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Improving Air Quality in Your Community

Outdoor Air - Industry, Business, and Home: Fiberglass Fabrication Operations

You can help fiberglass fabrication facilities reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) that may affect dry cleaner employees, their families, customers, and the community by encouraging dry cleaners to conduct these activities:


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Improve Production System Design

      How?
  • Switch from open to closed molds.
  • Reduce time and waste by installing impregnator systems that combine resin and fiber application.
  • Install resin rollers to eliminate waste and excessive resin use.
  • Install vaccuum-mold or infusion systems to eliminate air bubbles and improve product quality.
  • Switch from manual operation to robotics. Robotic systems reduce production time and result in greater accuracy.
  • Use computerized application technology to increase process efficiency.
  • Switching production systems and investing in hardware and software for robotics and computer applications involves initial cost, but the payback period is generally less than three years.
      Benefits
  • Reduces air emissions.
  • Reduces production time.
  • Reduces labor costs.
      Costs
  • Capital costs for any necessary equipment.
  • Training workers to use new equipment and procedures.
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Change Raw Materials

      How?
  • Use ultra-violet (UV)-cured or vapor-suppressed resin. These resins have the potential to emit less styrene.
  • If possible, switch to resins containing less styrene.
      Benefits
  • Reducing the amount of styrene in a resin by 35-45% can result in air emission reductions of 20-50%.
  • Using dibastic ester (DBE) instead of acetone will result in a 60% savings of solvent. If DBE spills, it will not evaporate, can be cleaned up, and can be recycled (Government Institutes).
  • At one polyurethane molding facility, alternatives to conventional mold release agents were identified and tested as a full-scale demonstration. One solvent emission reduction technology resulted in a 60% reduction in VOC emissions and can be cost effective in comparison to other pollution control/prevention strategies (Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center).
      Costs
  • Capital costs for any necessary equipment.
  • Training workers to use new equipment and procedures.
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Coordinate Equipment Design, Operation, and Use

      How?
  • Implement a controlled spray program that includes non-atomizing equipment such as flow choppers, pressure-fed rollers or coaters, and fluid impingement spray guns.
  • Use wider mold flanges to reduce overspray.
  • Calibrate the spray gun pressure to operate at the lowest effective pressure.
  • Train operators to hold spray guns perpendicular to the surface. Training may result in savings in raw materials and labor costs.
      Benefits
  • One facility in North Carolina reduced styrene emissions by evaluating more efficient spray guns and direct roller application equipment. Styrene levels decreased by as much as 85%, and the estimated annual cost savings equaled $11,000 (Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center).
  • Reduces raw material use.
  • Reduces labor costs.
      Costs
  • Capital costs for any necessary equipment.
  • Training workers to use new equipment and procedures.
      More Information

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Change Spray Technologies

      How?
  • Change spray technologies from high-pressure to low-pressure sprays.
  • Use non-atomized spray guns instead of atomized spray guns.
      Benefits
  • Low-pressure spray techniques reduce misting and materials waste and can reduce emissions by 45% (Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance).
      Costs
  • Capital costs for any necessary equipment.
  • Training workers to use new equipment and procedures.

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Reduce Resin Exposure

      How?
  • Use efficient resin application methods, including non-atomized flow delivery.
      Benefits
  • Reduces emissions.
  • Reduces raw material use.
      Costs
  • Capital costs for any necessary equipment.
  • Training workers to use new equipment and procedures.

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Reduce Solvent Exposure

      How?
  • Cover solvent containers to prevent contamination.
  • Separate wastes to simplify the recycling of solvents.
      Benefits
  • Prevents contamination.
  • Reduces emissions.
  • Using squeegees when cleaning out equipment can reduce solvent requirements by 25% (Government Institutes).
  • Reduces raw material use.
      Costs
  • Capital costs for any necessary equipment.
  • Capital cost of 5-gallon batch-type distillation unit: $3,000 (Government Institutes).
  • Capital cost of a 55-gallon distillation unit with automatic controls: $30,000 (Government Institutes).
  • Training workers to use new equipment and procedures.
      More Information

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