This section provides an overview for prefilters as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 48 prefilter manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked prefilter companies as of September, 2023: 1.FlowTech Corporation, 2.Clean Liquid Systems.
A prefilter is a relatively coarse filter used upstream in the filtration of air or liquids. Although prefilters are also used to filter liquids, they generally refer to air filters that remove airborne contaminants. Usually, when removing contaminants such as dust and dirt, high-performance filters and prefilters are used to extend filter life and efficiency. For these reasons, prefilters are relatively inexpensive and come in a variety of materials.
Prefilters are used to remove pollutants from the air and perform purification. Prefilters are not used by themselves, but in combination with high-performance HEPA filters and other filters with smaller pore size than prefilters. This is one of the ways to extend the life of expensive filters that trap micron-sized particles and dust. The smallest particle size that a typical prefilter can capture is about 5 microns. This is only a reference value and varies depending on the material and product, so it is essential to check the product information.
Prefilters are used to capture contaminants such as dust and dirt, and there are various types, from washable to disposable filters. Also, materials such as polyester, glass fiber, and stainless steel must be used depending on the application. We will explain the features of each type separately for recyclable, disposable, and paint booth applications.
Prefilter for Reconditioning
These filters can be reused by cleaning, and synthetic fiber non-woven fabrics and other materials exist. They are suitable for outside air treatment and medium performance filters and can withstand up to several washes.
Prefilters for Disposable Use
Collection capacity decreases after a certain period of use, requiring periodic replacement. Because it is best suited for disposable applications, it is often used for outdoor air treatment.
Prefilter for Paint Booths
Used to remove particles and dust larger than 10 µm. The collection efficiency of the above two types of filters is about 80%, while 98% or higher is common for paint booth applications.
There is a wide variety of prefilter materials. This is because the purpose of prefilters differs depending on the product to which they are attached. If the purpose of the prefilter is to remove large debris such as fallen leaves, a fabric filter made of coarsely folded synthetic fiber is available. If flame retardancy is also required, then polyester properties may be used to suppress pressure loss.
Paper types also exist for prefilters used in engine intake air filters. In addition, engines compliant with emission regulations have prefilters in the fuel lines. Engines compliant with emission regulations use a common rail system, which causes engine malfunctions due to debris in the fuel. Therefore, the prefilter and main filter thoroughly remove dust in the fuel.
Thus, even if we talk about prefilter materials in one word, there is an appropriate prefilter material for the purpose of each product. Therefore, when replacing a prefilter, it is important to note that using a prefilter other than the manufacturer's genuine product may prevent the prefilter from functioning as intended, resulting in reduced product capacity and malfunction.
The method of replacing the prefilter also differs depending on the product. In some cases, only the filter portion of the prefilter is replaced, while in other cases, the prefilter case and filter are integrated and are replaced together with the prefilter case. Replacement may not be necessary in the first place. Periodic cleaning should be performed, and replacement should be done only if the damage is severe. Check the manufacturer's instruction manual carefully before replacing the prefilter.
When replacing the prefilter, note that the installation direction of the prefilter may be specified. If the installation direction is incorrect, it may not be able to adsorb dust, or gas suction to the product may not be normal. Some products may malfunction if gas suction cannot be achieved, so when replacing the prefilter, be sure to also check whether the prefilter is installed in the correct direction.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corporation is headquartered in Ixonia, Wisconsin. Industrial Vacuum is a distributor, service, and repair provider for industrial vacuum systems used in a variety of industrial settings including painting, asbestos abatement, abrasive blast recovery, hazardous waste removal, and shipyards. Industrial Vacuum’s product categories range from vacuum systems to dust collectors and blowers. Additionally, Industrial Vacuum offers individual parts and accessories. Industrial Vacuum’s offers rental service for industrial vacuums and dust collectors and also offers used equipment service.
Graver Technologies, founded in 1866, is a manufacturer of products used in industrial filtration, purification, and separation. The product line includes power generation filters, adsorbent products, ion exchange products, crossflow membrane products, and liquid process filters used in industrial, microelectronics, food & beverage, healthcare, and power generation industries. The company in Glasgow, DE, has certifications and compliances such as FDA Title 21, ISO 9001:2015, Halal, ASME code, and CRN registration. The company has 10CFR50App.B– Quality Assurance Criteria for Nuclear Power Plants and Fuel Reprocessing Plants.
