Chemical cab air filters are something we will be seeing a lot more of in the next few years. Used mostly in the agricultural industry for a long time we are now starting to see them make their way into mining and heavy industry. Due to the recent recurrence of black lung, mining companies are now also using every precaution possible to protect and look after employees well being.
Chemical airborne particles are typically sub 1 micron and not visible to the naked eye. Getting these particles removed from ventilation systems can be difficult and is highly unlikely using standard paper cab air filters.
Chemical cab air filters work in a different way to standard paper media filters. Standard paper media filters trap the dirt in between the fibres of the media and there is stays until it is either blown out or the filter is thrown out.
Chemical cab air filters are charged with activated carbon. Activated carbon is extremely porous and under a microscope looks like Swiss cheese. Full of holes, crevices and cracks. A single gram of activated carbon can have as much as 3000 sqm of surface area. Although this space is microscopic so only small particles will lodge in these crevices. As the contaminated air flows into the air filter, the first 2 layers removed the heavy particles like dirt etc, then the chemicals, vapours and odours enter the filter the activated carbon section of the filter and these submicron particles adsorb onto the activated carbon trapping the contaminants. That is aDsorb with ‘D’. The difference between aDsorption and aBsorption is that adsorption is when molecules adhere or stick to another surface, absorption is when the the molecules are dissolved by a liquid or solid.
Chemical cab air filters have a limited lifespan as they will adsorb particles from the atmosphere even while the machine is not operating, even when in a sealed plastic bag they will adsorb particles from the plastic packaging albeit a lot slower than if exposed in the atmosphere.
Because of their lifespan they are typically changed out around 400 machine hours, in heavy conditions such as ammonia plants they can be changed as often as every week, as with all filters environmental conditions have the biggest influence on lifespan or serviceability. They are a reusable item and providing the frame and structural integrity of the filter is ok they can be simply recharged with new carbon. Most quality chemical cab air filters have an indicator on the side of them which will let you know when they are to be recharged.
Its a simple operation and is easily done by someone with a little mechanical knowledge and some basic tools.
If you have any questions in relation to cab air filters, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and i will do my best to answer any questions you might have.
We also provide an exchange chemical cab air filter service as well. Because of their limited lifespan it is preferred that they do not spend too much time on the shelf, less than 9 months is ideal. You can either rent the air filters as a service, pay a flat fee per filter per month and we always ensure that you have a charged filter ready to go in stock. This only works for high use or fleet type customers. Over 20 machines is a good start.