Ultra-Low Particle Air (ULPA) is a type of air filter that is designed to capture extremely small particles, such as pollen, dust, mold, bacteria, and other contaminants. It is defined as 99.9995% effective in removing particles smaller than 0.12 microns in diameter. This makes ULPA filters much more efficient than the standard HEPA filters, which are only capable of filtering particles up to 300 nanometers in size. The higher efficiency rating of ULPA filters is due to the higher density of the filter media, which allows up to 50% lower airflow than HEPA filters and requires more power to move air.
While ULPA filters trap more and smaller particles, they tend to be less effective in reducing the total concentration of particles in a typical room than the same air filtration system equipped with HEPA filters. ULPA and HEPA filters are used in commercial air filtration systems to trap extremely small contaminating particles. They work by forcing air through a fine mesh, trapping the contaminants in the process. ULPA filters typically allow 20 to 50% less air to pass through than HEPA filters, resulting in fewer air changes per hour in the room.
ULPA filters are 99.999% efficient at removing submicron particles 0.12 microns in diameter or greater, while HEPA filters are 99.97% efficient at removing particles 0.3 microns in diameter or greater. This makes ULPA filters ideal for trapping and removing submicron particles, especially when the smallest contaminant can ruin a job. In conclusion, ULPA rating is an important factor to consider when selecting an air filtration system for your cleanroom or laboratory. It is more powerful than HEPA filters and can trap smaller particles more effectively.
However, it is important to remember that higher power doesn't always mean higher efficiency, and higher ULPA filter ratings don't always translate to cleaner air.