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Paper and Ceramic DPM Filters - Engine Back Pressure Limits

Paper and ceramic filters are very effective at capturing diesel particulate matter (DPM) and preventing its potentially hazardous release into the mine environment. As these filters collect DPM, they plug up and the ability of the engines exhaust gases to pass through the filters decreases. This causes the engine back pressure, or the pressure in the exhaust pipe between the engine and the filter, to increase. Engine manufacturers set limits on the maximum back pressure in order to prevent damage to the engine. This back pressure can also have several other negative effects: It is critical for safety and health that the engine back pressure be monitored and that filters be changed when required.

Most filter manufacturers provide back pressure monitors and specifications for when a filter should be changed. These components must be installed and maintained.

One final note: Back pressure gages are prone to clogging. This can result in inaccurate (low) readings. Operators should know what readings to expect and watch for a malfunctioning gage. Back pressure gages should be checked weekly for proper operation.