Defense Industry Filter Element: The Ultimate Guide

Ready to order your next defense industry filter element?

That’s awesome – but first, here’s something you should know about these filter elements.

Working principle, structure, features, specifications and cost-effective filter element replacement – you’re going to learn all that here.

Let’s get started!

Table of contents hide

Chapter One: What is the Defense Industry Filter Element?

These are filters specifically designed to withstand extreme environmental conditions in the military.

Depending on the specific applications, defense industry filter element reduce possible downtime.

Besides, they protect sensitive equipment in the military field.

Defense industry filter element

 Defense industry filter element

It blocks any sediments or contaminants that may cause damage to equipment in the defense industry.

Some of this equipment may include fighter jets, ships, submarines, etc.

Effective filtration in the military and aircraft systems guarantees:

i. Safety of the equipment and the people who are using the equipment

ii. Longer service life of the equipment

iii. Reliability and efficiency of the machines in demanding conditions

iv. Cost-effective operations

With that in mind, let us have a look at some of the fluid contaminants.

The particulate contaminants you may find in the systems comprise of both hard and soft particles.

Mostly, the main types of particulate contaminants include silica, rubber, carbon, microorganisms, metals, water (in some systems), air (for some aerospace systems), fibers, etc.

To eliminate such contaminants from the system, you need a high-quality defense industry filter element.

Of course, you’ll choose the type of defense industry filter element once you know:

i. Nature of the application

ii. Type of contaminants

Now, which features should you focus on?

Chapter Two: Features of Defense Industry Filter Element

Why is it important to learn about the features of the defense industry filter element?

Defense industry filter element has special features that make it a suitable filtration device.

Besides, they also enhance efficiency.

Some of the main features include:

· Lightweight

The defense industry filter element is very light in weight.

Let me explain why it should be lightweight.

Most of the defense and aerospace industry equipment operate in the high skies.

Airborne machines such as planes and drones should be lightweight, and this includes the integral parts of these machines.

Fighter jet hydraulic system

Fighter jet hydraulic system

Defense industry filter element is not an exception and should be very light in weight.

The lightweight of the filter element will reduce the overall weight of the defense machinery.

It also makes the filter element easy to use and handle especially during the installation, cleaning, and replacement.

· High Filtration Efficiency

The defense industry filter element has a very high filtration efficiency that you can rely on.

It allows machines to operate efficiently – cleaning fluids fast before allowing them into the system.

The high filtration efficiency is dependent on the wide surface area and micron rating of the filtration media.

Filtration process

Filtration process

Wider surface area of filter media guarantees high efficiency.

Also, a smaller micron rating ensures higher filtration efficiency.

It is, however, challenging as the small pores can block very easily and clog the system making it slow.

· Enhanced Operation Life

A defense industry filter element under good maintenance will also enhance the life of the defense equipment.

It will help in blocking the contaminants from reaching sensitive parts of the machines.

Contaminants are among the leading contributors to the damage of the defense machines.

Fighter jet engine

Fighter jet engine

Meaning, equipment with appropriate will guarantee long service lifespan of machines.

· Graded Pore Structure

There are many factors that determine the pore structure of defense industry filter element:

i. Type of fluid

ii. Application

iii. Type of contaminants

Take for example, the pore size, and structure of an element filtering liquids is different from that of gases.

Gas filter element has smaller pores compared to the liquid filter element.

Also, pertinent contaminants are also larger in size than the micro-organisms.

Thus, the pore structure is different.

Filter has different pore sizes

Filter has different pore sizes

Of course, efficiency will also vary.

· High Dirt Holding Capacity

The greatest enemy to the efficiency of the filter elements is the clogging of the pores.

Of course, clogging is due to the high concentration of dirt.

Different types of filter cartridges have varying capacities of holding or trapping dirt within their compartments.

Ability of a filter to trap and hold dirt is the most efficient attribute of the filter element.


Defense industry filter element high holding capacity.

Therefore, you can use it for a long period of time.

Of course, dirt holding capacity will save you the time you spend while cleaning filters.

It takes a long term for the contaminants to fill the filter element.

· High Strength Construction

Defense industry filters feature a robust and durable construction.

Therefore, it withstands fluctuating pressure and temperature.

Therefore, you can count on these filters even when dealing with harsh environmental conditions.

As you can see, defense industry filter element reduces possible downtime while increasing the efficiency of hydraulic systems.

