“Should we send our Titan filter cartridges out for cleaning?”

This is a question we sometimes hear from customers. The short answer: No!

Titan dust collectors feature a reverse pulse cleaning system, which momentarily reverses the air flow through the filter element. This reversed air flow knocks the caked-on dust into the hopper or dust drum while the collector is in operation.

Hence, you don’t see dust build-up on your Titan filter cartridges.

The math of sending filters out for cleaning

The reason people think they should clean their filters is because they believe they’re extending cartridge life. This is because cleaning costs less than buying new filters.

This simple math, however, doesn’t account for how cleaning actually shortens filter life and lowers filter efficiency – meaning, you pay higher energy costs as your dust collector isn’t working efficiently.

The result: your savings are quickly lost.

Cleaning shortens filter life

Donaldson, the experts in filter media, demonstrated, from a Scanning Electron Microscope perspective, that cleaned filters have a number of problems:

  • Cleaning leads to weakening of the filter media, resulting in reduced tensile strength, shorter life, and potential structural failure.
  • Cleaning often leads to damage of the media pores, resulting in greater depth-loading and reduced filter life.
  • Cleaning causes a degradation of the nanofiber surface layer, resulting in reduced efficiency at the submicron level – up to 18% reduction at 0.8 microns.
donaldson sem filter images

Image © Donaldson

Most importantly, cleaning offers only a partial recovery in overall filter capacity (dust holding ability) reaching only about 47%. In the filter elements Donaldson tested, over one half of the filter’s life is already used up.

Be sure to download the Donaldson application note to learn other reasons why filter cleaning isn’t a good practice – including the potential of cross-contamination due to contact with other companies’ filter cartridges.

The best way to extend filter life: Add a Photohelic gauge

One reason Titan’s filter cartridges last longer than standard filters is because they’re made of nanofiber versus organic or synthetic cellulose, Spunbond, or melt blown.

Nanofibers are lightweight with small diameters, controllable pore structures, and high surface-to-volume ratio (Source). Nanofiber is the only true surface loading material, making it an excellent choice for abrasive dust filtration.

dwyer-photohelicYou can extend the life of your Titan nanofiber filter cartridges even more by adding a Photohelic gauge to your Titan dust collector. (I recommend the Series A3000 by Dwyer.)

A Photohelic gauge measures and controls differential pressure between the clean and dirty side of the dust collector. Unlike a timer, which cleans at set intervals whether the filters are dirty or not, a Photohelic gauge cleans only when needed – putting less “stress” on the filters.

In fact, adding a Photohelic gauge is the number one best way to improve filter life. And, it costs less than sending your filters out for cleaning, too.

Brandon Acker, Titan Abrasive

As CEO of Titan Abrasive, Brandon Acker oversees the design and manufacture of the company’s complete line of blast room / blast machine products for industrial applications.

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