Filters for PAPR system

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by golfer1, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. golfer1


    Nov 24, 2016
    I've been using the 3m Versiflo TR-3712 N filters for m=in my PAPR dust filter unit and a paper tower pre filter to try to get the more life out of the expensive filters.
    I wonder if any of you have a better way, system to pre filter particulates from the primary filter to get more life out of them.
    Thanks for looking and best wishes.
  2. javand


    Oct 17, 2010
    Do you have the ss mesh screen pre-filter, it's a spark arrestor and will stop any large metal particles or whatever.

    I've been using the same filter in mine for like, 2 years? They're expensive but they last forever, easily cheaper than any of the mask filters I've ever used when you calculate the consumption rate.

    Oh, I should mention, if you aren't already doing so, every couple of months I take my filter out, go outside, using a clean (oil free) source of compressed air, blow out the filter from the clean side. Stay 8" or more away from the filter, depending on how powerful your source of air is, you could easily blow it apart, but you'll see a huge amount of particulate get blown away, and the flow rate will be much better again.

    Now, I have no idea if that's considered "safe practice" for industry, probably not, but I haven't "felt" any difference in air quality after flushing my filter.
    P.Brewster likes this.
  3. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    " …. They're expensive but they last forever …."

    PAPR filters are expensive …. but they do not last forever. Blowing them out and vacuum them off regularly will help lengthen their life. However, they will slowly become clogged within the filter media and move less air through. This reduces the effect of pushing away the particles in the air around your hood. You will then start breathing more dust filled air that bypasses the face shield from the sides. It has to get really clogged for you to notice, but it is a fact of life. Best thing is to change the filters on some sort of PM schedule. Every new Years day, your birthday, etc.

    Many PAPR systems come with a simple flow meter that you should use monthly to check the flow rate through the filter. When it drops to the indicated point, CHANGE THE FILTER.
    javand likes this.
  4. P.Brewster


    Jul 25, 2007
    Adding an exhaust fan or dust collector will reduce the load on the PAPR filter, thereby increasing longevity.

    I use a Breathe-Cool II forced air supply that is connected to (and separated from) my VersaFlo helmet with 20 feet of tubing. The air supply is placed as far away from the grinder as possible. I used to have an inline 0.5 micron filter in between the Breathe-Cool and the helmet, but I recently switched to a bong-style water filter because the air was irritatingly dry. Air comes out of the Breathe-Cool, bubbles through clean water, travels down the tubing, and into the helmet. Smells like a waterfall. When I'm done, I bypass the water and run the system for ~20 minutes to dry out the inside of the tubing, so as to avoid mold.
  5. javand


    Oct 17, 2010

    Sounds like a pretty interesting setup.

    Yeah funnily, I kind of appreciate the dry air from the PAPR this time of year, humidity is so bad here, and my shop is an old barn half-ass conversion, so nice clean dry air is mmmmm soothing change of pace.

    I have been threatening to build a shop wide over-head rig with air conditioned filter air for a whole body suit setup in the new shop though. No amount of ventilation seems capable of keeping up with large welding forges after a few hours, figure, why not make steel in style? =D
    P.Brewster likes this.
  6. razor-edge-knives

    razor-edge-knives Moderator Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 3, 2011
    I use these... you can find deals on ebay from time to time. I change mine out every 3 months, and one time in there I will vacuum the dust build up that is almost clogging the hole. This may be extended after I pick up an shop dust/air filter but I haven't done that yet.
  7. golfer1


    Nov 24, 2016
    Thanks everyone for your help. I have found a prefilter that can be used with the 3m units however, so far, a paper towel may still work the best.
    Best wishes to all.
  8. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009

    Do the instructions say to change water every day ?
    P.Brewster likes this.
  9. P.Brewster


    Jul 25, 2007
    The inclusion of the water filter was all me - it isn't a component of the VersaFlo or the Breathe-Cool system. So there aren't any instructions. I do change the water everyday.
    12345678910 likes this.

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