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What Is a Disk Filter?

By Alex Newth
Updated May 17, 2024
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A disk filter is a special type of water filter that includes a cartridge shaped like many disks stacked on top of on another, and the disks are able to remove impurities from the water. Passing the water over the disks does this, and small grooves dug into the disks capture any impurities. Disk filter units are used mainly for plant irrigation, but very large models also have been used by metallurgists to remove metal impurities from water. Cleaning a stationary stack of disks can be difficult, so disk filters can be loosened up, allowing the disks to move and operators to clean the impurities from the filter.

There are many types of water filters, all made for a specific purpose, or to capture impurities in a certain way. A disk filter features a filter that looks like a column of disks stacked on top of one another. Each disk has little grooves that are made to capture impurities as water runs over the disks.

While people can be negatively affected by bacteria in water, naturally occurring impurities in water generally do not affect them much unless those impurities are found in high concentrations. Plants, however, are not as hardy against even low levels of impurities such as sodium, sulfate and chloride, either because the impurities directly hurt the plant or change the soil’s potential hydrogen (pH) levels. If the soil’s pH becomes too alkaline or too acidic, it could stunt a plant’s growth or kill it.

The disks on a disk filter are made to have a constant deposit of impurities, so the filter will need to be cleaned regularly. Failure to clean this filter will cause it to fill up, and impurities that would have been caught will run past the filled grooves and remain in the water. To help clean the disks, the filter can usually be loosened up to allow the disks to spin and move. This allows operators to clean everything away from the filter without having to completely disassemble it.

Plant irrigation is the primary use of a disk filter, but it also can be used to clean water full of metallurgist material. The disks on this filter are much larger than those on irrigation models. With this filter, the disks spin and collect the material; the material then cakes to the sides so it is easier to lift out. The disks spin until they are over a drying zone, where the disk is usually treated with heat to help the material dry. Once dry, the material cracks — either on its own or with help — and is disposed of.

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