Dry Filter vs Water Wash Booth – which do you need?

By Barrie Freeman

Dry Filter vs Water Wash Booth – which do you need?

They keep your employees safe, protect the environment and improve the final finish of your paint job – you already know you need a spray booth but which do you need? There are two main types of filtration system available for most professional spray booths: the dry filter and the water wash booth. Both have a host of brilliant advantages (namely capturing and containing paint overspray) and the odd drawback too. Which is right for you and what are the main differences? In this article we’ll take a look…

What is a dry filter booth?

A dry filtration uses, as the name suggests, dry material to filter out excess paint products from the air and the workspace. The filter usually consists of a non-woven, fire-resistant material to capture liquid particles or solids.

How does a dry filter spray booth work?

Dry filter booths such as the Standard dry Filter Spray Booth use layers of dry filters to separate paint particles from the airstream. The material differs from filter to filter and it’s a good idea to discuss with one of our experts which filter is suitable for your job if you’re not sure. Dry filters are a popular choice and currently the most common filtration system in the painting and finishing industry.

Advantages and disadvantages of a Dry Filter Spray Booth

Dry filtration is a popular choice for low to medium production in industrial manufacturing sectors. This is because the machines can cope with fluctuating demand and parts can easily be changed when necessary. The machines are easy to use for operators and require a relatively reasonable initial outlay. Similarly, parts, filters and operating costs can be kept lower than with a water wash booth. Like with a water wash booth, a dry filter spray booth can greatly improve the finish of your paint job and will improve working conditions for staff.

But, as with anything, there are drawbacks. A dry filter system may struggle to handle very high production volumes, the filters also require regular changing to ensure optimal efficiency and there will be a period of downtime when filters are changed. You may also wish to check that the dry filter you opt for is suitable for the spray compounds associated with your work.

What is a water wash filtration system?

A water filtration system such as the Water Wash Spray Booth uses a continuous flow of water to eliminate paint, fumes and dust from the air to make a safer and cleaner working environment.

How does a water wash spray booth work?

Paint overspray and debris is collected and trapped in a water curtain and then caught in a collection tank The water filters comprise of multiple baffles and reservoirs which force the air through curtains of water thereby trapping and eliminating waste products.

Advantages and disadvantages of a Wash booth

Water wash booths are incredibly durable and efficient and can handle high volumes of paint overspray. They maintain a constant uniform airflow in the booth which creates a safe and consistent environment. As the system uses water rather than filters, there’s no need for weekly filter checks or monthly filter changes and the amount of downtime associated with switching filters is non-existent.

It may sound like there’s no reason why you’d choose anything but a water wash booth but they’re not suitable for every work environment. The initial cost of a water booth is considerably higher than dry filter booth which will usually rule them out for anything other than operations that use very high paint volumes. There are also stringent regulations related to their use and the collection or sludge tank must be treated and cleaned using suitable chemicals which can raise operating costs.

Should you choose a dry filter or a water wash booth?

At this stage the most important thing to consider is your budget and the volumes of spray you’ll be using. Dry filter booths are more widely used in the industry thanks to their flexibility and relatively low start up costs but if you have very high production rates and are looking for a filtration system that requires less maintenance and little downtime then a water wash system might just be the perfect fit for you.

Want to know more about filtration systems and get advice on which is better suited to you? Get in touch with a member of our team today.

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