A spark arrestor is a device very commonly used in many industries and workshops where that helps during any work that is related to fire. When it comes to welding, having a spark arrestor in your workshop is a must and can always come in handy.
This device prevents the emission of inflammable debris from any combustible materials like a fireplace, wood, engines, and other internal combustion appliances.
These spark arrestors have been used in the United States since the 1800s and they were later used in engines and boilers in around 1905. Spark arrestors are divided into two major categories namely ‘Multi-Position Small Engine (MSE) and General Purpose (GP).
The Multi-Position Small Engine ones are used mainly in engines and handheld appliances like a chain-saw, trimmer, blower, and brush cutters. The general purpose spark arrestors are used in tractors, motorcycles, and trains which have a single-positioned engine. The most commonly available ones are traps, screens, and discs.
Sparks commonly occur in welding, grinding and cutting processes. The spark arrestor denies the maximum amount of spark produced in a dust collector and other equipment.
The spark is produced due to three major factors namely fuel source, oxygen and ignition source that catches fire and spread like wildfire too easily if there are dust particles around them. These fires can cause a catastrophic damage to your industry and also ignite the production lines.
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How does a spark arrestor work?
These spark arrestors work on the principle of trapping carbon particles that have a radius greater than 0.0115 inches. If you install a good quality spark arrester and do maintenance regularly for it then you can expect good results out of it.
It removes the carbon particles from the exhaust and filters them. Using centrifugal force, the carbon particles with and above the particular diameter will be considered as heavy and moved to the inner walls of the spark arrestor which is then captured in the ‘trap’.
For this filtering or screening process, it usually uses a screen/disc. TO increase the exhaust flow and facilitate the efficient filtering of carbon particles. Centrifugal acceleration supports the efficient removal of sparks due to continuous airflow.
It also has a separate dustbin attached to the spark arrestor that can help collect remaining sparks produced and collected away from the main ductwork and after long hours of operation, the dustbin can be easily removed and cleared of the dust.
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Spark Arrestor Maintenance
A pre-installed spark arrestor cannot be sold without any viable law order. The owner/operator is responsible for this equipment that he/she sells. Hence, proper spark arrestor maintenance is necessary.
One of the most common causes of fire in a spark arrestor is improper maintenance. Inspection hatches are available when purchasing good-quality and branded spark arrestors and they can be placed around the arrestor directly.
You can get a clear view of the ductwork and ensure if it is clean or not. Most of the spark arrestors have two duct clamps using which you can mount the spark arrestor and its dismantling process is also made simpler.
For models ending with: Z525E, Z535M, Z535R
The screen element of the spark arrestor can be easily removed and undergone maintenance later on. Visual inspection is done to check the condition of tears, broken welds, and loose wires hanging around here and there.
First, remove the two push retainers (A), four bolts (B, C), and rear cover (D) from the device.
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Remove four bolts (3) and frame tube (F). Now remove the muffler shield (G).
Remove screws (H), spark arrestor cover (I), and the spark arrestor itself. Now you can undergo a proper scanning and analysis of the spark arrestor and repair any part if necessary.
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You can also under a proper 3- hour cleaning process to make sure all the parts are fresh and clean as new. Once all the maintenance is done, install the arrestor and cover with the muffler and put on appropriate screws. Install the arrestor’s muffler shield and make sure all the parts are placed and screwed tightly together.
For models ending with: Z540M, Z540R
First, unscrew the spark arrestor from the muffler end. Remove the muffler shield.
Now clean and do necessary repairs to the screen as per your needs.
Sean Coby is a welder par excellence and well respected among the welding community in Woodbridge, VA. He prides himself to be the fabricator and mechanic in the automotive/ diesel industry for the past more than eight years now. As the chief editor of his https://weldinginfocenter.com, he shares his experience to be safe during welding and to take proactive steps for becoming a successful welder like him.