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82 SMT Magazine • March 2016 by Stefan meissner UlT AG The electronics production industry is char- acterised by a multitude of processes. From join- ing and separation technologies by means of laser, soldering and gluing, soldering processes, and the utilisation of fluxes or rapid prototyp- ing—there is a wide range of various technolo- gies. All these procedures have one thing in common: they generate harmful particles of any size, form and composition. These particles have an undesirable effect as they have impact on hu- mans, machines and products because of their chemical and physical characteristics. They can cause diseases, affect machine functionalities and pollute products, thus can be responsible for malfunctions and production failures. Extracting is not Enough Utilising an extraction system seems logical. Indeed, it is. However, systems vary in effective- ness and many critical parameters must be con- sidered when selecting the most suitable extrac- tion and filtration system. In order to complete- ly removing all occurring dusts, fumes, odours, gases, and vapours, it is necessary to utilise the appropriate filtration technology and un- derstand all the characteristics of the airborne pollutants and processes. A distinction is made between particulate and gaseous substances. Partially, gaseous substances may react and become particles. Modern procedures such as welding, laser or other thermal processes cause the emergence of particles, which become in- creasingly smaller and some are known to be in the nano range. Particle size is one criterion that decides on the utilisation of the best suitable filter medium. Additionally, knowledge on particle charac- teristics (adhesive, condensing, etc.), gas con- tent or flammability is important. These factors also have influence on the selection of the ideal filter. air Filters and Subdivisions Filtration means separation of solids and gases, and there are many techniques used: • Gravity separators (settlement tanks) • Centrifugal separators (cyclones) • Wet separators (washers) • Electric separators (electrostatic filters) • Filtering separators (fabric filters, cartridge filters) • Adsorptive filters (activated carbon)

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