Guide to Industrial Liquid Filter Cartridges

Cartridge Filters

Finding a filter cartridge for your application

Surface and Depth Loading Filtration

Almost every liquid you encounter is filtered at some point in the manufacturing process including foods and beverages, paints, chemicals, water and more. Optimizing the filtration process by meeting the ideal filtration specifications can save you time and money in labor costs, replacement filters and preventing equipment malfunction.

Industrial filter cartridges capture contaminants during liquid filtration in applications from quality assurance, product standardization, equipment protection, material recycling and more. Filtration is accomplished by collecting sediment either on the surface or through depth loading where the debris gets trapped through all layers of the filter cartridge.

How do you select the best industrial liquid filter cartridge for your application? That’s where we come in! With a team of filter experts and over 35 years of experience in the filtration industry, we can help you meet your liquid filtration system specifications at the lowest cost of operation. Here are 5 questions to ask that will help you find the best industrial filter cartridge for your needs.

1) What liquid are you filtering with your filter cartridge?

The ideal industrial filter cartridge varies depending on the type of liquid you are filtering. The viscosity will affect the flow rate through the cartridge filter, and the chemical composition of the liquid helps determine filtration media compatibility.

For instance, polyester (PE) filter cartridges offer a wider range of chemical compatibility compared to polypropylene (PP) filters, but PP filter cartridges work better for oil filtration applications. Additional factors you might need to determine about the material you wish to filter include:

  • Temperature
  • Solid % Weight and % Volume
  • pH of the liquid
  • Concentration

Once we have a complete understanding of what you need to filter, we can direct you to the best style and material industrial filter cartridge for your application.

2) How fine do you need to filter?

To find the best industrial filter cartridge for your application, you must determine how fine you need the filter cartridge to filter. As our liquid filter cartridges provide physical filtration, you must select the filter with the micron size to capture your contaminants without unnecessarily slowing down your flow rate.

Micron Size ComparisonAll filter cartridges have a micron (µm) rating and efficiency to ensure they will provide adequate liquid filtration. A micron is a unit of measurement equivalent to one millionth of a meter. We sell industrial filter cartridges with micron ratings from less than 1 micron up to 200 microns. How big is a micron exactly? Well, just for reference the average human hair is 90 microns and a white blood cell is 25 microns!

Industrial filter cartridges also have varying levels of efficiency. Nominal filtration means that the filter cartridge can trap particle sizes down to the listed micron rating. Nominal filtration cartridges may only have an efficiency of 75% of sediment capture at a specific micron rating. If you need more thorough liquid filtration, absolute rated filter cartridges filter to a higher degree of accuracy with efficiencies often close to or above 99% at their listed micron rating. Many filtration systems will use nominal filters earlier in the filtration process with absolute filtration at the end to ensure no contaminants are missed.

3) What type of industrial liquid filter cartridges will work the best for you?

There are several different types of filter cartridges available to accommodate specific applications. Following is a comparison of the filter cartridges we have to offer.

Melt Blown Filter Cartridges

Melt Blown Filter Cartridges

Melt blown filter cartridges are a depth loading option designed to provide uniform removal of contaminants from 1 to 100 microns with their thermally-bonded filter media and grade-density pore structure. Our melt blown cartridges are manufactured using a state-of-the-art, computer-controlled process to deliver accurate and reliable cartridge filters that offer high efficiency and high dirt loading capacity. Melt blown liquid filter cartridges are usually made from FDA polypropylene filtration media that is free of surfactants, binders, anti-stat agents and adhesives.

General Applications: Food & Beverage, Process Water, Potable Water, Photographic, Cosmetic, Aerosol Products, Electronics, Water Based Paints and Coatings, Printed Circuit, Plating

String Wound Filter Cartridges

String Wound Filter Cartridges

The Cary Company’s string wound filter cartridges are available from micron ratings from 1 to 100 microns. A diamond-shaped pattern offers high dirt loading capacity and depth loading filtration. Manufactured using a high-speed, computer-controlled machine, thread spacing and pattern is consistent and reliable. String wound filter cartridges can feature a variety of filtration medias including bleached cotton, nylon, polypropylene and polyester.

