Filter Press Cloth – Everything You Need to Know

What is a Filter Press Cloth?

A filter press cloth is a type of material used in the process of dewatering applications. 

The process of dewatering is to separate the liquids from solids through a pressure filter, which pushes the liquid through the cloth. 

The filter press is the machine where  the filter cloths are installed in ‘series’. The liquid and slurry is fed into the filter press machine, and is then ‘pressed’, meaning that it is squeezed to force the separation between the two elemental states. The process occurs by the filter press squeezing the filter  cloth from both sides , forcing the material through the cloth and ‘filtering’ in the process. 

What are Filter Press Cloths Used For?

Filter press machines are used solely for the separation of liquids from solids. The filter cloth is usually made to measure, depending on the filter press machine plate width, and is usually measured in meters.

Depending on the micron requirements, the particulate (particle size being pressed), can vary within the weave of the filter cloth. The usually range of microns for a filter cloth membrane varies between 5 to 25 microns.

What Materials are Filter Press Cloths Used From?

The cloth material from which the filter cloth is made with also vary to suit the particular plate it is being used with. These range from full membrane to center-fed; gasketed to non-gasketed.

Filter press cloth manufacturers will typically use polyester thread for the filter cloth material, however, commonly, you filter cloths have been known to be also made from polypropylene, cotton, nylon or felt. These are high-temperature, durable cloth materials that can be used in a variety of extreme temperatures.

The filter cloths are manufactured in both Mono and Multi Filament to ensure a high-quality finish, with strength, resistance to chemicals, abrasion and long-lifespan. 

Mono-Filament Cloth

For mono-filament filter cloth the woven fibres are singular. Meaning there is single line weave. This allows for fantastic cake release and resistance. There is a lower particle retention compared to muli-filament fibres. The material is naturally super-strong.

Multi-filament Cloth

Multi-filament cloth describes a varying size of fibers used within the thread of the cloth which are grouped together in one single line. The comparative with this type of cloth is that there is better micron retention than mono-filament cloth.

Gasketed or Non-Gasketed Filter Cloth?

Gasketed/Caulked/Recessed Filter Plates

Depending on the requirement from your filter plate, your filter press cloth will come in differentiating shapes, sizes and even materials. This is often due to the filter press plate. The most commonly used filter press plate is the ‘gasketed’ or ‘caulked’ filter plate. Also referred to as a ‘recessed chamber’ filter plate, these particular filter plates are the most commonly used of all filter plates within liquid-from-solid separation.

Gasketed filter plates are expected to perform to a standard where there is no leakage whatsoever from the filter cloth through the filter plate. The filter cloths used are typically hexagonal in size, with a sewn cord to ensure any mircons passed through are caught within the filter press cloth.

Non-Gasketed Filter Plates

For Non-gasketed filter plates, the filter press cloth is lighter, less robust, but easier to install. This type of filter cloth can incur some leakage from the filter plate.

The Weave of the Filter Press Cloth Helps Performance

Weave patterns for the cloth of a filter press machine are dependent on your goal. 

There are five specific filter cloth weave types that are used. These are:

Leno Weave

The Leno Weave is a weave constructed with two or more warp threads that cross over each other and are then interlocked with multiple filling thread lines. On occasion, you can use one filling thread depending on your requirement from the Leno Weave.

This weave is characteristically lightweight, and should be used in lighter cake release filter presses.

The Twill Weave

The Twill Weave is a standard weaving process for fibers, and is used across all manufacturing processes that require weaving.

In a Twill Weave, the twill line cross over at least two consecutive rib lines and is moderate in it’s binding. The resistance on this weave is larger than that of the Leno weave, so a heavier cake release can be used on this type of cloth weave.

The Plain Weave

The Plain Weave is another type of weave that is used across multiple manufacturing specialisms. It is also the simplest weave of all weave patterns.

This particle weave has a high particle retention, with moderate cake release properties, whilst also being rather robust. This weave is perfect for moderate cake release and high requirements for particle retention from the filter press.

The Basket Weave

A variation of the Plain Weave, the Basket Weave whereby at least warp yarns cross alternately with two or more filling yarns. 

This is a looser weave, so is only recommended on basic-level filtering requirements due to it’s lack of stability. 

The Satin Weave

Arguably the most complicated of weaving patterns for filter cloths, the Satin Weave shows a repetition of crosses between the ‘warp’ and ‘filling’ floats. Throughout the weave the weft thread will cross over at least three lines of warp threads before going under one and back over a further three and so on.

This particular weave is required where a good solid cake release is required. 

Cleaning Your Filter Press Cloth

When the filter cake is no longer dry and has a slimier texture, this is the time to clean your filter (unless the cloth has already been cleaned. In which case, you should replace the filter cloth).  

Should the filter cloth require cleaning, the cleaning process differs depending on the filter plate you are using. 

For Gasketed filter cloth cleaning, you can use an acid washing method. This is a specific cleaning method that should be followed meticulously to ensure safety and correct cleaning takes place. It is not a cleaning method for Non-Gasketed filter cloth due to the NGC plates characteristic of ‘leakage’.

For NGC plates, you should consider the Cold Water Spray cleaning method.

For the Cold Water Spraying method, the cloth should be washed at a high-pressure (between 800-1200 PST) within the cold water spray unit.

This method flushes the cloth surface and penetrates through the cloth to flush out any particles sitting within the cloth.

Working with Filter Press Cloth Manufacturers

When searching for the right filter cloth manufacturer, there are a few things you should consider.

You must ensure you’re fully prepared with the requirements from your filtration needs. It’s key to understand the purpose for your filtering requirements, what the machine your using needs and the area in which your filter machine operates. You also need to have an idea of the cake release you’re looking fore, and the mircon amount you’re filter machine will need.

Once you have this information, you should then expect the filtration expert to be able to provide the necessary solution information to fit your requirements. The filtration expert should be able to provide an assessment of your requirements and the correct consultancy for the most effective filtration solution for your press machine.

A quality filter cloth manufacturer will naturally collaborate with you as the expert to ensure the best solution fits the business need and provides the most effective filtering solution.

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