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Understanding Dust Collection Filter Media

Author: Lisa Frank

Understanding Dust Collection Filter Media

Your dust collector filter media plays a major role in maintaining clean air in your facility, lengthening the life of your dust collector, and ultimately providing a safe environment for your employees. While it can be tempting to choose a dust collection filter at the lowest cost, this can ultimately cause issues in the long term – for your product, equipment, and the safety of your facility and employees.

To achieve the best results with your dust collector filter, it’s essential to consider a wide range of factors, including dust particle size, temperature, humidity, moisture, and more.

While there are many variations of dust collection filter media, we’ll explore the best applications for the most used filter media: nanofiber filters, 80/20 media, and spunbond filters.

Dust Collection Filter Media Explained

Dust collectors serve to keep the air in your facility as clean as possible, which is essential for keeping employees safe so they can breathe without any adverse effects to their health.

The right filter media impacts how well your dust collector functions over time, and can affect equipment performance throughout your facility.

Before we explore the three dust collector filter media and best applications for each, there are a few considerations before selecting the best filter for your facility and equipment:

  •  Dust particle size and type – Your choice of filter media will vary depending on the size of dust, for example if dust particle size is very fine you may need a nanofiber filter. The type of dust can also impact your dust collector filter’s performance, including statically charged dust, hygroscopic and sticky, fibrous, or flammable.
  • MERV rating – The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) can be useful when determining which dust collector filter will be the best fit. Knowing the size of dust particles in your facility can help you to determine the MERV rating your dust collection filter should have.
  • Airflow requirements – Depending on your application, knowing the airflow requirements of your dust collector can impact the best choice of filter media.
  • Temperature and humidity conditions – Certain filter media function better in high humidity or high temperature facilities.
  • Moisture – The amount of moisture in your dust collector will also factor in when considering different filter media.
  • Cleaning methods and frequency – Both cleaning methods and frequency can impact the performance of your dust collection filter. Considering how often your filter is cleaned can help to determine the filter media that will perform the best in your dust collector.

3 Types of Dust Collector Filter Media and Their Applications

80/20 Media

80/20 media is made up of 80% cellulose and 20% polyester. With moderate dust capturing capabilities, it can be used for most basic applications. This filter has high resistance to abrasion, a high capacity for holding dust, and is ideal for facilities with higher humidity. While 80/20 filters may be the most common, they have low moisture resistance and performance is limited for applications with fine dust.

 What Are the Best Applications for 80/20 Media?

When no moisture is present, 80/20 media filters are ideal for applications such as blasting, recycling and scrap, and powder coating. 80/20 filters also work well for applications such as woodworking, sanding, and general dust collection.

Spunbond Filters

Spunbond filters are made of synthetic polyester fibers. This filter media is best for high temperatures and moisture resistance, ideal for abrasive dust, and is easy to clean. It’s important to consider that spunbond can have lower efficiency when it comes to applications with finer dust particles.

What Are the Best Applications for Spunbond Filters?

Spunbond filters work especially well for applications often found in construction, such as cement production, sandblasting, and woodworking.

Nanofiber Filters

Nanofiber filters differ from the other two filter media types as they have a thin surface of synthetic fibers, ideal for capturing very fine dust particles. This type of filter is highly efficient, can improve airflow, and withstand harsher cleaning methods.

While nanofiber filters may have a slightly higher cost compared to 80/20 media, the benefits outweigh the price, as nanofiber filters result in cleaner air and are more efficient for your facility’s needs. 

 What Are the Best Applications for Nanofiber Filters?

 Nanofiber filters have a wide range of applications, including metalworking, welding, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and food processing. In particular, when it comes to welding fume extraction, nanofiber filters are the best choice.

Choosing the Right Filter Media: A Quick Reference

Choosing the right dust collection filter media for your facility depends on the many complex factors discussed above, but below is a quick reference summarizing the features and ideal applications of each filter media type.

Find the Best Dust Collection Filter Media

Selecting the right dust collection filter for your application is crucial for maintaining clean air in your facility, keeping your employees safe, and ensuring optimal dust collection performance. AirMax offers a wide variety of filters for many industries, in stock and ready to ship. Shop our dust collector filters.

 If you have any additional questions or need assistance with choosing the best filter for your application, contact us.


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