General Applications: Potable Liquids, Chemicals, Magnetic Coatings, Photographic, Food & Beverage, Cosmetics, Oil Production, Healthcare, Plating Solutions, Cleaning Fluids

Nominal Depth Pleated Filter Cartridges

Nominal Depth Pleated Filter Cartridges

Nominal depth pleated industrial filter cartridges are depth loading filters that have two layers: a pre-filter layer and final filter layer of nominal-rated felt. The two-layer pleat offers increased surface to allow for a higher dirt holding capacity. Nominal depth pleated filter cartridges can be rated from 1 micron to 200 micron and work well in high flow applications with a lower initial pressure drop. Our nominal pleated filters meet FDA regulations for food contact. Available in polyester and polypropylene, all of our liquid filter cartridges are silicone free.

General Applications: Food & Beverage, Coatings, Metal Finishing, Photographic Solutions, Liquid Filtration with Uniform Particle Size

Economy Grade Pleated Filter Cartridges

Economy Grade Pleated Filter Cartridges

Standard efficiency pleated filter cartridges are a cost-effective surface filtration option to remove fine or course sediment during liquid filtration. These economy grade pleated filter cartridges have pleated elements to provide the maximum amount of media without pleat blinding. This increases the dirt loading capacity and service life of the cartridge for a reliable, affordable filtration method.

General Applications: Food & Beverage, Potable Water, Chemical

Pleated Polypropylene Filter Cartridges

Pleated Polypropylene Filter Cartridges

Pleated Polypropylene Filter Cartridges provide 99.98% filtration efficiency at their published micron rating and use 100% FDA certified media and components for pure applications. These pleated surface filter cartridges for liquids feature synthetic microfibers which offer excellent filtration and fluid compatibility properties. The ultra-sonically bonded side seams and thermally-fused assembly provide strength without the use of adhesives.

General Applications: Food & Beverage, Pharmaceuticals, Potable Water, Chemical

Pleated Membrane Filter Cartridges

Membrane Filter Cartridges

Membrane filter cartridges are high purity surface filtration cartridges for demanding applications across industries. These industrial cartridges often are in the final stages of filtration with the ability to remove contaminants as small as .01 micron. Our pleated membrane filter cartridges have been flushed with high purity water and manufactured in clean room environments to achieve the most stringent requirements for extractable substances. PES membrane filter cartridges offer high flux density and low protein-binding, maintaining the organoleptic characteristics of the treated product. Our nylon membrane filters are commonly used for the removal of haze, color bodies and endotoxins.

General Applications: Deionized Water Filtration, Winemaking & Brewing, Pharmaceutical, Juice, Fermentation, Chemical Filtration, Liquid Clarification

High Efficiency Deep Pleated Filter Cartridges

High Efficiency Deep Pleated Filter Cartridges

High efficiency deep pleated filter cartridges are surface filtration options that offer absolute filtration at a removal efficiency of 99%. With the ability to fit inside most Size #1 or Size #2 filtration baskets, these absolute industrial filter cartridges provide up to 35 square feet of filter surface area for maximum dirt holding capacity. A single deep pleated cartridge can replace up to 20 standard size #1 filter bags! The pleat element has several medias together, with filtration media options available in polyester or polypropylene. High efficiency deep pleated filter cartridges are designed to fit into existing baskets and provide an O-ring side seal without having to make modifications to the housing. For optimum performance, flow rate should be at 30 GPM and pressure at a maximum of 25 PSID.

General Applications: Electronics, Food & Beverage, Coatings, Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Photographic, High Purity Water, Precious Metal/Catalyst Recovery

4) How will your industrial filter cartridge fit into your existing system?

The type of filter cartridge and its media play an essential role in configuring the optimal filtration system. However, you must also consider how the cartridge will work with the housing. Selecting a cartridge filter that works well with the housing can prevent contaminant bypass by creating a complete seal and allow for easy installation.


The gasket is a ring of rubber or similar material that seals the filter cartridge and the housing to eliminate sediment bypass. Factors in finding the best gasket for your application include: chemical compatibility, temperature and required service life. The Cary Company sells a range of gasket materials.

