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Survey report: an engineering control evaluation for reducing exposure to refractory ceramic fibers during sanding conducted at Fireline, Inc. Youngstown, Ohio.

Dunn KH; Shulman SA; Cecala AB
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, EPHB 246-11a, 2003 Apr; :1-10
On November 5, 2002, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted an engineering control evaluation at Fireline, Inc. in Youngstown, Ohio. Fireline developed a local exhaust ventilation system to capture and collect airborne refractory ceramic fibers (RCF) during the sanding of vacuum-formed parts. This system was installed on a disc sander and was evaluated by NIOSH along with representatives from the RCF manufacturer, Unifrax Corporation. The primary objective of the study was to determine the operating conditions and effectiveness of the engineering control which was designed and incorporated into the sanding process. Fireline Inc., is a small company that manufactures vacuum formed ceramic fiber parts. At the time of the survey, 67 workers were employed, 50 of these employees work in the plant while 17 work in the office. Fireline operates on a 3 shift basis with most workers (34) on the first shift. The sanding area is staffed 24 hours a day by one worker with an additional worker packing the material for shipment. The manufacturing of various RCF products is composed of a number of tasks including, forming the part, drying, and finishing the part through sanding, sawing or other processes to meet the customer specifications. Fireline purchases refractory ceramic fiber in bulk and vacuum forms the materials into various shapes as specified by the customer. Brass screened dies with perforated screen re-enforcements are made for the various shapes that are ordered. The die is mounted on the appropriate dip machine. The operator uses a foot pedal activated control switch to lower the die into the ceramic fiber slurry tank. A limit switch is triggered when the die reaches the bottom of the tank to activate the vacuum. A timer activates a switch to remove the die from the slurry tank after the part has been formed around the die. The operator sets the timer for the appropriate amount of time needed to form the part. When formed, the operator removes the ceramic fiber part by hand from the die and places them into trays. The tray of parts is then placed onto a conveyor belt and is dried in a radio wave oven. After drying, the parts are transferred to the sanding station. Once sanded, the part is removed from the station, inspected and packed into a cardboard tray for shipping. All RCF parts are" finished on the disc sander.
Control-technology; Engineering-controls; Refractories; Ceramic-materials; Ceramics; Ceramics-industry; Exhaust-systems; Exhaust-ventilation; Sampling; Ventilation; Dust-collection; Air-filters; Air-sampling; Region-5
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Division of Applied Research and Technology, Mail Stop R-5 ,4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
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Field Studies; Control Technology
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NIOSH Division
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Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division