Award Winning Sawdust Cyclone Structure

By Dan Martel, P.E. | June 23, 2020

Team Engineering won the 2020 Structural Engineers of New Hampshire Excellence in Structural Engineering Award in the Special Structures Category for this unique project.

Durgin & Crowell Lumber Co. operates an eastern white pine lumber manufacturing facility in Springfield, NH. Their indoor facility, as you can imagine, produces literally tons of sawdust each day. Macy Industries, a custom metals manufacturer and our client, installs cyclone dust collectors, giant vacuums designed to capture the sawdust. Macy also custom fabricates steel structures like this one that supports these cyclones.

Durgin & Crowell had an immediate need to install two new cyclones to support their growing production, and they asked Macy to design-build a structure that could support a third cyclone for the future. The cyclones vacuum the dust out of the indoor cutting and planning machines, then drop it onto a conveyor (seen as the blue ducting in the photos) system that transports it to an indoor automated packaging system. The packaged sawdust is sold for many uses, including lining the floors of horse barns, in composting toilets, and even as home heating fuel.

Team Engineering designed the steel frame for the cyclones weighing more than 6,000 pounds each when fully loaded with sawdust. At more than 62 feet tall, there is also a tremendous amount of wind and earthquake forces that we had to consider in our design. We are proud to have been recognized by SENH for designing the steel structure under such unique loading conditions.

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