Succesfull innovations

For more than eighty years, TNO has been bringing together people and knowledge to create innovations which permanently change society for the better.

As far as dust-free working is concerned, we have been in the vanguard of numerous pioneering initiatives to improve health and safety, comfort and convenience. Some of the most interesting of these are introduced below.


Welding generates a lot of hazardous substances, with a particularly high risk of exposure to welding fumes, chromium and nickel. In 2012 TNO began developing an innovative torch with a built-in extractor.

The Extractor, an innovative welding torch that takes away 90 to 95% of harmful welding fumes directly at the source, has been awarded the EARTO Innovation Award 2015. EARTO is the European Association for Research and Technology Organisations.

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Sawing bench (dry sawing) with integrated dust extraction

The compartimentalisation of this sawing bench has been optimized. Dust is extracted by a Pullman Ermator S36 dust extractor with an effective suction capacity of 320 to 360 m3/hr. For 100% duration of operation sand-lime blocks were (440 x 200 mm) were sawed with visible dust production. Even for this high source of dust production the allowable limit for respirable quartz (0.075 mg/m3) was not exceeded. The respirable quartz concentration in the employees breathing zone was measured 0.070 mg/m3 averaged over an eight-hour working day.


When sawing wet, without additional dust extraction measures as measured in TNO's worst case room, can be up to 10 mg/m3. This means the allowable limit is exceeded by more than a factor of 100.

Fume extraction from welding shacks

Welding generates a lot of hazardous substances, with a particularly high risk of exposure to welding fumes, chromium and nickel. The statutory Workplace Exposure Limits are frequently exceeded when using the TIG, MIG and MAG processes.

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Dust-free sanding cabins

On behalf of airline KLM and the Netherlands Ministry of Defence, TNO has developed several sanding cabins for use in aircraft maintenance. These are designed to minimise exposure to the carcinogen hexavalent chromium.

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Air quality in indoor shooting ranges

On behalf of the Netherlands Ministry of Security and Justice, TNO has conducted research into air quality in indoor shooting ranges during live firing exercises (dynamic shooting).

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On-tool dust extraction

TNO has developed dozens of prototypes of on-tool dust extraction devices. In collaboration with commercial partners, many of these have subsequently been transformed into innovative products for the market.

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