A baghouse is known to be the lungs of an asphalt plant, but you already knew that! What you may not know is how an inefficient baghouse can impact your plant’s production.

What can you do to make sure your baghouse is running efficiently?  Here are three easy things to check for, to assure your baghouse is performing at its best.

The first check is for proper size (when it comes to asphalt plants, this DOES matter!). If the sizing is too small, it can cause restrictions in your production. If the sizing is too large, it can make it difficult to get the desired baghouse temperatures. Generally, a properly sized baghouse requires 200 CFM per ton of material produced, based on 5 percent composite moisture in your materials. For example, a 400 ton per hour plant requires an 80,000 CFM baghouse.

Second on the checklist are leaks in the system. How do you know if your baghouse is leaking? Leaks should be checked all the way back to the drum, making sure your drum seals are functioning. Check all the openings in the drum to make sure they are sealed off as best as possible. Think of it like this, “A baghouse is like a vacuum cleaner, and the ductwork/drum are essentially the suction hose.” A leak in the hose will decrease the suction capability, which ultimately reduces your CFM. A poorly sealed system will result in inefficiency, as leaks steal air from the baghouse.

The last check is bag life. Nobody wants to work with an old bag! Bag condition is important because it is your filtering media. Old worn out bags will not pulse clean enough, resulting in a high-pressure drop which causes decreased production. This will become evident when you cannot pulse your bags down below a certain pressure point. Extending your bag life can be attributed to a properly tuned/adjusted burner and keeping baghouse temperature within the recommended operating guidelines. Operating with a functional set of bags will aid in production, just as precoating or pretreating new bags will aid in life extension.

A baghouse may be a simple component in an asphalt plant, but it remains a vital one. Your body cannot breathe properly without functioning lungs, and your asphalt plant cannot produce at a high-performance level without a well-maintained baghouse. There are many important elements to an asphalt plant, and preventative maintenance can go a long way to ensure these elements work together productively. You can breathe easier knowing a properly maintained baghouse can be a key element to your high performing asphalt plant production.