The availability of commercial-grade high-flow filters and housing systems offer exceptional benefits for manufacturers across all industries – particularly for RO pre-filtering, or for filtering water and wastewater. These large, pleated filters are better performing with an enormous filtration area – lowering cost (and frequency) of replacement filters, and reducing environmental impact, increasingly making them the preferred filtration option.
High-flow filter cartridges allow for finer filtration and for application with highly corrosive fluids such as sea water or chemicals. The cartridges are installed in larger, one coated, carbon or stainless steel single housings that feature smooth interiors conducive to different types of coatings. This means the filters can now handle a wider array of manufacturing needs – including filtration of liquids with high-saline content, certain chemicals, petrochemicals, plating solutions, pharmaceuticals, and more. It also benefits municipalities that must filter or pre-filter brackish water or work with aggressive water containing corrosive contaminants or total dissolved solids (TDS).
One high-flow cartridge can do the job of many smaller cartridges with less square footage of filtration media. Today, with the introduction of very large, single-cartridge pleated high-flow filters, an estimated 100 square feet of surface area can be put to use (far exceeding the 4-6 square feet offered in the standard configurations currently on the market). Although per unit costs may be higher, these filters are harder working, with greater dirt-holding capacity, and require fewer change outs so long-term costs are greatly reduced. Additionally, equipment down time is reduced when larger cartridges are used – as are associated labor costs.
A large, high-quality, high-flow filter is compatible with a broad spectrum of fluids and permits flow rates of up to 500 gallons per minute in a single cartridge, the highest available. Pleats made from melt-blown FDA-compliant polypropylene microfiber (or other synthetic fiber) provide high particle removal efficiency with broad chemical compatibility.
High-flow filter cartridges require a larger single housing – which replaces multiple housings or large housings necessary for multiple cartridges. Obviously, this frees up space on the manufacturing floor, and reduces equipment needed in the filtration process. Given its size and design, the single housing cartridge is easily planned into new system layouts (or upgraded system redesigns).
These housings are ideal for high-temperature, high-pressure applications, and are typically multi-purpose and interchangeable to accommodate high-flow filters or bags. This capability gives manufacturers the flexibility to swiftly modify filtration types as the season or application demands. It also allows them to maximize their investment in equipment by allowing it to respond quickly (and simply) to changing needs. While these housings should offer standard features such as quick cartridge change outs, and multiple gasket options, they also should be able to be customized to meet exacting standards of a manufacturer so they work that much more effectively.
Since the large pleated cartridges can replace smaller cartridges, less waste is generated – both in the manufacturing of cartridges that require plastic, and the amount of waste produced by changing out so many filters. In addition, many high-flow filters can be washed and reused, further increasing the lifespan of each product. This reduces the impact on the environment, particularly in landfills, which is a universal benefit.
Today’s high-flow filter housings can carry the ASME certification, demonstrating an adherence to globally accepted engineering standards as well as integrity, quality and durability in production and performance. As more and more countries around the world are demanding certifications and standard requirements, the ASME code is increasingly important for factories, water filtration plants, and other manufacturers and end users.
Today, mass-market high-flow filter are becoming increasingly available. Shelco Filters developed an affordable, off-the-shelf high-flow filter and housing option after detecting increased needs for finer filtration and for filtration of highly corrosive liquids (seawater and chemicals) and protection of the metals used in other parts of the filtration process. The company used 3D printing to create a prototype of the high-flow filter and housing – which was tested and then adapted to a more standardized format. This is the first time Shelco tapped into the cost-effective design options offered through 3D printing, which proved to be a valuable tool in bringing high-flow filters quickly and efficiently to the marketplace. The 3D modeling, along with designs based on the company’s years of experience and expertise developing customized high-flow filters for specific customers and specific manufacturing applications, helped make these hard-working filters available to a wider audience.
With cost savings, floor space savings, environmental savings and increased quality and versatility, high-flow filtration will absolutely benefit all manufacturers. For those facing high TDS fluids or aggressive water, high-flow filtration is an exceptional option that protects equipment and meets quality standards. As these commercial and industrial high-flow solutions become more widely available – especially for water and chemical filtration – manufacturers and municipalities have a powerful tool at their disposal.