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Fire-Retardant vs. Fire-Resistant Filters: A Helpful Guide to the Key Differences

Author: Lisa Frank

People tend to automatically equate fire-retardant with fireproof. But in reality, nothing is completely fireproof. If you raise the temperature high enough, any material will either burn, melt, or vaporize, and all that is needed to start and sustain a fire is a source of fuel, oxygen, and ignition.

So, what does it mean when a dust collector filter cartridge is labeled as “fire-retardant?” And does “fire-resistant” mean the same thing? To help gain a better understanding of the two, check out our info on fire-resistant and fire-retardant dust collector filters and how they can be utilized in your industrial applications.

An Overview of Fire-Retardant and Fire-Resistant Dust Collector Filters

“Fire-retardant” describes synthetic fabrics and chemically treated substances that are not readily susceptible to fire. So, if a flame is held to a fire-retardant dust collector filter, the filter can still ignite because the dust itself is flammable. However, a fire-retardant filter is designed to either prevent or slow down combustion and reduce the intensity of a fire if one were to occur.

Fire resistance, on the other hand, is defined as the ability to self-extinguish within two seconds or less once the flame has been removed. But bear in mind that there are different thresholds of fire resistance. For example, one product may be fire-resistant to 2,000 °C for one hour, but it may fail if you lengthen the exposure time or increase the heat.

Regardless, fire-resistant properties on filters offer an additional layer of protection, the same as fire-retardant dust collector filters, though they are executed in two different ways.

FAQs About Fire-Retardant vs. Fire-Resistant Filters, Maintenance, and More

Why are fire-retardant and fire-resistant dust collector filters important?

Whether you are choosing a fire-resistant or fire-retardant dust collector filter for your industrial applications, each product is beneficial to production because it makes your materials and workplace safer and more efficient. When combustible dust is present, having one of these filter types in place will help reduce the risks of fires within your workspace.

Does the maintenance for fire-retardant vs. fire-resistant filters differ?

Like for all dust collector filter cartridges, routine maintenance is essential in order to ensure efficiency. With that in mind, we recommend frequently cleaning your fire-retardant or fire-resistant dust collector filters with dry and clean air for the best results.

For more information on how to maintain your filter cartridges, check out our list of dust collector best practices.

How often should fire-retardant or fire-resistant dust collector filters be replaced?

No matter the type of dust collector filter you’re working with, you should be replacing your filters every 3 to 6 months. This length of time can vary depending on a variety of factors, however, such as the specific application, facility you’re working in, and more.

About AirMax’s Premier Dust Collector Filter Cartridges

All of AirMax's dust collector filters meet the fire-retardant standards set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). In order to further protect your fire-retardant filters, it’s important to note that some applications may need a spark arrestor or a fire suppression system.

These devices are designed to extinguish sparks before they can ignite the filter and cut off the oxygen supply that may be fueling the fire. Whenever operating your dust collector, know that you should always put safety first, and that’s why our team recommends utilizing these suppression systems within your workspace.

Contact Us for Fire-Retardant Dust Collector Filters

If you’ve been searching for high-quality and efficient dust collector filter cartridges to meet your industry standards, know that our team is here to provide the equipment you require.

And if you have any questions about fire-retardant vs. fire-resistant filters or want to know more about our selection of fire-retardant dust collector filters, please contact us today.

Contact AirMax Today

Contact us using the form below or call us at 216-716-8200.