Miller Electric Mfg. LLC (MEM) is an American manufacturer of arc welding and cutting equipment originally founded in 1929 before its acquisition by Illinois Tool Works (ITW) in 1993. Headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, the company produces various welders such as tungsten inert gas (TIG) and engine-driven models, wire feeders, and plasma cutters. It also offers related consumables and accessories, such as connector kits, spot welding tongs, safety equipment, and flux-cored wires. MEM products are commonly used in metal fabrication, manufacturing, and construction, as well as in the aviation industry.
Labconco Corporation, founded in 1925 and located in Kansas City, Missouri, is a manufacturer of laboratory equipment. Its diverse product line includes freeze dryers, forensic enclosures, water purification systems, glassware washers, and glove boxes. The company’s products are used for moisture removal while preserving sample integrity, safe handling of hazardous materials, producing pure water for experiments, efficient cleaning, and providing controlled environments for sensitive material work. These products serve industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, research, quality control, and enhancing safety. The company is also ISO 9001-certified for its quality management system.
3M Company was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota. 3M provides diversified technology services globally. 3M operates through four segments: Safety and Industrial, Transportation and Electronics, Health Care, and Consumer. The Safety and Industrial segment offerings include industrial abrasives, masking, and natural and color-coated mineral granules for shingles. The Transportation and Electronics segment offerings include ceramic solutions, light management films, and electronics assembly solutions. The Healthcare segment offerings include wound care, dentistry and orthodontia solutions, and filtration and purification systems. The Consumer segment offerings include consumer bandages, picture hanging, and stationery products.
Shop-Pro Equipment, Inc., founded in Omaha, NE is a manufacturer of mobile work stations. The company's product portfolio includes air filtration equipment and mobile filtration booths, Technical Workstations, Industrial Workstations, Medical Workstations and Sleek and functional workstations for office settings. The company serves markets including Medical and Healthcare, Aerospace and Defense, Consumer Goods, Industrial Manufacturing and Construction and Building. The company provides services such as Product Selection Guidance, Engineering Support, and Custom Manufacturing.
Air Clear, LLC, founded in Elkton, Maryland, in 1990 is a manufacturer of air pollution control and energy recovery systems. The company's product portfolio includes Thermal and Catalytic Oxidizers (both Recuperative & Regenerative), Coalescing FiberBed Filter Mist Collector Systems, Pre-Filters and Secondary Heat Recovery System, Coalescing FiberBed Filter Mist Collector Systems and Secondary Heat Recovery Systems. The company serves markets including Automotive and Electric Vehicles, Renewable Energy and Energy Storage and Electronics and IT Infrastructure.
Fumex Air Filtration Systems, headquartered in Kennesaw, Georgia, is a manufacturer of comprehensive air filtration solutions. They offer a wide range of products that includes fume extractors, dust collectors, replacement air filters, and air purifiers. These products are designed for industries such as electronics manufacturing, food and beverages, and pharmaceutical. Fumex Air Filtration Systems' offerings effectively capture and remove airborne contaminants, improving air quality and ensuring a safe and healthy work environment.
Clean Liquid Systems is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and is a national supplier of clean air, water, and filtration systems used in human and pet food processing, liquid bottling, and oil and gas industries. The company’s product categories include liquid filters, natural gas, pollution control units, and hydroponic filters. Liquid and natural gas filters are designed for contaminant removal to increase efficiency and reduce pollution. Hydroponic filters serve hydroponic farming on both individual and commercial scales.
FlowTech Corporation, founded in 1975, is a supplier of fluid filtration equipment, including filter housings, o-rings, flow & pressure switches, disposable and replacement filters, as well as flowtech products for use in pharmaceutical, chemical processing, food & beverage, electronics, and industrial applications. The company, which has manufacturing partners like Parker Advanced Filtration, Purolator Advanced Filtration, Floetech Corporation, and Chemflo Companies, is based on Stadium Dr. in Kalamazoo. The business provides fluid control devices, specialty engineering services, and filter vessels.
