EPS filters such as the Super Baffler can eliminate the need for paint filter disposal.

Because EPS filters are white,visibility within the spray booth can be dramatically improved.

With all of the details involved in achieving a high-quality finish, few finishers give much thought to the filters in their spray booths. Conventional filters are inexpensive and do the job, so why look for an alternative? But as companies search for ways to reduce operational costs and improve safety, switching to expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam filters can be one way to achieve both goals.

Developed more than 20 years ago, EPS filters can eliminate the need for paint filter disposal - a major expense for many companies. While other types of filters often need to be placed in a drum of water and disposed of as hazardous waste, a molded EPS filter dissolves in solvent. Once saturated, the filter is placed in the same solvent used to clean the spray booth, and it essentially disappears. The solvent can then be recycled and reclaimed for future use.

This benefit can provide substantial long-term savings for finishing operations. For example, one company that finishes a variety of metal parts was disposing of approximately two 55-gallon drums of paint-laden filters each week at a cost of $400 per drum. After switching to EPS filters, the plant has seen savings of more than $40,000 per year on its hazardous waste disposal costs.*

EPS filters also can help improve safety in spray booth painting because they are manufactured with a modified material that is flame-retardant and noncombustible. One wood finisher that had experienced a number of fires with conventional filters was able to eliminate this risk by switching to EPS filters. Additionally, because EPS filters are white, visibility within the booth can be dramatically improved.

Advanced EPS filters provide multiple changes in the direction of airflow, thereby offering more surface area to collect paint and better overall airflow for an overall efficiency rating higher than 98%.

While the EPS material offers advantages over traditional filters, certain design features can provide additional benefits that further improve the way overspray is collected. For example, some advanced EPS filtersprovide multiple changes in the direction of airflow, thereby offering more surface area to collect paint and better overall airflow for an overall efficiency rating higher than 98%. One result of this design is less static resistance, which is another benefit on the safety front. Additionally, this design allows the filter to maintain its high efficiency rating over a longer period of time. Some users have found this style of filter to last up to 20 times longer than other types, which translates directly into labor and filter savings.

Some EPS filters also are designed to fit a standard 20 x 20-ft paint booth frame with an airtight fit. This design can eliminate the need for grids and the occurrence of pull-down as the filters become saturated. These benefits, in turn, eliminate accidental leaks and the need to replace the filters prior to the end of their useful life.

The advantages provided by EPS filters are helping finishing operations save money on hazardous waste disposal, labor costs and filter replacement costs while also improving safety. Clearly, the type of filters used in a spray booth is worth a second look.

For more information, call 877.765.9366, e-mail baffler@polyfoamcorp.com or visit www.superbaffler.com or www.polyfoamcorp.com.

*Hazardous waste disposal costs vary significantly depending on the number of booths, paint volume used, and state and local regulations. This example is not necessarily indicative of the savings that all finishing operations can achieve with EPS filters.

†These design features are specific to the Super Baffler, manufactured by Polyfoam Corp.