Chapter Three: Technical Specifications for the Defense Industry Filter Element

Now, before you buy any defense industry filter element, there are a few aspects to consider.

And, these include the following:

i. Filter Media

It is the filter media that removes contaminants.

And when it comes to defense military filters, you can choose from any of the following:

· Polymeric filter media

It is a popular material due to the following:

Polymeric filter

Polymeric filter

  • Pore structure has the ability to block different sizes of contaminants depending on the fluid.
  • It is not susceptible to corrosion. Therefore, it is unable to affect the chemical composition of the flowing fluid.
  • Polymeric is cost effective. This makes the defense industry filter made from polymeric cost effective.
  • You can also sterilize the polymeric to get rid of dirt and micro-organisms that accumulates during filtration.
  • Polymeric is very strong and lightweight.
  • It can resist some acids, hydrocarbon, solvents, and bases.
  • Depending on the design, polymeric is suitable for both depth and surface filters.

· Glass Fiber

The filter media consists of pure borosilicate fibers.

It may or may not have organic resin binders.

They are available in different flow ratings and pore sizes and can work properly in different types of applications.

Normally, binder material determines the purity of glass fiber.

Besides, it enhances the strength of fiberglass.

Furthermore, they can resist chemical and thermal heat.

Fiberglass filter element

Fiberglass filter element

Despite the fact that binder fiberglass has low chemical resistance, it can reduce fiber shedding.

Besides, it has better-wet strength than fiber glass without binders.

They offer a perfect solution in eliminating coarse and fine sediments in fluids.

· Sintered Metal Fiber

At times, you may also go for the sintered metal filter element.

Sintered metal filter

Sintered metal filter

Some unique properties of sintered metal fiber include:

  • It is highly porous thus making it very reliable in the filtration of steam and other vaporous fluids.
  • Easy to clean
  • Resist to corrosion
  • It has a robust nature that allows it to perform better whether pleated or not pleated.
  • Sintered metal fiber is highly porous in comparison to its compressibility with very fine filtration ratio.
  • Strength of the material allows you to use it in extreme conditions of high temperature and pressure.

Proper management and maintenance of the media will assure you a long life of service.

ii. Filtration or Micron ratings (including the Beta ratio)

Defense industry filter element has filtration media with different micron ratings.

Let me explain the meaning of filtration or micron rating before I indulge you further.

Micron rating is the measure of the size of the space between different pieces of filter media.

As an example, a 5-micron rating is smaller than a 20-micron rating.

The 5-micron rating of a filter media will not allow particles larger than 5 microns to pass through.

Micron rating

Micron rating

Micron ratings differ and vary because of the following reasons:

  • Type of fluids that you need to filter
  • Type and size of contaminants in the fluid

There are two main types of micron rating which can either be nominal or absolute rating.

Nominal micron ratings express the filterability in capturing particles of particular sizes at 50 to 90 percent efficiency.

A nominal rating of 60% at 5 microns means that the filter will block 60% of the contaminants with 5 microns in size.

Absolute micron rating means the filter is capable of eliminating about 98.7% of the contaminants of a particular size.

It is a more informative micron rating in comparison to the nominal micron rating.

iii. Permeability

Defense industry filter element has a wide range of permeable filter media that allow different substances to pass.

Filtration of contaminants from fluids, permeability is a great representation of the whole filtration setup.

It is a factor that determines the kind of material that will pass through the filter media into the machine system.

Filtration process

Filtration process

The permeability of a particular filter media will depend on:

i. Material that manufacturers use to make the filter media

ii.Filtration or micron rating of the filter media

iii. Type of fluid that flows through the filter media or the viscosity and flow rate of the fluid

iv. Type of sediments in the fluid that you need to filter

Permeability of filter media will affect the rate of filtration and speed by which fluid goes through filter media.

Through the permeability of a filter, you are able to understand the resistance of a particular filter media.

Just ensure you choose a filter element with an appropriate permeability.

iv. Tensile strength

Tensile strength is the ability of a material to resist breaking under a certain amount of stress or tension.

Material that manufacturers use in making the defense industry filter element are of high tensile strength.

It’s because the filter element operates in very difficult and hostile environments.

Low tensile strength can spell doom during very important missions. That should never be the case.

The material has to be strong enough to withstand the perilous environmental conditions.

v. Dimensions (Diameter and Length)

The dimensions of the defense industry filter element will vary according to the type of application.

