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Filtration efficiency gains by fabrication using additive manufacturing

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Abstract

As a chemical free technology for removing particles during fluid flow, this paper describes how filters/strainers have taken a step forward in their manufacture through direct fabrication using additive manufacturing (AM) technologies. Replacing the conventional manufacturing route of punching, rolling and seam-welding, improvements in filter support geometries have been achievable using AM by designing and manufacturing custom-made filters of different sizes and shapes that are bespoke for process specific applications with optimised fluid flow. Flexibility in design is achieved due to the geometric freedom that AM technology permits. The Selective Laser Melting AM technology utilised works by the layer-wise addition of powdered material that is melted in a geometric cross-section of the design, layer-by-layer, through the directed application of energy from a laser. Currently, both the filter supports and the mesh are being manufactured using this technology, but this paper covers only the advancement of the filter support. Test results comparing AM and conventional filters experimentally showed that AM filter supports have improved flow and lower pressure drop. In order to improve the AM filter support design further, design simulations were conducted to identify the parameters that have an influence in the fluid flow pattern.