NCI Clean, now part of North Central Instruments, began in 1995 as Innotech Products as a distributor for laboratory and cleanroom equipment. NCI Clean offers modular cleanrooms and products intended for use in cleanrooms such as flooring, paint, filters, curtains, and instrumentation. Other cleanroom equipment include air showers, surge isolation pods, desiccators, cleanbenches, fume hoods, spray guns, glove boxes, anti-fatigue mats, and shoe cleaners. Other equipment includes gowning room furniture and components, cleanroom apparel, microscopes, and supplies such as alcohols, swabs, and wipes.
Cleanroom Supply is based in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Cleanroom Supply is a distributor of products for cleanrooms as well as complete modular cleanroom solutions. Cleanroom Supply products include cleanroom air showers, cleanroom apparel, cleanroom cleaning supplies, cleanroom components, cleanroom pass throughs, furniture, cleanbenches, cleanroom instrumentation, modular cleanrooms, desiccators, fume hoods & glove boxes, gloves, gowning room components, mats, packaging products, safety products, spray guns, ESD static control, storage, swabs, ultrasonic cleaning, ultraviolet equipment, wafer handling, wet process stations, and wipes.
Broner Glove and Safety has served customers since 1933 and is based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Broner is a safety service provider as well as distributor of safety equipment. Broner’s safety equipment offerings include first aid emergency response equipment, ergonomic assisting tools, eye protection, fall protection, hearing protection, instrumentation, plant and site safety equipment, welding-use protection, respiratory protection, protective apparel and more. Safety services include glove testing, plant surveys, safety glass programs, respiratory fit testing, and transaction analysis among others.
DENIOS US was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Denios is a manufactuer of storage and barriers solutions to safely store chemicals and heat sensitive materials. DENIOS’s product ranges include non-occupancy storage buildings, storage rooms and test rooms for lithium batteries, occupancy storage buildings, chemical storage lockers, and pop-up flood and spill barriers. Additionally, DENIOS offers hazardous material storage, secondary spill containment, spill and flood control, handling equipment and accessories, and facility maintenance and work safety product lines.
Wenzhou Runxin Manufacturing Machine Co. Ltd., established in 2000 in Shanfu Town, Wenzhou, China, is a manufacturer and supplier of multi-functional flow valves for water treatment. The company makes valves such as automatic and manual softeners, functional controls, disk filters, and water treatment accessories such as side-mounted connectors, bypass valves, bottom strainers, and ceramic ball valves. Its products are used in residential, commercial, printing, liquid intelligent controlling, and sewage water treatment and are RoHS compliant, with US ANSI/CAN, Russian EAC, and US NSF certifications.
Nantong FilterBio Membrane Co., Ltd, based in Nantong, China, is a manufacturer of microfiltration products since 2012. It offers various products such as disc membrane and syringe filters, disposable vacuum filters, solvent filtration apparatus, TLC plates, and high-flow filter cartridges. The company's products consist of membranes made of nylon, MCE, CA, CN, PES, PVDF, as well as PTFE, PP, and glass fiber, with pore sizes ranging from 0.1μm to 10μm. With 100,000 clean workshops and ISO9001 certification, the industries that benefit from these products are bioscience, pharmacy, microelectronics, food & beverage, and more.
Merck Millipore, founded in 1954 and headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, is a manufacturer, distributor, and supplier of life science products and services. Their diverse range of products finds applications in research, development, and manufacturing of biotechnological and pharmaceutical drug therapies. Some of their offerings include filters for removing contaminants from liquids and gases, chromatography columns for separating and analyzing complex mixtures, reagents used in various laboratory assays, antibodies for detecting and quantifying specific molecules, and cell culture media for growing and maintaining cells in culture. Their products and services are utilized significantly in the advancement of life sciences and drug development.
Glas-Col LLC, founded in 1939 and headquartered in Terre Haute, Indiana, is a manufacturer and supplier specializing in laboratory equipment and industrial heating solutions. The company offers diverse products, including heating mantles, mixers, and shakers, used in research, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing processes. The company provides equipment that adheres to ISO 9001 certification, ensuring quality. The company also expanded its product offering by adding several types of mixing, instrumentation, evaporation, and air purification equipment to complement its founding products.