Filter foam, also known as reticulated foam, is a type of foam product used to remove unwanted contaminants from liquids and gases. This type of foam is typically a low-density, open-celled polyurethane, polyether, polyester, or ceramic foam. The open cell structure and porosity of reticulated foam allow liquids and gases to pass through while still catching larger particles and contaminants, making it ideal for use as a filter material.
Quick links to Filter Foam Information
Applications of Filter Foam
While many other types of filters operate by catching particles on their surface, filter foams are depth-loading filters. This means that contaminants are captured within the body of the foam instead of just the outer surface. Depth-loading is an ideal feature for filters used in applications for fluids with a higher concentration of particles. As it catches the higher volume of contaminants, the filter foam has more room within its structure to hold the contaminants without becoming clogged. This structure and filtering process also helps improve the quality of the filter. Particles larger than the pore size of the filter get caught on the exterior of the foam, and they start to build up, forming what is called the cake layer. The cake layer serves as a secondary filter, catching even smaller particles. Only the smallest particles are able to breach this outer layer, but once they enter into the foam structure, they are captured within the pockets, or cells, of the foam. Thus, filter foams are an incredibly useful filtration option.
Characteristics of Filter Foam
Manufacturers create many different kinds of filter foam. Filters can be manufactured from polyurethane, polyester, polyether, ceramic, and even metal. Polyether foams are often used in liquid filtration applications, polyester foams are used in gas filtration, and polyurethane foams can be used in many filtration applications, including vehicle air filters. In addition to the material composition of the foam, other foam properties can also be manipulated to enhance and specialize filters. The size, shape, and distribution of the cells within the foam can be tailored to meet the porosity needs of different applications.