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Air filter

An air filter is the auto parts which removes solid particulates such as dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria from air. Air filters are used in applications where air quality is important, notably in building ventilation systems and in engines, as internal combustion engines, gas compressors, diving air compressors, gas turbines and others.

Some buildings, as well as aircraft and other man-made environments (e.g., satellites and space shuttles) use foam, pleated paper, or spun fiberglass filter elements. Another method uses fibers or elements with a static electric charge, which attract dust particles. The air intakes of internal combustion engines and compressors tend to use either paper, foam, or cotton filters. Oil bath filters have fallen out of favor.

Climate control air filters

There are four main types of mechanical air filter media: paper, foam, synthetics, and cotton.
Air filter is found in all forced-air heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. The efficacy of the air filters in such systems significantly affects the Indoor Air Quality. For example, the US Department of Energy recommends air filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 13 as determined by the ASHRAE 5.2.2-1999 test protocol, and LEED advises builders similarly. And ASHRAE recommends MERV 6 or higher air filters to control the amounts of pollen, mold, and dust that reach the wet evaporator coils in air conditioning systems. Wet coils contaminated with high levels of pollen and dust can allow mold colonies to grow.

There are a variety of different types of HVAC filters available in car parts. Many are inexpensive and not very efficient. Many in-duct filters for home forced air heating and air conditioning systems are made from loosely-spun fiberglass. These filters are inexpensive, disposable, and come in various densities and sizes. Less-dense filters allow for higher airflow, but do not remove as much dust. Higher density filters remove more particles, but are more resistrictive of airflow. They also become more quickly loaded with dirt.

Polyester and/or glass fibres are commonly used to make air filters. Both materials have high temperature ratings of at least 120C (250F), and are widely used in commercial, industrial and residential applications. Polyester and glass fibres can be blended with cotton or other fibres to produce a wide range of performance characteristics. In some cases Polypropylene, which has a lower temperature tolerance, is used to enhance chemical resistance.

Air filter flammability

Defferent engineering associations and test organizations issue standards regarding the flammability of air filters for use in buildings, homes, car, truck ,auto machine and other habitable spaces. The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Standard 900 for air filter flammability , for example, classifies filters as Class 1 or Class 2. When attacked by flame, clean class 1 air filters do not contribute fuel and emit only negligible amounts of smoke. Clean class 2 air filters attacked by flame burn moderately or emit moderate amounts of smoke, or both.

Automotive cabin air filters

The cabin air filters are typically a pleated-paper filters those are placed in the outside-air intake for the vehicle's passenger compartment. Some of these filters are rectangular and similar in shape to the combustion air filter. Others are uniquely shaped to fit the available space of particular vehicles' outside-air intakes. Being a relatively recent addition to automobile equipment, thess filter are often overlooked. Clogged or dirty cabin air filters can significantly reduce airflow from the cabin vents, as well as introduce allergens into the cabin air stream.

Internal combustion air filters

Internal combustion air filter prevents abrasive particulate matter from entering the engine's cylinders, where it would cause mechanical wear and oil contamination.
Older vehicles that use carburetors or throttle body fuel injection typically use a cylindrical air filter, usually a few inches high and between 6 and 16 inches in diameter. This is positioned above the carburetor or throttle body, usually in a metal or plastic container which may incorporate ducting to provide cool and/or warm inlet air, and secured with a metal or plastic lid.

Paper

Paper filter elements are the nearly exclusive choice for automobile engine air cleaners, because they are efficient, easy to service, and cost-effective. The "paper" term is somewhat misleading, as the filter media are considerably different from papers used for writing or packaging, etc. There is a persistent belief amongst tuners, that paper filters flow poorly and thus restrict engine performance. In fact, as long as a pleated-paper filter is sized appropriately for the airflow volumes encountered in a particular application, such filters present only trivial restriction to flow until the filter has become significantly clogged with dirt.

Foam

Oil-wetted polyurethane foam elements are used in some aftermarket replacement automobile air filters. Foam was in the past widely used in air cleaners on small engines on lawnmowers and other power equipment, although automotive-type paper filter car parts have largely supplanted oil-wetted foam in these applications. Depending on the grade and thickness of foam employed, an oil-wetted foam filter element can offer minimal airflow restriction or very high dirt capacity, the latter property making foam filters a popular choice in off-road rallying and other motorsport applications where high levels of dust will be encountered.

Cotton

The oiled cotton gauze is employed in a small number of aftermarket automotive air filters marketed as high-performance items.

Oil Bath

The oil bath air cleaner consists of a round base bowl containing a pool of oil, and a round insert which is filled with fibre, mesh, foam, or another coarse filter media. When the cleaner is assembled, the media-containing body of the insert sits a short distance above the surface of the oil pool. This arrangement forms a labyrinthine path through which the air must travel in a series of U-turns: up through the gap between the rims of the insert and the base bowl, down through the gap between the outer wall of the insert and the inner wall of the base bowl, and up through the filter media in the body of the insert. This U-turn takes the air at high velocity across the surface of the oil pool. Larger and heavier dust and dirt particles in the air cannot make the turn due to their inertia, so they fall into the oil and settle to the bottom of the base bowl. Lighter and smaller particles are trapped by the filtration media in the insert, which is wetted by oil droplets aspirated thereinto by normal airflow.
Oil bath air cleaners are very widely used in automotive parts and small-engine applications. Such cleaners are still used in off-road equipment where very high levels of dust are encountered, for oil bath air cleaners can sequester a great deal of dirt relative to their overall size, without loss of filtration efficacy or airflow. However, the liquid oil makes cleaning and servicing such air cleaners messy and inconvenient, they must be relatively large to avoid excessive restriction at high airflow rates, and they tend to increase exhaust emissions of unburned hydrocarbons due to oil aspiration when used on spark-ignition engines.

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Last Updated : 01/08/2014 02:48:09