All buyers are faced with a crucial design choice when purchasing a booth for their powder coating operation – whether to pick a cyclone or cartridge filter system. As with any decision regarding commercial equipment, prospective buyers should carefully evaluate their own needs and examine all of their options before finalizing their selection. We’ve highlighted the key benefits and drawbacks of each of these filtration methods below to help you understand which is best suited for your facilities.

Cartridge Module Filtration

Cartridge modules are a box or section that is attached directly to the powder booth. All exhausted air passes through a series of cylindrical filters that trap the powder particles in a layered mesh. Particles that accumulate on the filter gradually fall into a collection tray below, which allows the system to recover a substantial portion of the material. The filter mesh is periodically cleaned by bursts from a reverse air jet.

Features and Benefits

The most notable features and benefits of cartridge module filtration include:

  • High powder recovery rate
  • Simplistic design
  • Lower costs

Cartridge modules are excellent for conserving materials, with some systems capable of recovering approximately 99 percent of powder that passes through them. They also have relatively basic design so there are few delicate or complex components that could fault and interfere with normal operations. Many buyers are also drawn to cartridge filtration due to its lower upfront and operational costs compared to cyclone systems.

Drawbacks and Considerations

Perhaps the biggest drawback of cartridge filtration is the limited capacity for color changing. New modules must be used for each color to avoid contaminating the mixture, which requires workers to swap out collectors between color changes.

Cyclone Systems

Cyclone systems are characterized by a cyclone chamber that handles all of the exhausted air from the booth. The air is moved in a rotational pattern around the chamber, which separates particles based on size for further filtration. The heavier particles fall down into a collection tray, while the rest are propelled upwards to a filter section. While they may not recover as much powder as cartridge modules, cyclone systems can typically have a recovery efficiency of approximately 85 to 95 percent.

Features and Benefits

The most notable features and benefits of cyclone systems include:

  • Cleaner operations
  • Adapts to speed
  • Easy color changes


Cyclone systems run cleanly even in high-volume production environments, which minimizes the need for maintenance. Since a substantial portion of the powder passes from the cyclone chamber directly to recovery, operators typically only need to change out the cone when switching to a different color. This can greatly reduce the labor costs and time constraints when frequent color changes are necessary.

Cyclone filtration also has a lot of potential in automated or other high-volume facilities because it can adapt to increases in exhaust velocity. Since there is no powder accumulation to increase air resistance during use, operators can maintain the desired airflow for prolonged periods with little interference from the filtration system.

Drawbacks and Considerations

The installation and operating costs of cyclone systems can be much greater than cartridge modules so prospective owners must evaluate the costs and benefits of the extra features. The value of the powder being used should also be a consideration since lower recovery efficiency can translate into a substantial increase in overall operating costs.

There are many different considerations to take into account before investing in equipment for your operation so don’t hesitate to seek out advice and consultation. As a leading provider of spray paint booth systems for aerospace and industrial applications, we encourage customers to work closely with our experts to determine the optimal booth design for their specific needs. No matter what filtration method you choose to employ, trust Spray Systems to craft the perfect match for your operations!


Contact Your Spray Booth Specialist Today