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Why Nanofiber Filters Are Best Used in Welding Fume Extraction

Author: Lisa Frank

Published: | Updated:

Properly managing weld fumes is critical to maintaining a safe and comfortable work environment. Ultimately, a fume extraction system is only as effective and efficient as the filters it uses. Whether or not you choose the right filter media for your welding fume extractor will not only affect worker safety but also productivity, downtime, airflow, and replacement costs. So what type of filter is best suited for welding fume extractors? One of the most advanced and efficient forms of fume extraction media available today are filters with nanofiber technology.

Nanofiber Filters Are High-Performance

According to Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, approximately 75-95% of all weld fume particulates generated are 0.3 to 1 micron in size, or about 1/100th the width of a single human hair. The thin surface layer of nanofiber media can filter out the smallest of weld fume particles. On a scale from 1 to 16, quality nanofiber filters for fume extraction systems receive a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of 15 or 16. Such a high rating indicates that nanofiber filters remove a significant amount of fume particles from the air and are incredibly efficient when compared to lower MERV rated filters.

Lower pressure drop across the media saves energy. This means that the nanofiber layer media captures dust on the surface reducing depth loading, it cleans more thoroughly, and will run at a lower pressure differential across the media causing energy demands to decrease. There are fewer pulses of compressed air which will lead to overall lower compressed air consumption. By saving energy the overall cost of running the dust collector is lower.

Nanofiber media increases filter life because of surface loading characteristics. Surface-loading filters accumulate or “load” captured particles on top of the filter’s surface instead of penetrating into the media. The particulates can thus be removed more easily, usually via an internal self-cleaning process using compressed air. Surface-loading nanofiber filters can hold up to six times more dust and fumes than commonly used cellulose filters!

Proper Cleaning & Maintenance of Nanofiber Filters

Integral to the efficiency of a nanofiber filter is proper cleaning and maintenance. Most fume extraction systems have a differential pressure gauge to indicate when the filter is at max loading capacity and must be cleaned or replaced. They often include a pulse cleaning system that uses a reverse pulse of compressed air to blow particles into a bin or drum. Be sure to only use dry compressed air so that moisture is not blown into the filters, as this can reduce filter life. In order to ensure the proper disposal of collected weld fume particles and used filters, consult a waste hauler.

Filter media matters. Although the initial expense of high-performance nanofiber filters is higher than that of lower MERV rated filters, the return on investment that nanofiber filters offer is much greater. If you equip your system with nanofiber filters, they will:

  • Capture more fumes to ensure cleaner air for welding operators
  • Last longer and need to be replaced less frequently
  • Require less energy to operate
  • Be easier to clean
  • Increase welding productivity

 Call AirMax at 216-716-8200 to order high-performance nanofiber filters for your welding fume extractors.

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