the following benefits:
- The products bind to fine dust particles, weighing them down and making them too heavy to become airborne.
- An improved surface integrity onsite, better air quality, visibility, and minimal impact on plant and equipment, as well as making the construction process easier.
- They are non-hazardous and environmentally friendly, safe for humans, animals and crop production.
- The best examples of these products continue to work in extreme weather conditions, which means that rain, evaporation or freezing do not impair the impact of the product.
Variations of these products bring specific benefits to various applications, i.e some are suited for general use, whereas others are specially designed for specific applications, for example roads, underground mines, even race tracks.
To find out which product is best-suited to alleviate the problem of dust on your site, talk to your local dust suppression technology provider today.
Troy Adams is the Managing Director of Global Road Technology, an international engineering technology company in Australia that specialises in engineered solutions for dust suppression, erosion control, soil stabilisation and water management. A pioneering, socially conscious Australian entrepreneur, Troy is passionate about safer, healthier and more cost-effective solutions in the mining and infrastructure sectors and beyond.