Freudenberg SAFEair Secures ISO-Compliant Pressurization and Filtration in Mining Vehicles

Freudenberg Filtration Technologies designed the Freudenberg SAFEair filtration solution to reduce breathable airborne contaminants and CO2 levels in mining vehicle cabs, meeting the requirements of ISO 23875 for heavy equipment safe cabs.

Freudenberg SAFEair helps improve operator safety and equipment integrity in a harsh workplace: mining and related activities with high particle exposure can compromise operator health or damage components equipment essentials.

To a large extent, the global economy thrives on resources from great depths: coal, rare earths and iron ore serve as raw materials for many industries, but require intensive mining before they can be processed. any further. Given the consistently high demand for these materials, the mining sector has seen tremendous growth to date, with revenues for the top 40 global mining companies totaling US$656 billion in 2020.

As crucial as mining is, the working conditions in industry are also harsh: from asbestos to silica, contaminants can enter the cabs of mining vehicles – such as haul trucks, wheel loaders and bulldozers – either by the air vents or by the operators themselves. In addition to causing serious health effects, contaminated air can damage mining vehicles, leading to premature mechanical and electrical failures.

Meet the requirements of ISO 23875

“Ensuring the health and safety of vehicle operators, as well as the functionality of mining equipment is of the utmost importance, and it’s a challenge we have easily met,” says Stephen Gledhill, Mining Segment Manager at Freudenberg Filtration. Technologies.

Effective operator protection requires cabin pressurization and filtration as stipulated by international standard ISO 23875. According to ISO 23875, fresh air supply and/or air recirculation must maintain concentrations particles below 25 mg/m3while maintaining pressurization and CO2 limits: the minimum sustained pressurization inside the operators’ enclosures is 20 Pa, and a maximum of 200 Pa. CO2 concentrations must not exceed ambient CO2 over 400ppm. Standard CO2 present in the Earth’s atmospheres is between 250 and 500 ppm.

Freudenberg SAFEair for safe operations

Reducing contaminants and keeping CO2 concentrations within prescribed limits requires a versatile solution: Freudenberg Filtration Technologies has designed Freudenberg SAFEair, a multi-stage filtration solution for cabin pressurization and filtration compliant with ISO 23875 The Freudenberg SAFEair system includes two pre-cleaning filters as well as two high-flow HEPA filters for particle separation. The two pre-cleaning elements protect the HEPA filters from heavy dust exposure and ensure longer filter life.

The air entering the Freudenberg SAFEair system first passes through a cyclonic dust ejection system which filters heavy dust particles (> 5 μm), before the second pre-cleaning filter takes care of the particles coarse dust (1 – 5 μm). Two stages of HEPA filters then remove 99.995% of sub-micron particles, achieving full cabin air exchange in 20 seconds. In addition to filtering outside air entering the cabin, Freudenberg SAFEair also draws in and filters air from inside the cabin, ensuring cabins are dust-free in accordance with ISO 23875 requirements.

HEPA-filtered air enters the vehicle cabin through the vents in the occupants’ breathing zone, while allowing some of the air to escape from the system for fresh air exchange. Thus, Freudenberg SAFEair supplies ambient CO with hospital-grade air2 levels and continuously monitors CO2 levels inside the vehicle and remotely via telemetry. This is essential because the high CO2 levels are a major concern for miners, due to its association with fatigue and drowsiness and, subsequently, accidents.

A low maintenance solution

In addition, the Freudenberg SAFEair system delivers a constant minimum required pressure of 100 Pa, preventing any contaminants from entering the cabin from the outside; for example, through worn door seals. With limited dust ingress, the system protects air conditioning components such as fans and evaporators, eliminating premature failures due to contamination.

“In addition to reliably protecting operators, Freudenberg SAFEair also reduces maintenance of electrical cabinets and control rooms, saving mining companies costly vehicle downtime and maintenance costs,” comments Gledhill.

Image caption: Freudenberg SAFEair reduces airborne contaminants in mining vehicle cabs in accordance with ISO 23875 requirements.

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