What is a cartridge filter and how does it work?

A cartridge filter is a piece of tubular filtration equipment that can be used across various industries for an array of filtration requirements. A cartridge is encased within a housing or a casing and used to remove unwanted particles, pollutants, and chemicals from liquids. The cartridge is exposed to water, liquid or solvent that needs filtration, as it flows inside the housing and passes through the filter element. Cartridge filters can also remove submicron particulates.


What are the two categories of cartridge filter?

You can find two categories of cartridge filters –

a) surface filters and

b) depth filters.

what is a cartridge filter - Gopani Product Systems India
A cartridge is encased within a housing or a casing and used to remove unwanted particles, pollutants, and chemicals from liquids.
Surface filtersDepth Filters
Surface filters do not let the solids/contaminants enter through the medium. They restrict them outside the filter media.Depth filters trap all the contaminants, pollutants and solids within the media.
Surface filtration refers flow of fluid through to a layer of material that restricts particles on the surfaceDepth filtration refers to a thicker layer of media/or multiple layers that sets a torturous path for the particles and restricts them from passing through.
The cartridge filter size of particles restrained from entering the medium is higher than the mean pore size of the mediumThe size of particles in much smaller than the mean pore size of the medium
Over a period of time, the surface filter gets caked on the outside with particles and restricts the flow beyond acceptable limit. At this point the filtration surface has to be cleaned and reused.Contaminants travel through the depth filter and get trapped there, gradually the pores in the filter get blocked and have to be cleaned using a reverse flow of fluid or replaced by a new medium.
Surface filters are comparatively cheaper and have a shorter shelf life.Compared to the surface filter, a depth filter is expensive but it has a longer shelf life.
Mechanical strength of the filter medium is less (with the exception of filter medium made of stainless steel)Mechanical strength of filter medium is high
Example : Pleated cartridge filter, cellulose filterExample: String wound filter, Ceramic filter and Sintered filters

How to clean Industrial Filter cartridges?


Industrial cartridge filters are widely used in industries like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, inks and paints, food and beverage, automotive manufacturing, cement industry, oil and gas, refineries, petrochemicals, and more. It is vital to clean these cartridges to ensure that they filter consistently for a long time.

Industrial filter cartridges from Gopani have high dirt holding capacity, are easy to install, clean, and maintain. When cartridge filters are sturdy, have a sturdy quality core, and have well-formed media layers, it is easy to clean and install them.

Some filter systems allow back-washing and come with a CIP design. Others must be removed from the housings, disinfected, and washed. When not in use, these cleaned filter cartridges are dried and sealed to avoid contamination or wear.

Note: All cartridge filters from Gopani are fully traceable with part number coding. The part numbers allow easy identification and eliminate the risk of replacing washed filters in a different process for highly critical applications.


How to replace a cartridge filter?


Filter cartridges are used in many industrial applications to trap contaminants and solid waste. These liquid filter cartridges must be replaced when they reach their pre-set differential pressure.

When to replace a Filter Cartridge?

It is important to know when to replace your filter cartridge. The cartridges may come with a general guideline that suggests the number of days it will work – for example, every 30 days or every 45 days based on its dirt holding capacity. However, the number of days a cartridge will last also depends on the concentration of contaminants in the liquid.


When your pressure differential reaches a pre-set value – say 10psi, you know that the cartridges are clogged and need replacement.

Here is a step-by-step how-to guide to properly and safely replace your liquid filter cartridges!

  • Shut down the system and let it depressurize.
  • Open the air vent valve and the drain.
  • Clean the drain valve
  • Remove the housing lid.
  • Remove wing nuts and the alignment plate.
  • Carefully remove the springs from the top of each cartridge filter. Make sure that the spring does not fall into the housing.
  • Carefully pull out the cartridges.
  • Check the housing for any signs of corrosion or dirt residues. Clean the housing if required.
  • Remove the protective covering of your new cartridge filters and fit them inside the housing.
  • Handle your cartridges carefully and place them in housing using the alignment plate.
  • Once all cartridges are in place, reinstall the springs, alignment plate, and wingnuts.
  • Make sure all these fitments are in good condition and securely installed in place.
  • Clean and lubricate the O ring and then replace the housing lid.
  • Screw the housing lid into place.
  • Close the drain valve
  • Purge any air in the system by running water through the filter.
  • Close the air vent valve

Cartridge filters are made of different materials and designs. Let us see what various types of industrial grade cartridge filters are available in the market!


Melt Blown Cartridge Filter
String Wound Cartridge Filter
Pleated Cartridge Filter
Resin Bonded Cartridge Filter
Metallic Sintered Cartridge Filters
Activated Carbon Blocks
Washable Net Cartridge Filters
Radial Cartridges
ClaryFlow Big Buddy
Radial Cartridges
Sediment Filter Cartridges
Water Treatment Cartridges


Applications of cartridge filters

  • Self-cleaning and Pre Filtration to RO and other types of membranes
  • Industrial water filtration
  • Incoming process water filtration
  • Pool water filtration
  • Oil removal and particle filtration in refineries and petrochemicals
  • Liquid filtration in the food and beverage industry
  • Pharmaceutical Applications
  • Refineries and Petro-Chemicals
  • Inks, Paints and specialty coatings
  • Electroplating chemical filtration
  • Cosmetics and personal care
  • Wine Clarification
  • Brewing
  • Automotive

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