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.

depth and surface filtration
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 surface Depth 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 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

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


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