  • Buna N, or nitrile-butadiene, offers good resistance to oils such as vegetable oil, petroleum oil, mineral oil, etc. Buna N is one of the most commonly used sealing elastomers known for its sealing property. It is resistant to lubricants and petroleum-based fuels.
  • Ethylene Propylene is a synthetic elastomer with excellent resistance to weathering, sun and ozone. There are multiple types of ethylene propylene including EPR and EPDM, a copolymer and terpolymer respectively. Common industry applications are pharmaceutical, food and beverage, drinking water, etc. Ethylene propylene offers good wear and compression set resistance.
  • Viton is also known as fluoroelastomer or FKM, which is a fluorocarbon-based synthetic rubber. Viton gaskets have excellent permeation resistance and good resistance to oxygen, fuels and many organic solvents and chemicals. This gasket material does well in high temperatures but is not ideal in low temperature applications.
  • Also known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), Teflon gaskets offer good wear resistance and have one of the lowest coefficients of friction against solids. Due to its excellent chemical resistance, it is commonly used in chemical processing as well as medical and food production industries.
  • Neoprene O-Ring or Chloroprene (CR) is a multi-purposed elastomer. This gasket ring is suitable for use with oils and most chemicals. Neoprene O-ring has good resistance to the sun, ozone, fire, alcohol, ammonia and weather.
  • Silicone gaskets offer excellent temperature resistance for both hot and cold applications. They can resist warping and maintain a tight seal for extended periods of time. These gaskets provide good resistance towards a range of chemicals, oils and solvents.

End Cap Options: SOE or DOE

Single open ended (SOE) cartridges have a side of the cartridge sealed to ensure filter bypass is impossible on one side of the cartridge. The seal is typically a polypropylene cap. SOE filters are often used in sanitary applications but are associated with a higher cost. Double open ended (DOE) cartridges do not have a seal on either side of the filter cartridge. This option tends to be more common of the two types as eliminating sediment bypass can still be accomplished by relying on the filter housing.

End Cap Configuration Types

Filter Cartridge End Cap Options

Type 226 have double gaskets and locking fins to ensure the filter cartridge is properly installed into the cartridge housing as it must be twisted as it is installed. The double gasket will prevent containment bypass by sealing against the housing. Type 226 is often used in sanitary applications.

Type 222 are often used with single open end cartridge filters. Double gaskets will seal the filter against the cartridge filter housing to prevent bypass.

Double open end (DOE) gasket filters have openings on both ends of the filter cartridge. This end cap option features gaskets to aid in sealing the filter against the housing.

When used in a multi-cartridge filter housing, the fin end cap sits inside the top retaining plate. However, these end caps are also used in singe cartridge filter vessels as well.

Commonly referred to as flat end filter cartridges, the closed end cap is a flat disc with no opening that is attached to one side of a filter cartridge. This end cap seals one side of a double open end filter cartridge allowing it to function as a single open end cartridge.

The spring end cap will collapse with pressure allowing for easy installation into housings. Spring end caps are often used with string wound cartridges, but can be used with other types of filter cartridges.

Filter Cartridge Core Material

Not every filter cartridge has a core. Often used for low micron ratings, the filter cartridge core provides support and prevents cartridge collapse. An inner core is particularly useful for additional support in high pressure applications.

Common materials for the inner core of filter cartridges include polypropylene, tinned steel, type 304 or 316 stainless steel and even glass. The inner core material is dependent on filtration temperature, chemical compatibility and application type.

5) Is a liquid filter cartridge the best industrial filtration product for you?

When it comes to physical, sediment filtration, some of the most common industrial filtration products are cartridge filters and liquid filter bags. Both have the ability to remove solid or gelatinous contaminants during liquid filtration in a variety of applications including industrial waters systems, chemical processing equipment, etc.

Bag filters filter by capturing debris when fluid flows through small pores in the felt or mesh filtration media. The micron rating depends on the size of the openings in the media.

There is a wide range of filter bags and filter cartridges, each with their own dirt loading capacity, recommended flow rate, etc.

Filter Bags:

  • Economic
  • Wide range of filtration medias
  • Less solid waste products in smaller volume applications
  • Space-efficient for storage
  • Can filter large micron sizes (We have liquid filter bags with ratings from 1 micron up to 1500 micron!)

Filter Cartridges:

  • Pleated filters offer increased surface area as compared to filter bags
  • Tend to have a longer service life
  • Ideal for absolute filtration down to small micron ratings
  • Provide surface or depth filtration

Feel like you are ready to shop our industrial filtration selection? Check out our liquid filter cartridges or filter bags. Still need more information? We have additional resources below!

Resources: Sizing Data Form | Filter Bag Compatibility | Chemical Resistance Guide | Pressure Drop | Media Specification | Guide to Liquid Filter Bags

Expert Help: The Cary Company is your committed partner and advisor. If you would like to speak to a filtration expert about your unique specifications, contact us by email or call us at 630.629.6600 today!