The Advantages of Plasticair Perchloric Acid Exhaust Systems

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An interview with Paul Sixsmith of Plasticair

Plasticair has been developing Perchloric Acid Exhaust systems since the 1980s. Paul Sixsmith, the president of Plasticair, explains, “The company developed and enhanced a special technology where it induces a flow, with a ventilation system that actually has no moving parts within the airstream.”

The perchloric acid in the exhaust stream is a volatile and dangerous chemical with the potential to explode when it dries and crystallizes or comes into contact with organic material.  However, it’s also a great oxidizing agent that many technicians use.

With this in mind, Plasticair developed exhaust systems that will handle these chemicals properly.  Paul Sixsmith explains the technology, “There is an injector flow fan that induces draft from below, with a ventilation system that has no moving parts.  There is also a CSA certified wash control system, the Skyleader BVS control system.”

Combining Safety, Corrosion Resistance, and Low Power Consumption

Safety is Plasticair’s systems most important feature. Protection is critical when dealing with a chemical agent with the volatility of perchloric acid.  “Before bypass technology, the traditional method of ventilation involved fans mounted inline with the duct,” Sixsmith says.  “If those fans were to fail, if the wheel dislodges from the motor for example, you then have a chance of impact onto perchloric acid which causes explosions.”  And so, with safety in mind, the company created an exhaust system with no moving parts. 


Another advantage is that the construction is made of FRP which is composed of a protective polymer reinforced with high-strength fiberglass.  This material is entirely corrosion-resistant to perchloric acid.  Conversely, stainless steel or coated steel will be attacked by the acid. That’s why Plasticair made sure the entire airstream consists of FRP with PVC washing and spray systems.  This build gives the client a perchloric acid system with long life, durability, and reliability.

Additionally, these systems “are typically 40 to 60% lower in horsepower compared to similar systems on the market,” Sixsmith states.  “Our venturi system is much more efficient than our competition, which will result in much quieter systems and much lower power consumption.  This is a valuable feature in a lab, as sound is always a high consideration.”

Plasticair’s Perchloric Acid Systems are Customizable

Since the initial design of their systems in the 80s, Plasticair has continually developed and improved its offerings.  One of biggest improvements is the ability to customize designs. Sixsmith says, “We do stacks that are typically 120 inches in height.  But we can also do customizations in which we can increase those stacks three or four times in height if engineers require that in their build.”

He continues, “The company can also make a single blower system or an N+1, which is one fan redundant for critical applications.”

Want to Learn More About Plasticair Perchloric Acid Exhaust Systems?

Coward Environmental Systems, Inc. is proud to represent Plasticair in the Philadelphia region, Central PA, Delaware, and Maryland.  Contact us today to discover how Plasticair can be a part of your next project.