Dimensions of filter element

Dimensions of a filter element

An application that requires continuous filtration over a long period will use a bigger filter.

A bigger filter means the dimensions including length and diameter of the filter are wide.

In applications where the rate of filtration is not high, you can opt for filter elements of smaller dimensions.

A filter element with a wider diameter and length means the filter media in use is also wide.

Therefore, it means its wider surface will filter more liquids within a short period of time.

The wide surface area also means the fluid will cover a longer distance as it flows through the filter media.

Longer distance it covers simply implies a high rate of filtration.

In other words, filter elements with better dimensions perform better. However, this will also depend on other factors already mentioned in this section.

vi. ITAR certification

ITAR certification is important when it comes to defense industry filter element.

The company should register with the department of defense in various countries as a manufacturer of defense materials.

Of course, it must conform to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations to know the necessary controls.

By the way, secrecy is key when it comes to the manufacturing of defense industry filter element.

In a nutshell, by considering all these, you’ll get the best defense industry filter element.

Chapter Four: Function of the Defense Industry Filter Elements

You may wonder why the defense industry needs a special type of filter element.

Well, the unique nature of the filter element relates to the specialized functions.

In this chapter, you will go through some unique functions of the defense industry filter element.

Fighter jet

Fighter Jet

· Primary and Secondary Flight Controls

Defense industry filter element is part of the hydraulic system that controls the primary and secondary flight systems.

Therefore, you need a reliable filter element for contamination-free operation.

The defense industry filter element in the hydraulic systems will remove all contaminants.

· Fuel Management

Fuel management in defense systems depends on the type of filter element.

The filter element will filter all contaminants, which may cause system failure.

· Fuel Tank Inerting

Different types of fuels contribute to varying degrees of contamination.

Take for example liquid fuel may have solid contaminants.

However, there are certain cases when the fluid is not liquid fuel but gas.

In this case, the gas or air in the system has other forms of contaminants including liquids and solids.

Therefore, the type of filter media should eliminate liquids and solid contaminants in the air.

It provides filtration for engine bleed air, as it eliminates particulate and fluidic contaminants.

· Power Generation

The defense industry filter element is important in ground power and auxiliary power units.

Apart from that, it is a key component of generators and starter generators.

They ensure continuous power production and supply.

It assists in cleaning the fluids such as fuel and hydraulic oil that are useful in operating the generators.

· Air Intakes

Some systems in the planes or other defense industry machines depend on air for their operations.

Air that comes into the system might have particulate or liquid contaminants that may affect the operations.

Defense industry filter element will assist in eliminating the contaminants before getting into the air chambers.

· Environmental Control

Environment is the areas around various machines in the defense industry.

Such areas require a constant supply of clean air or fluid.

To achieve this, you need a high quality and reliable filter element.

· Portable Water Systems

The importance of water in the life of a human being is incomparable to any other factor.

It is an important component of human life; thus it has to be clean enough.

To clean the water, the suppliers in the defense industry pass it through the defense industry filter element.

The filter element will eliminate any of the contaminants available in the water making it safe for the crew and passengers.

The defense industry filter element also cleans the water as it is in transit from the source.

· Avionics and Supplementary Cooling

You can also clean air in the coolant systems.

It helps in the elimination of particulate contaminants from the coolant system.

The clean air will assist in cooling the cargo bay, power electrons, and the gallery coolant system.

Chapter Five: Typical Applications of the Defense Industry Filter Element

Filter elements have many applications in both defense and military fields.

Some of the main applications include:

1) Hydraulic Systems

The defense industry filter element assists in cleaning the hydraulic fluids.

For example, it assists in controlling and operating the brakes, wheels, constant speed propellers and retractable landing gears.

Hydraulic filter element

Hydraulic filter element

In bigger planes, the hydraulic system will assist in operating flight control surfaces, spoilers, wing flaps, among others.

The fluid that flows through these systems should be clean and free of contaminants.

2) Engine Lube Systems

The defense industry filter elements help in keeping the oil in the engine free of contaminants.

Remember, the engine lube system will assist in the smooth running of the engine thus less fuel consumption.

Lubrication system a)

Lubrication system

Filter element will assist in eliminating contaminants from the oil making it more efficient.

Contaminants in the oil might lead to additional problems that you did not anticipate.

Therefore, make sure that the oil is clean and free of contaminants.

3) Air and Acoustics

Defense industry filter contaminants will help in the elimination of the contaminants from the air.

