Performance and safety considerations for air filters

As the UK agents for the market-leading Filtrair air filters, Beta Group Ltd offers a wide range of products and services for every type, make and model of spraybooth and extraction system. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide the latest information and advice to our customers throughout the UK. It is vital that a competent service company undertake all servicing of spraybooth equipment, in order to maintain optimum productivity and finish quality. We have detailed key information about air filters below, along with the most important considerations to be aware of between our engineer service visits.

Extraction and intake filters

It is crucial that the correct type and efficiency of filter is selected for use within the spraybooth – this will be determined by the process and the type of paint products in use. Extraction filters are used to ensure that the paint overspray from the spray gun is arrested in the filter, neutralising harmful contaminants before the remainder of the overspray is released to atmosphere. These filters are mandated by UK law, as current legislation requires that contaminants are minimised before any overspray is discharged to atmosphere.

The typical extraction filter is commonly a two stage filter in the vehicle refinishing industry and other industries; the primary filter will removing the weight of overspray, and the secondary filter further arresting smaller particulate to clean the air.

The intake filter, often a ceiling filter, is a highly efficient filter media that is capable of removing very fine particulate. These tackified filters will remove particulate to less than 5 microns (smaller than the diameter of a human hair) and are specified in numerous car manufacturing plants throughout the world. The intake filter is required to filter relatively clean air from external or internal sources before it passes into the spraybooth cabin. It is important to note that this filter is not suitable for paint overspray.

The intake filter also ensures that the air entering the cabin and moving over the painted surface does not contain any debris or larger particles from the air, promoting the best possible paint finish. The more efficient the intake filter, the smaller the resulting contaminate particles on the paint finish. Sometimes a pre filter can be utilised to protect and increase the life of the valuable main intake filter.

What’s the service life of an air filter?

It depends. Any filter has a limited service life, which will be determined by numerous factors, including:

  • the type of products used
  • the transfer efficiency of the spray gun
  • the amount of overspray
  • the performance characteristics of the spraybooth

It is vital to replace the filter before it becomes saturated. Once saturated, the filter will hugely restrict airflow, creating changes in pressure. Ultimately, this results in significant pressure drop. Frequently, we see operators pushing the life cycle of their filters too far, with significant and costly consequences.

As the extraction filters become saturated, the cabin pressure is likely to increase positively, resulting in the overpressure alarm or the system initiating a shut down. This is to prevent isocyanate from escaping from the cabin and creating a hazard.

When this occurs, it may be tempting to peel back a section of the filter (or prop open a door) to relieve the pressure and enable the job to be completed. However, this has significant impact on the process and the environment. The overspray will be unfiltered and will start to coat the inside of the ducting, while also rapidly coating the fan impellors and dampers. This can lead to costly breakdowns, and extensive cleaning costs. There is also the concern that unfiltered air will be exhausted to atmosphere, releasing harmful contaminants.

For these reasons, it is vital that the operators replace the filters before they are saturated, and that filters are replaced regularly.

It is unlikely that extraction filters will last between services in a typical use spraybooth. Beta can arrange replacement filters to be delivered on schedule ready for replacement and we also offer an extract filter change-out service to remove the need for in-house filter changing.

Competence and Gas Safety

All services undertaken by Beta are completed by highly qualified, competent engineers. We ensure that our engineers are trained to the very latest standards and we comply fully with the Gas Safe Register. We regularly come across gas systems that have been maintained by non-Gas Safe registered persons or not tested by such. This is not legal and no gas appliance can be serviced by a non-gas safe person. Allowing burner components and parts to be swapped or adjusted by an unqualified person could result in void insurance or criminal prosecution. According to Gas Safe, a person is only competent if their accreditations are valid, applicable and in date.

We understand that legislation and guidance can be difficult to understand in the spraybooth industries so our experts are always on hand to offer specialist help and advice, ensuring that our customers are kept up to date with the requirements of the current UK legislation and any changes or alterations to them.

Alongside this, we provide a range of market leading services around air filtration, spraybooths maintenance and building services. Please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 01706 878330 for more information.

Accreditations
  • gas-safe
  • safe contractor approved
  • BESA
  • NBRA
  • ABP
  • UKISUG
  • chamber of commerce
  • CHAS Transparent