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Challenges that impact Filter Cartridge Performance

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2 Minutes Read

Filtration cartridges play a pivotal role in the process industries – alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverage manufacturing, process water systems, compressed air system, and building services or surface finishing – ensuring the purity of manufacturing processes and the quality of final packaged product. However, like any technology, they are not without challenges that need to be faced to ensure best performance and running costs.

A Technical Perspective

Let's delve into the five major issues faced by filtration cartridges in service and explore strategies to address them effectively.

  1. Clogging Woes:

    The nemesis of filtration systems - clogging. As particles accumulate on the filter surface or depth of the cartridge media, the differential pressure drop increases, and over time causes the cartridge to block and require changing. The correct choice of micron rating is key and understanding the size distribution of the particle contamination is critical to maximising cartridge life.

    It is also worth noting that not all contaminants to be removed are not all hard spherical particles. There are diverse types such as deformable gels, Haze, Salts, Fibres, but cartridge filters tend to be rated against the former. Be aware of this as you may not get the filtration quality you expect.

  2. Contending with Contaminant Variability:

    In the real world, contaminants come in diverse types, sizes and sources, posing a challenge for filtration cartridges. Something as simple as changing a raw material source can lead to a change in the contamination profile leading to a change in cartridge filter service life. If it increases service life it goes unnoticed, but as soon as it starts to reduce service life it is quickly highlighted. In our experience the filter tends to be the constant in the process and because contamination levels increase and need to be removed, this causes the shorter cartridge service life.

  3. Filter Media Integrity:

    The backbone of any filtration cartridge is its filter media whether that be depth type or membrane type. Factors such as chemical exposure, temperature fluctuations, and mechanical stress can sometimes decide the service life of a cartridge filter in an application. Understanding these elements is crucial for ensuring long-lasting filtration.

  4. The Balancing Act of Differential Pressure Drop:

    As contaminants build up, differential pressure drop across the filter, increases, changing the service life of the filtration system. It is necessary to measure this and monitor, as flow can be limited at high differential pressure drops that can stave the downstream process of the liquid that is needed.

  5. Service Life Prediction Conundrum:

    Predicting the service life of filtration cartridges is no straightforward task. Factors such as contaminant levels, flow rates, differential and application specifics come into play. Also, whether we have a batch operation or a continuously operating system are crucial factors. If batch operation, then higher differential pressures over a short period can be tolerated. However, that is not the case on 24x7 operating filtration systems and prefiltration is needed to ensure long service life. With particularly contaminated fluids preprocessing may be required to reduce contamination levels to allow reasonable service of cartridge filters.

To optimise the life of filter cartridges, understanding and addressing the challenges are essential for supporting efficient and reliable filtration systems. This technical exploration supplies valuable insights for engineers, technicians, product managers, and other technically competent individuals involved in the world of cartridge filtration products.

Collaborating with a filtration company that understands the challenges that you face and can offer solutions because of their years of experience and filtration knowledge is key. Contact Porefilter at [email protected] to discuss these and any other cartridge filter challenges that you may be currently facing.

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David Keay

Author