Special defense industry filter elements are important in aircraft systems.

It will control the flow of the air and also the absorption of sound.

The porous media has a complex path in the system that muffles sound wave amplitudes allowing optimum operating conditions.

Air filter

Air filter

There are quite a number of acoustic liners with various types of defense industry filter elements to suit certain applications.

The most common type of filter media in use for this application is the sintered fiber wire mesh.

Properties of the sintered fiber wire mesh will allow for longer service life, optimum performance and high-temperature resistance.

4) Engine Fuel Systems

Fuel systems help in transmission of power to other sections of the engine.

Armoured military vehicle

Armored military vehicle

Contaminants in the engine fuel system may lead to difficulties in operations and may also cause damages.

To avoid any damage such as tank flammability; you must get rid of the contaminants from the engine fuel system.

Defense industry filter element will block the particulate contaminants from reaching the engine fuel system.

5) Radar Cooling Systems

Radar cooling systems require coolant, which is contamination free.

Whether the cooling system uses air or liquid, you need an appropriate filter element.

Radar cooling system

Radar cooling system

Many defense machines have the filter element as an integral part of the cooling system to block any contaminants.

6) Helicopter Transmission Lube System

The helicopter transmission lube system uses different types of lubricants to grease the moving parts of the machine.

Helicopter transmission system

helicopter transmission system

Lubricant should be very clean since they are important in enabling the movement of the helicopter.

The defense industry filter element is part of the helicopter transmission lube system.

Filter will assist in the cleansing of the lubricants before they go through the transmission system.

It will help in making the operations in the lube system run smooth.

Besides, it reduces the downtime that may occur as a result of contaminants damaging the lube system.

Chapter Six: How the Defense Industry Filter Element Works

I know you must be dying to know how the defense industry filters element work.

Here we go:

Working of filter element

Working of the filter element

· Filter element

The fluid will flow through the inlet ports and into the filter element of the system.

Depending on the type of filter element, the fluid will flow by covering the wide surface area.

As the fluid flows over the filter element, it will pass through the filter media which filters the fluid.

The filter media will block or trap the contaminants in the fluid.

Fluid will go through the pores at a particular filtration rate depending on the pressure.

Low pressure will allow free movement and filtration of the fluid.

In case of high-pressure build up, you’ll see a signal to make appropriate adjustments.

You will learn more about this condition shortly in the following paragraphs.

In case of smooth operations, the clean fluid will leave the filter element through the outlet port.

· Monitoring Devices/Sensors

Monitoring devices or sensors assist in relaying information about the condition of the filter elements.

The following is an illustration of how it works.

High pressure builds up in the filtration element might mean the filtration pores are full.

The dirt holding capacity of the filter media is at optimum.

Therefore, you need to clean the filter element or replace it.

There are different types of filter elements, and some of them have monitoring devices and sensors.

The monitors will signal that the filter media is at capacity and the pores might have a high concentration of dirt.

Therefore, you should stop the system and find a way of relieving the element of the excess dirt by cleaning it.

You can also decide to replace it with a new one depending on the condition of the filter element.

Some of the filter elements have a thermal lockout device that will assist in eliminating false indications.

False indications are common in cold start conditions, and it might mislead you into taking very unnecessary action.

Bypass valve

Some filter elements have a bypass valve as part of the integral structures.

In a case where the operator might ignore signals from the monitoring devices and sensors, the differential pressure will rise.

An increase in the differential pressure will force that bypass valve to open, and the fluid will flow through the outlet.

Note that, the fluid will go through the outlet into the system with all the contaminants.

This is very dangerous particularly if you are dealing with a sensitive machine.

You should be very careful with the signal indicators and check the filter elements regularly.

· Shutoff Diaphragm

Some machines have a shut-off diaphragm that will cut off the fluid flow during the change out of the element.

The shut-off diaphragm will assist in reducing losses of the fluid and save it for future operations.

It is an optional component, and you will only find it in specific machines.

Chapter Seven: Replacement Defense Industry Filter Elements

Replacement of the defense industry filter element involves removing the worn out the device and substituting it with a new one.

The operations of the defense industry filter element can come to a complete stop due to many factors.

Landrover military filter

Landrover military filter

Some of the factors include:

i. Filter element might reach its dirt holding capacity. You might not be able to clean it further.

ii. It might also come to a point where the defense industry filter element cannot work due to damages.

