Many different dust control and suppression products exist in Australia, all designed to meet several environmental and workplace challenges. They can be utilised in many areas including: construction yards, mine sites, tailings and ash dams, soil stockpiles, unsealed roads, causeways, and many more. A misting system or fog machine is often the first choice for smaller businesses but a less cumbersome, longer lasting, once off solution can be much more cost effective.
Modern dust suppression is generally achieved with polymer based products, enabling easy application via hydroseeder truck cannons and hoses, or water carts. Proprietary blends of water soluble polymers along with a dye for ease of visibility are mixed in a hydroseeder truck and constantly agitated while being sprayed. These products create a uniform layer over the surface of the applied area and once dry, form a malleable membrane that stops dust from blowing up in the wind or running off during normal rain events. Hydroseeder trucks make dust control on slopes possible, as water carts have limited distance with their spray nozzles. Each product will be rated for slope gradient, category of rain event and shear forces that it can withstand before failure and this must be considered during design to ensure the right product has been chosen. Most products are rated to last between 6 – 12 months, at which point, they start to break down and eventually biodegrade.
A newer type of synthetic product on the market is designed to stay wet and suppress dust on the ground as well as anything landing on it after application. They are no-slip, don’t wash away in rain, environmentally safe and a second application generally only requires a fraction of the amount first put down. This product often comes in two forms. The first being a water immiscible, viscous liquid that supresses fugitive dust for an extended period (up to 12 months) and is completely waterless in use. The other being a liquid that can be added to water carts to essentially reduce water consumption and increase the amount of time the road stays wet. They work similarly to how water supresses dust, by absorbing into the dust particles and weighing them down but without evaporating or freezing, making the suppression last much longer.
Innovation in dust suppression has come a long way in the last decade and with numerous products on offer to suit all types of jobs, there is sure to be a dust suppression solution that is right for you and your project goals.