Finding the Right Motor for Your Fume Evacuation System

Posted by Optimal Tech on

When it comes to selecting the right motor for your fume evacuation system, there are three main points to consider: Operating Environment, Performance Targets and Life Expectations. Without consideration of these key areas, even the best motor won’t meet your needs effectively. Let’s look at how you should think about each one and how they can impact your results. 

Operating Environment 

Operating environment is a critical piece of the equation because it forces you to consider where your motor is going, what kind of air you are trying to move, how you want to power it and how much room you have for it.  

The first thing to keep in mind about the operating environment is the air quality around the system. If the motor is going into a laser welding application, most likely the air will be dirty. Whereas a medical surgical environment will be cleanAnother consideration is the humidity and temperature of the ambient air. The same motor in the same application in Miami and in Phoenix will operate differently because the ambient air is different.  

Next, you’ll want to look at the quality of the working air that you’re trying to evacuate. Does it have particles and how big are they? Should you be filtering them? All these questions related to air quality need to be considered when selecting the right motor product. For example, a brushless blower has electronic controllers that won’t work as well in a highly moisturized environmentSimilarly, a brushed motor will fare better in a very hot environment because it’s more rugged.  

The type of power you’re using also factors into operating environment. Is the system portable, requiring battery power? Maybe you only have a 120 or a 230 VAC line. You might need a system that can handle both. Universal voltage (UV) blowers are available to create common performance that is not dependent on using more than one SKU for different voltages.  

Finally, there’s the system design considerations. Whether it’s the enclosure’s size or weight, it is important to consider how much room you have for the motor to operate effectively. Is it a bypass motor? If so, you will need to design working and cooling airpaths into the system. Can air properly flow through and around the system? All these questions are critical when it comes to operating environment.  

Performance Targets 

When installing a fume evacuation system, you must set performance targets up front to help outline what type of system you need. These targets will tell you how much vacuum and flow are desired. And there can be a lot of math involved in making this determination!  

Sometimes you have to test, design, test, design, test and try again. Many fume evacuation systems are designed empirically, and this is where a brushless product can help because it has built-in speed control. These types of motors allow you to start at a setting that exceeds what you need, then turn down the speed and alter the performance until you achieve what you’re looking for 

Plus, when you design a system, air has to go through a hose to a nozzle. Then it must run through tubes. All these things act as an impendence. Your motor design needs to take all these things into account, or you’re never recognize your performance requirements. Knowing all this information in advance – and how it affects the way you want to see your motor perform – will allow you to select the proper motor.  

Life Expectancy 

A big question that needs to be answered is how long do you expect your product to run? That means understanding the duty cycle of how the motor will operate. A standalone system that runs for 20 minutes at a time, a couple times a day will certainly last longer than a large industrial system that runs 24/7/365.  

Life expectancy can help decide brush versus brushless technology because they all have different life expectations. For example, a brushless DC motor will give you very long life… but it’s not the best choice if you’re operating in a high-heat environment due to the sensitivity of the electronics.


Information provided by Ametek DFS

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