Air Filter Media – Materials, Type And Application

Air filter material or ‘media’ is the filtering component used in air filters. The type of air filter media used depends on the application. Different air filter materials can be selected – each designed to capture different types of particulate matter or remove odors and fumes. Custom air filters can be made to suit any application by varying the sizes, densities, layers and types of air filter material or media depending on air flow restrictions, arrestance efficiency required and budget parameters.

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Popular air filter media available in rolls and cut to size pieces include, but are not limited to:

  • Polypropylene media contains an inherent electrostatic charge that won’t wash out or diminish over time. The electrostatic charge is enhanced by the friction of air flow over the air filter material honeycomb or huckaback woven surfaces.  A petroleum industry by-product, 12 mil or 20 mil woven polypropylene air filter media has excellent strength, is very resistant to abrasion, most acids, alkalies, bleaches, solvents, aging, and indirect sunlight.  Nonporous and mildew resistant, this media will not disintegrate, like other air filter medias. Natural polypropylene is an FDA approved component, and can be used in food processing applications.  Black polypropylene media is UV protected, and can be used in conjunction with UV lights.
  • PermaCool® is a self supporting polypropylene air filter media, .25″ thick with a corrugated construction.  PermaCool material has a dense, 3 layer, waffle weave configuration, which enhances its filtration ability and creates a rigid and durable electrostatic air filter with the convenience of a cut-to-fit solution.  Unlike other filter media which may compress and restrict air flow, PermaCool retains its low resistance design after installation.  The air filtration media can be rinsed or vacuum cleaned, and will not degrade over time as foam does.
  • Nonwoven polyester is a synthetic air filter media containing fibers randomly dispersed in all directions through an air laid web to form a uniform media of high strength and durability.  A high volume of contaminants can be trapped within the complete depth of fiber. Thickness varies from .25″ up to 2.0″, tack type or dry type.
  • Nonwoven polyester or foam can be impregnated with a finely ground coatings such as activated carbon, activated aluminum and potassium permanganate to increase the surface area available for adsorption, and heat-set to retain the activated carbon coatings even when the media is rinsed or vacuumed. A dual action air filter media for  particulate and odor/fume/gas removal.
  • Foam is thermally reticulated 15 and 20 pores per inch polyether polyurethane foam.  Resilient and flexible, foam air filter media is reusable and can be rinsed with water or vacuum cleaned.
  • PermaFlo® is a rigid blue polyester media, self supporting and needs no frame.  The polyester fiber does not flake, shed or have sharp edges.  The polyester fibers are unaffected by moisture, and clean easily with water for long term use.  Media can be cut with scissors eliminating air by-pass, and features bi-directional air flow.
  • PVC coated high abrasion media is a black 9×9 1000 denier multi polymer coated polyester mesh.  UV protected, rot and corrosion resistant for outdoor use.
  • Corrugated Aluminum is a single layer of 20 gauge media that has been pleated into various heights. Flat aluminum mesh is the same media as corrugated, only in it’s original flat form.
  • Bonded aluminum is a three dimensional media that contains several layers of aluminum slit mesh bonded together to create different densities with hundreds of baffle-like surfaces.
  • Expanded metal mesh, rigid black plastic netting or wire cloth can be used as a protective barrier against environmental elements, nesting birds, and  hail storms or layered as filter media support in air filters.

Air Filter Frames

Metal pad stabilizing frames are available to  use in applications involving air filter media pad change outs. Stabilizing frames are constructed in a .02 gauge or heavy duty 24 gauge galvanized steel frame with expanded metal support grid on one side. The frame is available with or without 2 criss-crossed wire supports to hold the media in place.  Additional air filter frames, vinyl binding or a sonic sewn edge for polypropylene media are available.  Media can be cut to your custom size, and  finished in single, double or triple layers.


  • I had some good feedback from the client who uses our MH3 compact thermoelectric counter top cooler: • The filters are very easy to install. • They should help extend the life of the chillers. • They haven't had to replace any chillers that have the filters installed.

    Mike FennellMTL Technologies, Purchasing & Process Improvement
  • I reached out to Permatron about putting branded labels with part numbers on every Thermo King air filter. Some of our customers replaced original equipment air filters with look-alike filters, which had a negative impact on the performance of their equipment. While working on the air filter labels we added a packaging project, requiring a few more labels and packaging material. The project was big, but thanks to an awesome communication flow, the changes were completed fast and implemented seamlessly. Now our customers can easily differentiate between original equipment and non-original equipment air filters.  Because the branded air filters come prepackaged from Permatron, our dock-to-stock time improved by over a week. 

    Urszula Maj-ZawieruszynskiThermo King Aftermarket Product Manager
  • I just sent off an email to my manager giving him all the info from Permatron so he can get this out to the rest of our After Market Sales people. I told him how happy I am and so are the customers that I been getting your product out to. Thanks for all your help with my end.

    Jim GoschAtlas Copco Compressors LLC

Permatron will help you select the best filtration media, offering a broad selection of filter media pads, blankets or bulk rolls.