What's a good carbon filter for fume extraction?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by geratheg, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. geratheg

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 11, 2014
    107
    3
    I see this filter: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Holmes-Bion...t=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item2ecacc88a8

    I also see this filter: http://www.amazon.com/Carbon-Filter...sorber/dp/B005C5HUI8/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    The latter says it's activated carbon, while the former says it's a pre-filter. The filters look similar to me, I'm confused.
    Are they the same filter and would both of them work? Are they both pre-filters with activated carbon?
    What trapping efficiency can I expected from a pre-filter?

    I'm building a fume extractor using a 12V 120mm PC fan, and could not decide which filters actually work and are used.
     
  2. Alberto

    Active Member

    Nov 7, 2008
    169
    36
    Something around 10-20 micron. If you need smaller particles trapper you will need an additional hepa filter which will trap particles up to 0.2 micron.

    The fumes you are dealing with will have particles in suspension, knowing their size distribution could help you in the right choice.

    Cheers

    Alberto
     
  3. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    4,771
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    A "proper" fume extractor features a hepa filter ($$$) as stated above.. Because soldering fume particle size can be in the 1 - .5 micron range.

    However they sell thousands of "extractors" that feature little more than a carbon pad (mostly to reduce the smell/odors)
     
  4. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    6,073
    3,852
    Carbon absorbs vapors (gas phase / invisible) organic solvents and gases. Filters remove particulates of smoke, pollen and so on.

    The price of HEPA filters is coming down a lot. The easiest thing to do for hobbyist soldering smoke is to duct it away from your face or blow a fan across your workbench.
     
  5. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    For a "hobbyist" the time you spend soldering will more than likely be very minimal.
    As such a carbon pad/fan is more than likely sufficient as your exposure is minimal.
    As Gopher said.. Just blow it away from your face (and all over into your room..ha ha)

    Now in a full time soldering job.. HEPA is a must to avoid long term damage..
    The HEPA filters in our dual fume extractors run about $300 each and we have many units.. But thats the price you pay for safety.. :)

    Its FAR more important IMO to wipe all work surfaces down/wash hands,etc.. to eliminate the lead (assuming leaded solder) and other compounds on your work surface from you tracking it all over the place..
     
  6. geratheg

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 11, 2014
    107
    3
    Thanks for all the responses.

    I understand that lead is dangerous and I wash my hands each time. Though I read that breathing in vaporizing flux isn't good, and that's what I wanted to extract and filter which I read a carbon filter will do a great job at. Never heard of particles being released do to soldering, hmm.

    This is for hobby use, I just don't want to feel sleepy and tired after soldering every time. I feel like this is due to the fumes or something.

    I also solder in my bedroom, I don't know if that is a good idea or not and if a solder extractor with a filter will be enough.

    Of the two filters I linked, which one should I get? Are they the same?
    Do you have any other suggestions for filters, possibly from a local Target, Walmart, Lowe's, PetSmart, etc.? Online suggestions are ok too.
     
  7. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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  8. geratheg

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 11, 2014
    107
    3
    Looked at them, interesting how the thicker roller has less carbon per square foot than the thinner roll.

    There's also this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-C...099?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3388b12a03

    Should I get that?

    Edit: Actually I might consider getting the Mc-Masterr Car filter to avoid knock-offs that have less carbon density, thus less filtration efficiency.

    New question: How would you know when to replace the filter?
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
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