Wood dust (saw dust) is the biggest wastes in woodworking industry. Most process in the woodworking industry such as: sawing, sanding, boring, and other wood machining formation will always produce wood dust. As big waste, the wood dust should be managed properly to provide the clean room and healthy woodworking environment. The accumulated wood dust in the woodworking room will reduce the work space and disrupt the work process. The wood dust also interfere the human health and increase the risk of fire. Wood dust is also dangerous; it is highly flammable material, any spark that hit the dust will easily make a big fire that could destroy the entire facility and factory buildings. The wood dust cause health problems; it will cause problem to human health if spread to limbs: eyes, ears, face. It even can cause allergic for some people.Then the the wood dust has to be properly handled to minimized the problem in the woodworking facility.
Although it seem it causes many problems, but actually wood dust is valuable material, by proper handling it can be used for various purposes.
Here are some uses of the sawdust.
- To make particle board and MDF.
MDF is made from wood chips, shavings, sawdust that is cooked to get its fiber. The fiber then is flowed to form a thick sheet of mat, dried and coated with a resin. Particle board is made from wood particles and wood flakes mixed with a resin binder pressed by using a hot press to form a sheet with various size thickness, length and width. The MDF and particle board product are well known at the woodworking industry and marketed with high economical value. The process the wood dust to make mdf or particle board if possible is a profitable process. But, the processing to make MDF of particle board needs big machines and facilities that need big capital investment. The machine need the continuous supply of wood dust in big quantity. The mdf or particle board manufacturers usually collect the wood waste from many woodworking facilities to supply his need.
- To make wood briquette or charcoal.
The wood waste may be physically different with the solid wood, but it has same chemical properties as the solid wood. It is containing CH compound that store energy and can be used as fuel. The wood dust can be press and compacted to make solid form that is called wood briquette. The wood briquette is marketed as wood fuel for the stove or fire places substitute the wood log.
The wood briquette can be continued processed to make charcoal. Charcoal has less energy but it smokeless then it is preferred to be used for cooking, baking or fireplace feed. The charcoal containing the carbon active, it also has many uses in the chemical industry.
- Fuel in the furnace of the kiln dry.
If we run kiln dry then we need energy supply to produce hot air in the drying room. There are several energy sources can be used as an energy source in the kiln dry such as: electric, solar or fossil energy, or wood waste. The uses wood waste as energy source for the kiln dry. Some woodworking industry integrates his process in the production by utilize their wood waste from to feed his kiln dry furnace. With the automatic setting, the wood dust from the silo can be directly fed the oven furnace. By this system, then we can maximize the uses of the wood waste and increase the efficiency of the facility.
Management of the wood dust.
After looking many benefits of wood dust ant its economical value, then we should no longer consider the wood dust as waste, but as side product. It is important to collect and manage the wood dust to make more profit in the woodworking process and facility. With proper management, then we can minimize environmental issues from the wood dust and the same time we can maximize profit from the wood dust as side product.
Here are the things that are needed to care of wood dust.
- Dust collector
Dust collector is facility designed to capture and collect wood dust. There are various dust collectors, from small and portable size that installed at each machines to the centralized dust collector for the entire production room. The dust collector is very important facility that is needed in the woodworking industry. Dust collector is not only equipment to keep the production room clean, but is also to collect the wood dust as the side product.
- Clean the production room every day.
Although it has been equipped with a lot of dust collector, but the room in the woodworking industry is easily become dirty and dusty. We have to sweep, mop or broom the floor everyday to keep it clean.
Although we always clean the room and capture the wood dust, but it doesn’t t not guarantee that the woodworking room air is clean. There is always possibility that any dust escapes and flies in the air. Meanwhile the dust can be causes the healthy problem for the people inside the room. Then we still provide the protective equipment to protect our people from the health problem. Provide masker and make sure every people who come in the woodworking facility are wearing masker.