Quatro Air Technologies is a Canadian company that is considered a pioneer in "micro-environmental air purification". They are experts in providing air quality solutions to various air related problems concerning both productivity and health.
Productivity - As the technology of printing equipment and graphic arts systems is advancing, stringent air quality may be required in certain areas of a facility to alleviate various quality related problems. Typical problems can be related to dust and dirt impeding the proper operation of equipment or work activities, as well as low or high humidity. Other problems can be related to chemical reactions affecting productivity by lining or corroding sensitive areas of equipment.
Quatro has taken an approach to identify the contaminant and its consequential problems. In doing so we can either: 1) scrub out the contaminant in the specific room through re-circulation; 2) positively pressurize the equipment or room with purified air; 3) negatively pressurize the equipment or room with purified air; 4) or capture the contaminant at its source.
Health - Many processes emit high amounts of particulate or chemical matter into the micro-environment surrounding that process. Fine particulate can be very harmful to the lungs. Chemicals can be anywhere from a simple nuisance to toxic. Each can be properly purified in order to create a healthy environment. In many cases, the solution will combine contaminant capture at its source and whole room purification.
Enormous quantities of particulate matter are generated from printing presses due to the high speed continuous movement of paper. Ultimately the dust will find its way into the prepress environment either through the ductwork or merely via the opening and closing of the doors between the two spaces.
The most economical way of maintaining the purity of the air in the prepress area is through the use of portable industrial grade air purifiers. Revamping the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems in a building is much costlier, cannot easily conform to changed layouts, and may not solve the problem over the long term. Successful air purification depends on: * the use of a multistage high efficiency air filters; * achieving and maintaining a high number of air exchanges; * positioning the air purification equipment for an appropriate airflow pattern.
High efficiency filtration requires the use of three stages of appropriate filters. The first stage must remove any large particulate. The second stage should be a deep bed filter (6 or 12 inches thick) to remove particulate missed by the first stage. The final stage filter should be no less than a 99.97% (@0.3 micron size) deep bed HEPA filter. This staged approach assures longer filter life at appropriate levels of particulate elimination.
Quatro purifiers use a three stage filter system:
1st stage - 30% Ashrae pleated filter
2nd stage - 65% Ashrae deep bed particulate filter
3rd stage - 99.97% deep bed HEPA filter
Typically, the area between the press and prepress rooms is an extremely high traffic area and as a result, particles are induced from the press room into the prepress area.
To address this constant influx of particulate matter, a greater quantity of air exchanges is required to keep up with this ingression and maintain a relatively dust free environment. Quatro purifiers each contain an easy-to-read control panel to clearly indicate when filters need replacement.
Air exchange defines the number of times per hour that a room's total air is drawn through the purifier. Typically, the higher the number of hourly exchanges, the lower the dust contamination level. As the air filters accumulate dust, the air flowing through the air filters decreases due to the restrictions in airflow. This decrease in airflow can negatively affect the hourly air exchanges to a point where the target dust levels cannot be maintained.
Airflow patterns are extremely important when selecting and positioning a purifier in a room. During installation of a standalone room air purifier it is important to remove any obstacles that might impede the air from exiting the top of the air purifier, traveling along its targeted route, and returning to the bottom of the air purifier. The ideal positioning of a standalone room air purifier is against a wall with the airflow from its exhaust grills directed towards an opposing wall.
All reputable filter manufacturers warrant their filters to a certain level of filtering ability. Therefore, the filters used by purifier manufacturers have the same inherent ability to filter the air stream (as long as their ratings are identical). What is different among purifier manufacturers is the way the filters are engineered into the purifiers.
A poorly designed purifier will allow air to evade the filter. For example, an improperly designed filter housing may crush the filter impairing its abilities. The way the filter is held in the purifier may not be secure enough to preclude air from getting around the filter. The filter change door may not form a tight enough seal to stop air infiltration. Quatro utilizes a gravity based channel system to hold the filter securely without any clips or springs. This system will not allow the filter to move when the filter is first installed, and cannot be compromised over time, thus assuring that all air flows through the filter.
Filters get better over time. As more particulate gets captured, the air paths through the filter get smaller thus enhancing the ability of the filter to capture particles. The only way to determine when a filter needs to be changed is to sense the decrease in air movement through the filter. You should only change filters when the air volume leaving the filter is no longer sufficient to accomplish the filtering task.
Some purifier manufacturers use elapsed time to determine when a filter needs changing. A timer cannot tell the condition of the filter. Obviously, a filter in a dirty environment will need changing in a shorter time than a filter in a cleaner environment.
Quatro uses the only reliable way to determine when a filter needs changing. Quatro measures the air pressure differential between the input and output of the filter. As the particulate captured by the filter builds up, it gets harder to push air through it. Therefore, the pressure on the input side increases and the pressure on the output side decreases. When the differential between those pressures is such that the purifier can no longer do its work, the Quatro pressure sensor will signal the need for a filter change.
Humidity is introduced into an air purifier through the heating of water until steam is produced. The difference between purifier manufacturers is how the steam is injected into the air stream and where in the purification path that steam is introduced.
Some manufacturers simply spray the steam into the air stream after the filters. Steam is not pure water! Steam contains all the impurities that the original water contained except that the particles are now airborne. Also, the water molecules in the steam need a chance to disperse into humidity. Injecting the steam into the output of the filters runs the risk of allowing the water droplets in the steam to reach the equipment the purifier is trying to protect.
Quatro uses a patented nozzle to inject the steam into the air stream. This nozzle maximizes the probability that the steam is evenly disbursed across the entire air stream and that the water droplets in the steam are as small as possible. Quatro injects the steam before the air stream reached the filters. Therefore, any particulate injected with the steam is filtered out. Also running the steam through the filters will assure that there will be no water droplets in the purified air that reaches the equipment being protected.
General Specifications & Sizing
Quatro models can be ordered as a standalone dust only purifier or as a standalone dust purifier with humidity. On special order and depending on the chemistry involved, Quatro can provide a standalone unit with odor control as well as dust purification. Quatro also provides integrated models for direct connection with specific prepress equipment. If you know the cubic footage or the dimensions of the area to be cleansed and the operation runs 24 hours per day, we can help in determining the appropriate Quatro model.