At Ultrimax, customers often ask our Total Paint Shop Support Team how frequently they should change their spray booth filters. But the answer isn’t simple. Different types of booths require different types of filter, each with a specific lifespan. So, the first question to ask yourself is whether you are using the right filters for your booth. But before we get into the ins and outs of the range of filters on the market, let’s take a look at why it’s necessary to change filters in line with best practice.
The integrity of a spray booth filter system is crucial to:
If your spray booth isn’t properly sealed, and there is poor airflow, contaminants will enter the booth, clog the system and compromise the standard of your paint finish. Ineffective extract filters allow chemicals to pass from the booth into the workshop, exposing your employees to hazardous air pollution.
A spray booth inlet filter removes dust and particles at the points of entry to prevent debris from contaminating your paint finish.
As the name suggests, an extract filter removes overspray and solvent vapour so that the air exiting your booth is filtered and clean. The number and location of exhaust filters will depend on the type of spray booth that you have.
This is a great all-rounder, with a concertina design that performs two functions. It folds tightly for easy storage and has a large surface area for optimal filtration. Concertina filters have a high paint holding capacity and last up to five times longer than fibreglass or polyester filters. To get the most from your filter, make sure it extends to around 4 cm between each peak. We recommend trying the Andreae filter range.
If your spray booth uses a down-draft system, with the airflow from ceiling to floor, you need a ceiling inlet filter. These filters need changing less frequently than filters designed for a cross-draft booth.
A fibreglass spray booth filter roll is another good all-round option that provides highly effective extract filtration. It’s economical and easy to fit, clean and change.
With a minimum of 6 layers of filter media, a layered paper filter allows for the fine filtration of all types of paint and lacquer.
Your choice of filter will depend on the type of booth that you have and its airflow system.
For cross-draft airflow systems, use a pleated inflow filter and a cardboard concertina extract filter. For down-draft booths, a ceiling inlet filter and concertina extract filter will work best. If you work with 2-pack paints, you will also need secondary media extract filters as an extra health and safety measure to mitigate the harmful vapours.
This type of booth has a unique filtration system. Instead of using standard filters, the water traps paint particles. Denaturants in the water cause the particles to sink or float, making the waste easy to remove. This system is more cost-effective if you are using large volumes of paint every day.
When you know which filter to use with your booth, you can then follow the manufacturer’s recommended changing guidelines, but it’s not enough to rely on these. The life of any filter will vary depending on factors that are specific to your paint shop. For example, your filters will have a shorter than average lifespan if you regularly use high volumes of paint. The key is to build regular checks into your day-to-day operations. Are contaminants finding their way into your paint? Is paint lingering in the booth? Keep an eye on the gauges that monitor the booth for changes in airflow.