Industrial Filters

Written by Norene Anderson
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Industrial filters are assigned MERV ratings up to 16. A MERV 12 rating is the upper limit on home filters. The filters for industrial use are designed to process larger volumes of air. Carbon that is chemically enhanced is used in some filters to remove heavy odors such as sulphur, diesel fumes, acid gases, hydrogen sulfide, and mercaptans. Activated carbon causes a physical adsorption of the gaseous odors and chemically enhanced carbon adds the element of a chemical reaction.

Some industrial filters are pleated with media that is water-resistant glass. Common efficiency ratings to look for are MERV 11, 12, 13, 14, and 16. These ratings are according to ASHRAE 52.2 Standard. The MERV 11 offers 60-65 percent efficiency; MERV 12 offers 70-75 percent; MERV 13 offers 80-85 percent; MERV 14 offers 90-95 percent; and MERV 16 is 99 percent efficient.

Various Industrial Filters

Industrial filters must also meet the standards by OSHA and NIOSH for air quality. Some industrial filters are rated as MERV 8. These may also contain antimicrobial media to extend the life of the filter. The MERV rating and type of filter will be determined by the industrial elements circulating in the air. Some filters are more effective when placed on the air outlet to the room. These room filters can be in addition to a filtering system on the main unit.

Special industrial filters are designed for use in telecommunications and data centers. These filters include aluminum frames and choice of media with the ability to operate under heavy vibration and shock conditions. Woodworking environments require filters with massive dust capturing capacity. Commercial kitchens require yet another type of media and filter design to capture the residue from steam, gas, and cooking oils.


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