Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Kerf Collection System
The Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant performs machining of products containing lithium, a highly volatile material that also absorbs moisture, emitting hydrogen gas. Therefore, Y-12 personnel carry out machining in a glove box. Because of related safety hazards and the value of reclaiming the lithium, Y-12 designed a kerf (or chips and dust generated during machining) collection system. The system accumulates the dust at the part with a vacuum line, and the line is connected to the collection system through ball valves. The dust air mixture is then filtered, separated, and collected in kerf cans for disposition. The system controller allows automated cleaning of the filter after a set period of time or if a pressure drop occurs within the filter. This kerf collection system can be cleaned and used for materials other than lithium and could be used with any dry machined, high cost, high value, pyrophoric or environmentally hazardous material.
A smaller portable system was designed for use with other machines that have glove boxes. The smaller system had specially-designed, smaller components and has an approximate cost per unit of $100,000.
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