As manufacturers look to increase the performance of their filtration systems and avoid the costs of replacing equipment, stainless steel housings are definitely a versatile problem solver.
In the manufacturing world, filtration systems are truly put to the test. They must withstand high temperatures and pressure, are exposed to chemicals and hazardous materials and are prone to premature clogging—all of which can compromise their performance. However, today's plastic housings are not as well suited to industrial applications as they should be—and some stainless steel models have design flaws. For purposes such as RO pre-filtration, high purity water, commercial and residential potable water, food and beverage, electronics, coatings, cleaning solutions, plating solutions, chemicals and wastewater, higher performance, stainless steel housings can solve many filtration issues.
To design a more rugged and durable filter housing, materials beyond plastic were considered. Immediately, stainless steel was viewed as the premier material. The stainless steel make-up of the housing allows for higher operating temperatures and pressures (with a 150 psi at 200° F rating)—and even higher operating temperatures can be achieved at lower operating pressures, assuming the appropriate gasket materials are used. These housings will not shrink the way plastic does, and will not degrade or become brittle over time. Unlike other stainless steel products, the housing's design provides high flow rates to replace smaller multi-cartridge housings, yields greater dirt-holding capacity than standard diameter housings, and provides in-line inlet and outlet connections that allow for easier installation (in existing layouts) and operation.
When manufacturers upgrade their systems with higher-performing housings, they can immediately see increased performance from their existing equipment. This simple step can be done quickly within existing plumbing, so time consuming and costly system redesigns are not required. Manufacturers enjoy longer life of their systems—saving time, money and frustration. Following is a look at three solutions provided by stainless steel filter housings.
The Search for More Durability—Without Replacing an Entire System
Manufacturers can significantly improve the performance of their older filtration systems without having to incur tremendous costs. One large OEM manufacturer of skid mounted filtration and water treatment systems was using plastic large diameter housings on its smaller systems—and was not pleased with the performance. They badly needed a housing that was more durable and better suited to industrial environments.
However, they also wanted to protect their investment in equipment and work within their existing parameters. This meant any new housing had to be interchangeable with the 4.5 inch OD by 20 inch long configuration used in their older systems.
After researching durable industrial housing options on the marketplace, they felt Shelco Filters (Middletown, Conn.) Model FLD-808 20-inch Stainless Steel Large Diameter Cartridge Housing best addressed their needs. This new FLD series is the first stainless steel, inline (T-style), large diameter ('Big Blue') single cartridge housing ever offered. This was the only stainless steel housing that they were able to source that allowed them to continue using the same cartridge that they used in the past.
The FLD Housing is similar in configuration to the plastic BB housings that they were using. This meant the customer was able to use the FLD Housing on their skids with minimal changes to the existing design and piping—thereby avoiding costly upgrades, reducing the work required for system redesigns, and quickly boosting performance of their overall equipment.
Defending Against Dirt
Dirt-holding capacity is one of the most important functions of quality filtration systems. Increasing dirt-holding capacity usually requires switching to a larger housing requiring more space, which typically will not fit into existing designs. The FLD Series is only slightly larger than housings that hold standard diameter cartridges increasing the chances that the new housing will fit in the same space as the old housing with only minor piping changes.
One OEM manufacturer of ultrasonic cleaning machines needed higher dirt-holding capacity, but required a housing that was about the same size as the standard 10 inch cartridge housing that they were using.
This manufacturer also had concerns regarding durability and chemical compatibilities, given the nature of their filtration purposes. Again, these considerations made the company resistant to plastic housings.
Fortunately, this company was able to switch to large-diameter cartridges ('Big Blue'), creating the perfect fit for a Shelco Filters Model FLD-788 ten-inch Stainless Steel Large Diameter Cartridge Housing. The features of this housing greatly improved the dirt-holding capacity, as well as dramatically increased the life between cartridge changes.
The stainless steel used in this upgraded housing addressed the manufacturer's durability and chemical compatibility concerns. It was an affordable, viable option that quickly met the needs of this ultrasonic cleaning machine company.
Meeting High-Flow Rate Demands
Flow rate is another crucial concern for many manufacturers, particularly in the medical equipment industry. One OEM manufacturer of medical equipment systems required a cartridge filter housing that would provide 40 to 50 gallons-per-minute flow rates, with the smallest footprint possible. The company also needed to keep the clearance required for cartridge change-out to an absolute minimum to be able to fit the housing into the space available.
As visual appearance of systems is important in the medical field, this manufacturer could only consider stainless steel housings to be compatible with the all-stainless steel systems they manufacture. Therefore, plastic 'Big Blue' style housings really were not a viable consideration for their solution.
The Shelco Filters FLD-808 housing proved to have many advantages over other multi-cartridge and jumbo cartridge housings. At less than 6-inch maximum diameter, 25-inches overall height (for 20-inch cartridge filters) and approximately one inch of clearance required to change the cartridge, the FLD Series offered the highest flow rate in the minimum amount of space than any other stainless steel housings on the market.
These are just a few examples of how stainless steel is the ideal housing option for meeting the specific needs of filtration system manufacturers. The ability to be compatible, handle high pressure and temperatures, be longer lasting and be cost effective are among many of the ways stainless steel beats out plastic housings.
The FLD Series Stainless Steel Housings allow opportunities for retrofitting and upgrading systems that are already in use in the field with a minimum amount of time and effort. Additionally, as manufacturers look to increase the performance of their filtration systems and avoid the costs of replacing equipment, housings are crucial to maintain— and often worthwhile to upgrade. For the manufacturers outlined here—and for many others in countless industries—stainless steel housings are definitely a versatile problem solver. The FLD Housings in particular have an effective design that replaces multi-cartridge and plastic housings, yields greater dirt-holding capacity, and provides connections that are easier to install and operate.