Health & Safety
Traditional sanding operations generate a lot of dust and, regardless of the application, dust from sanding operations can be hazardous. Of particular concern are the hexavalent chromium, cadmium, and lead often found in paint, and the dust from resins associated with fiberglass and carbon fiber composites.
Proper dust control starts with the facility design. Then processes are established with minimum dust generation as a goal, and the last line of defense is the protective clothing (PPE) operators wear while sanding.
Traditional sanding generates so much dust when the abrasive disc is not flat on the surface, however, that no procedures or facility modifcations can control the exposure risk completely, and thus operators are more dependent on their PPE than is desirable.
Process Time & Cost Saving
Without optimal dust collection, abrasive discs load prematurely, wasting still sharp abrasive grains and creating a need for more frequent (and time-consuming) paper changes. Loaded paper, prior to replacement, sands less effectively, thereby extending process time.
Dust left on the surface by inadequate vacuum performance can load the abrasive, creating undesirable swirl marks. Excess dust on the surface also makes inspection more difficult and quality issues harder to identify.
Even with attached vacuum systems, manual sanding risks tilting the sander rather than staying flat on the surface, which breaks the vacuum seal and flings dust into the shop environment. Tilting the sander can also leave gouge marks that potentially require expensive repair.