Carbon Fibre Dust Extraction at Caterham F1

The new dust extraction systems installed in the two workshops at the Caterham F1 site in Leafield were a little more out of the ordinary compared to Cades’ usual installations in factories and industrial premises.

Unlike the normal procedure of installing a system to remove dust and chips from a woodworking factory, this system required the extraction of carbon fibre dust and moulding block from their two CNC machines in the pattern making area.  In addition to this they also required a vacuum system to clean inside the machines.  The design involved extraction from the rear of the machines with 2 vacuum points fitted inside each machine to allow for the cleaning.

The filter unit and fan set were placed outside the workshop with duct work passing through the exterior and running at a high level and branching out to each of the two CNC machines.  Filter model MJB125/XL/12-11 was used as this filter is specifically designed to handle carbon fibre.  It is manufactured from mild steel and is fully weatherproof and was fitted complete with hopper and waste storage bin.  The top section houses the filter media in the form of 132 tubular bags which are manufactured from NF406 polyester epitropic antistatic glazed media.

The system cleans the filter bags with an air pulse jet using compressed air controlled by a pulse sequence controller which is set at a continuous pulse.  The integral pre-separation section separates the dust from the air before the air enters the filter bags. It directs the waste into the waste collection bin and the filtered air is discharged into the atmosphere via the fan set.    The  15kW fan set is fitted with a weather cowl and a discharge silencer to keep noise levels down.

In the main workshop a dust extraction system was required to serve various machines in four areas.  Filter Model MJB190/XL/18-11 is specifically designed to handle carbon fibre and was linked to all four areas.  As in the previous CNC workshop, the filter unit and fan set were placed outside and the connective ductwork passed through the exterior and branched off into the four separate areas.  All droppers to the machines/arms were fitted with a manual shut off damper.  A high pressure vacuum system was also installed into the main workshop with a total of eight vacuum points and the system being capable for 24 hour running, extracting from three points at any one time.

The high pressure vacuum system consisted of a rotary blower / vacuum pump which was mounted externally in a weather proof acoustic enclosure.  The dust collection filter was mounted adjacent to this with a collection bin underneath.   Heavy duty smooth seamed galvanized pipe work with long radius bends were fitted from the filter unit to all the points in the production areas.  All points were fitted with flap valve switches which automatically start and stop the vacuum pump when required.

These new dust control systems have greatly improved the working conditions at Caterham F1 enabling a smoother and clean operation.   The Senior Production Engineer, Gary Bassett was really pleased with the extraction project.  “Your company did a really professional job from the initial quoting stage, through the design phase, keeping us informed at all times as to how it would fit in and around our existing infrastructure.

During the installation period we were particularly impressed with your team of engineers, who carried out their tasks without any detrimental effect to our production schedule which as you know was very demanding at the time. They also remained good humoured even when working outside during extremely challenging weather conditions.

The final result is a very tidy and efficient system which we are proud to show to any of our VIP visitors and sponsors.

Thank you again for a job very well done and I will have no hesitation in recommending your company to anyone.”

Whatever your requirement for dust, fume or particle extraction, call Cades to be assured of the best advice and service.