Photo by Tony Illia for ENR
Aaron Valencic, vice president of sales for Dust Control Technology, demonstrated the company's largest model at MINExpo.

Dust control can be a costly and time consuming task, requiring large amounts of water, manpower and horsepower. However, a new mega-sized air-and-water cannon may soon make dust less of a drain on resources.

Last month, Peoria, Ill.-based Dust Control Technology unveiled the company's biggest DustBoss machine yet during the MINExpo show in Las Vegas. Model DB-100 covers an area of 280,000 sq ft—nearly six football fields—with a powerful dust-trapping mist.

"Dust suppression is most effective when airborne water droplets and dust particles are about the same size, so they will collide more readily," explains Aaron Valencic, vice president of sales. "We atomize water to ultra-fine droplets for greater particle attraction. Dust simply collects and falls to the ground."

The DB-100's specially cambered barrel has an integrated ring of 30 brass nozzles. A 60-hp ducted electric fan blows a stream of moist air over the jobsite. The DB-100 sprays water at 200 psi with droplets sized at 50 to 200 microns, which is ideal for dust agglomeration, says the company.

The machine can deliver up to 39 gallons of water per minute, fed by a 1.5-in.- dia quick-connect hose with 10 psi of constant pressure. The 3,200-lb machine oscillates up to 359º, with an adjustable angle height of -7º to 45º. The turntable includes a manual oscillator override to quickly reposition the fan barrel.

"The DustBoss helps reduce labor costs, freeing up manpower for more important tasks while using less water than hoses and sprinklers," Valencic says. "Some customers have realized a payback in as little as six months and netted an annual cost savings of more than $50,000."

The DB-100 is relatively compact for the work it performs, measuring about 6 ft wide, 10 ft long and 8 ft tall on a standard skid mount. It throws 40% farther than the DB-60, the company's previous largest offering. Six years in the making, the DB-100 is priced at $58,900.

The dust-busting machine could help cut expenses, contractors say. "We were looking for a better way to trap the dust and prevent it from migrating with fewer man-hours," says Ken Sidwell, vice president of IronHustler Excavating, a Peoria, Ill.-based demolition contractor. "The DustBoss is much more effective than any sprinkling or hand-spraying. We just turn it on and let it oscillate. It started paying back right away."