How Viscosity and Temperature Affect Filter Performance
Appropriate optimization of viscosity and fluid temperature can ensure product quality and the safety of your filtration system
Article written by FCX Performance, Inc
It is essential to make sure that your filter is performing at its best so it can extend the life of your downstream process equipment, provide consistent product quality and reduce product loss. In part one of our monthly mini-series Filter Performance 101, we discussed how flow rate and flux rate impact filter performance. In this second part, we will be focusing on viscosity and temperature.
Viscosity not only determines how product flows through the filter media, but also how much pressure it takes to push the product through the filter. If viscosity is high, pressure will be high as well, increasing the likelihood that contaminants will be pushed through the filter media, decreasing product quality and increasing product loss. High viscosities can also make it more difficult to pump the product through the assembly and separate the contaminants from the liquid.
To accommodate a high viscosity, you may need to add more filters to help regulate flow or incorporate a purge system to push contaminated material out of the housing before changing the filter. Whenever possible, you should minimize viscosity because it makes it easier for the filtration system to separate contaminants. Optimizing the location of the filtration system in the overall process is critical in ensuring the lowest practical viscosity.
The product temperature and the environmental temperature are also important to consider when it comes to filter performance. These temperatures can determine media selection because each media has a temperature limit. Temperature can also determine if the filter housing’s internal and external seals and the housing itself may need to be made thicker or from other materials. Keep in mind, high temperature filter media, seals, thicker vessels and exotic materials all can reduce the options you have available.
Extreme process temperatures can make accessing the filtration system for filter change outs and maintenance dangerous for the operators to interact with. Monitoring the product temperature and the environmental temperature is important to ensure that the filtration system is operating within the design parameters.
Finally, in most cases, a very effective way to reduce viscosity is to increase temperature. Again, this can make it easier for the filtration system to separate contaminants and optimize its performance.
Viscosity and fluid temperature work together when talking about filter performance. Analyzing both factors can help ensure product quality and the safety of your filtration system. Remember, viscosity determines how product flows through the filter media and how much pressure it takes to push the product through the filter; temperature impacts the viscosity and determines media selection.
TALK TO AN EXPERT
Contact an engineer if you have any questions about filter performance. Our filtration experts have over 100 years of combined experience and work hand in hand with customers to deliver complete filter application support and solutions.