loader image

Two Types of air filters in the market

There are several varieties of air filters in the market. These filters are often classified based on the extent to which they can remove a particular size of solid particles present in the air. When we say solid particles, it includes dust, pollen, bacteria, mould, etc.

HEPA & ULPA Filter

  • HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are capable of removing 99.97% of contaminant particles size greater than or equal to 0.3 µm. Most standards also specify that HEPA filters must feature minimal pressure drop and maximum airflow when in operation. There are 2 types of HEPA filters: True-HEPA & HEPA-type. The latter is less efficient (80%).
  • ULPA (Ultra Low Particulate Air) filters are a step further than HEPA and even more efficient. ULPA filters are specified to remove 99.999% of contaminants particles size greater than or equal to 0.1 µm.
  • ULPA filters are often used in applications where airborne particles and pathogens are dangerous to human health or essential in the manufacturing or assembly operations of sensitive equipment. They are also used in environments that require ultra-pure air to remove the risk of contamination.

What is HEPA & ULPA filter made of?

  • Both HEPA & ULPA filter media have similar designs.
  • The filter media is like an enormous web of randomly arranged fibres. When air passes through this dense web, the solid particles get attached to the fibres and thus are eliminated from the air.
  • Porosity is one of the key considerations of these fibres. Lower porosity, while decreasing the speed of filtration, increases the quality of filtered air. This parameter is measured in pores per linear inch.

How do HEPA & ULPA filters cleanse the air?

  • Most people who are not aware of the air filtration process, believe that filtration works by physically blocking the material with a filter. Particles which are large do not get passed through and smaller ones pass.
  • The above process called sieving is indeed used in air filtration but it is not the only process as it is not possible to use this method to remove smaller size particles.
  • The cleaning process is based on the particle size of the pollutant.
InertiaLarge particles (about 0.5 to 5 microns) have too much inertia and hence deviate from the air stream around filter fibres, so they impact the filter fibre and be retained by cohesioninertia
InterceptionMedium particles (about 0.1 to 0.5 microns) follow the air stream around filter fibres, however when they come in *side* contact with a filter fibre they are interceptedinterception
DiffusionSmall particles (below 0.1 microns) oscillate according to Brownian motion due to bombardment by air molecules. When they touch the fibre, they are retained by cohesion.diffusion

What particles can a ULPA filter remove?

  • ULPA filters can remove from the air a minimum of 99.999% of dust, pollen, mould, and bacteria particles at 0.12 microns or larger. These are particles that can pose a threat to sensitive assembly operations, people and the environment.
  • For example, it can completely remove – dust, bacteria, pigments, pollen, metallurgical dust/fumes, and ground talc.
  • A ULPA filter can remove (to a large extent, not 100%) – oil smoke, tobacco smoke, rosin smoke, smog, and insecticide dust.

Uses of ULPA filters

Today, ULPA filters are used widely wherever high levels of air purity are required. Some of the most common places they are used are –

  • Biomedical/pharma facilities
  • Electronics/semiconductor manufacturing
  • Airline air filtration
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Food processing
  • Hospitals

Check out our ULPA in action here & our advanced air purifier lineup.

Scroll to Top