In such a case, the only option for continuous operation is to replace the defense industry filter element with a new one.

The process begins with collecting all the necessary equipment you need plus a new defense industry filter element.

After that, you should shut down all the operations of the machine and let it cool for a while.

You will have to remove all the elements that hold the defense industry filter element in place to let it loose.

Remove the old filter element and replace it with a new defense industry filter element.

Tighten the elements that hold it in place to avoid unnecessary movements.

But, there is one thing you need to note even as you look for defense industry filter element.

Get a cost-effective defense military filter replacement.

That’s where FilSon Filters comes handy.

We design and manufacturer cost effective and high-quality defense industry filter elements.

Simply give us the details of your current filter – brand, part number, and specifications.

Chapter Eight: Cleaning of the Defense Industry Filter Elements

At times, you may wish to clean defense industry filter element.

Here is how to go about the process:

Instead of doing a replacement, the defense industry filter element might still be in good condition.

Defense military filter

Defense military filter

In a case where the defense industry filter element can serve you for a longer time, you should consider cleaning.

It will save you on the funds that you might use in the purchasing and replacing the filter element.

There are three main types of cleaning available for the filter elements to increase the filter life and save energy.

An improvement in the dirt collection procedure came through with the introduction of the various cleaning methods.

Each method of cleaning was able to clean the filter with different degrees of success.

· Mechanical Cleaning

This is a type of cleaning that many users in the industry describe as low technology method for cleaning the filter elements.

It is true as it does not require any form of special technology to clean the filter elements.

Mechanical cleaning process involves shocking and shaking of the filters to remove the dust that may build-up.

This process was successful in removing part of the dust cake, and you could use the filter element for further filtration.

It is a direct improvement over passive cleaning even though you still have to shut down the whole system.

Again, it is an intermittent duty cleaning system as it involves periodic shutting down of the system for cleaning purposes.

Apart from shaking and shocking the filter element, the other process of mechanical cleaning involves the use of solvents.

You will have to collect a few things including a cleaning solvent, a brush, a bucket, a pair of gloves and a towel.

Always, you begin by shutting down the operating system and allow the filter element to cool for a while.

As you wait for the filter element to cool down, you can pour the cleaning solvent in the bucket.

After that, you will remove the defense industry filter element and soak it in the cleaning solvent.

Soaking it in the solvent will assist in eliminating the dirt that might be stuck on the filter media.

Remove the filter element form the solvent after a few hours of soaking and use the brush to scrub.

Scrubbing will eliminate the stubborn stains of dirt and after that make sure you rinse it properly.

You can place it on the towel and allow it to dry well before returning it to the system.

· Pulse Jet Cleaning

This process involves the use of pulse air blowing in the opposite direction of the filter element.

Here, the pulse air will expand the filter media, allowing the dust to drop and eventually blow it away.

The pressure of the pulse air ranges according to the amount of dirt clogging on the filter media.

It is one of the most effective methods of cleaning the defense industry filter element hence the name continuous duty system.

Normally, it does not involve stopping the whole machine but allows you to blow the dirt with the filter element intact.

This cleans a few filters at a time even though it will end up cleaning the whole system of filters.

· Advanced Pulse Energy Cleaning

The process of filtration, in this case, involves the addition of extra features such as power cord element in the cleaning process.

A new element is compact and has a specific design that allows refining of the pulse cleaning system.

The filter can now handle heavy loads and recover well from the upsets in the system.

It involves the use of a pulse accumulator that would shape air and optimize the pulse energy and eliminating restrictions.

This saves energy as it optimizes the direction of flow of the air with zero turn pulse.

Therefore, it creates maximum flowing energy in straight lines to eliminate the dirt cakes.

FilSon Filters Defense Industry Filter Element

FilSon Filters specializes in the production of the defense industry filter element.

Since 2001, we have designed a range of filtration systems.

All out defense industry filter element are ITAR certified.

FilSon filters have the advantage of a long period of experience in making filters.

At FilSon Filter, you are always guaranteed of high quality and cost-effective filtration systems.

Furthermore, our customer support is always ready to help you in every stage when sourcing for defense industry filter.

Talk to us today for any questions or inquiry on defense industry filter.


Well, the information on the defense industry filter element is now at the palm of your hands.

You also have the knowledge of how you can manage and maintain the filter element by cleaning and replacing in extreme cases.

Guess What!

I think it is time you had a chat with your filter supplier and negotiate a good deal.

Scroll to Top