Microdyne Products Corporation

Sterile Filter Maintenance

Sterile filter maintenance requires that the element must be replaced at regular intervals to ensure sterility in the sanitary compressed air system. The sterile filter element replacement frequency depends upon the actual shut-down time.  In essence, every time a system is shut down or unpressurized, bacteria  will have the opportunity to re-enter the system through open orifices, which is the perfect breeding ground to propagate. The system will experience “grow through” and contaminate the piping system, including the sterile filter. For proper maintenance of sterile compressed air systems, after each system shutdown the sterile filter must be re-sterilized.

System Setup and Function to Allow Proper Sterile Filter Maintenance

A typical filtration system for sterile operation is shown in the image below. The sterilization diagram illustrates the proper methodology for in-situ (in-place) sterilization, which should be adopted as standard operating procedure for all sterile applications for those systems not using autoclave methods. Microdyne Sterile Filters can be re-sterilized by using either an in-situ or autoclave purification procedure, both of which are acceptable. As a precautionary measure for either case, the Sterile Filter element should be replaced monthly, even if either above procedure has been followed. Both the system and Sterile Filter housing, as well as the replacement element, should be sterilized.

Sterile Filter Maintenance Incorporating Sterilizing Steam

Sterile Filter Maintenance Using Sterilizing Steam

Both the run time and chronological time for filter element replacement are important considerations. In either case the need to follow one of the above sterilization procedure recommendations is critical.

For example, all instruments in a hospital operating room must be sterilized whether they have been utilized or not, as they have been exposed to a bacteria-laden atmosphere. Ignoring the need to sterilize the line defeats the purpose of having installed a Sterile Filter. Sterilizing the line at prescribed intervals protects the integrity of your product. The best Sterile Filters in the world are ineffective if sterile filter maintenance procedures are not employed.

Note: the Sterile Filter is a bacterial-removal filter only and not a pre-filter or coalescing filter. To insure the integrity of the main system air entering the dedicated sterile line, we recommend using our Sanitary Industrial Filters in tandem with our Steam Filter for steam sterilization.

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Related Information

Microdyne Products Corporation — Premium Compressed Air & Gas Filters