Filtersafe & Techcross: A global relationship partnership offering quality and performance

Filtersafe is proud to announce that we have partnered with leading global Ballast Water Management System manufacturer Techcross to be their exclusive filtration solution provider for their Hychlor BWMS.

The system uses state-of-the-art electrolysis technology to neutralize harmful organisms in ballast water, allowing ships to ballast and deballast securely, without fear of ballast tank contamination or penalties for non-compliance with local and global ballast water guidelines.


Hychlor BWMS

The Hychlor system offers ships 3 different models of Filtersafe’s BallastSafe eSeries to choose from, based on their needs. The compact BSE-061, the mid-sized BSE-603, or their largest ballast water filter option, the BSE-1406, which has a maximum flow rate of 5,200 m³/hr.


If you are interested in learning more about Techross’ BWMS technology or Filtersafe’s filtration solutions for BWMS please reach out to us at

Filtersafe’s Manta Series Automatic Filter Features & Benefits

Filtersafe’s Manta Series Automatic Filter Features & Benefits


Filtersafe’s latest filter series, the Manta, takes the patented and cutting-edge technology that built Filtersafe from a small ballast water filtration company to an international corporation offering filtration solutions across five industries to the next level.

Below we will discuss what makes the Manta unique and successful.

While the features and benefits listed below focus on the needs of the ballast water industry, the Manta’s small size, vertical orientation, and unique OneMotion cleaning mechanism also make it an attractive solution for other industrial uses. Reach out to our Industrial sales team for more information.


Equivalency and compatibility with existing BWMS

Before launching the Manta series, Filtersafe sent the Manta 110 and the classic BallastSafe BSE 101 to the DHI Maritime Technology Evaluation Facility for an impartial 3rd party testing of the filter on its own and compared to Filtersafe’s BallastSafe e-Series (BSE). The BSE is certified by 7 maritime bodies, therefore the equivalency would allow BWMS manufacturers that are certified to use the BSE to offer the Manta as well, without any additional testing required.

According to DHI’s report validating the Manta’s equivalency to the BSE line, DHI says that the Manta, “demonstrat[es] steady and reliable performance throughout this endurance test.”

In fact, in some tests, the Manta’s performance superseded the BSE’s. When both filters were challenged with increasing TSS loads during a “high sediment load test”, the innovative OneMotion scanner managed to keep the filter throughput high and steady even when facing suspended solid concentrations up to 50% higher than the BSE.  While the BSE 101 is considered a reliable and powerful filter, performing without clogging in the Control Union’s Shanghai Test, the Manta has shown even better performance.

The Manta’s flow rates stayed stable and less pressure differential developed because it cleans so quickly, as will be discussed below.

In addition, the US Coast Guard has publicly stated that the Manta offers similar removal rates to the BSE line and may be used interchangeably in BWMS authorized to use the BSE. At this point, Filtersafe is also waiting on an additional equivalency test result from another 3rd party testing facility and looks forward to sharing those results once they are finalized.


Filtration Efficiency

BWMS filter screens are constantly loaded with dirt as they separate solids and organisms during ballasting. In Filtersafe’s traditional BSE series, it can take about 40 seconds for the nozzle to scan and clean the entire screen, while the Manta can clean its entire screen in less than half the time of the BSE.

This rapid cleaning maintains filtration efficiency and throughput better than other filters.

The Manta is so efficient at cleaning, it passed the Organic Load Test test at 22 times the IMO standards without a reduction in flow rate (IMO test water standard is 105 organisms/m3, and the Manta was challenged with 2.25×107 organisms/m3)* . In addition, the Manta removes 99.96% of organisms over 50 micron (equivalent to a Log 3.5 reduction in organisms)* thanks to the fine level of filtration (25 microns) of the smartweave screen and the fast movement of the cleaning mechanism.

*According to DHI Organic Load Test


OneMotion Technology

The breakthrough star of the Manta’s new design is the OneMotion cleaning technology.  The Filtersafe BSE line uses two directional movements to clean the screen in a helical fashion, dictated by a driving screw, such that the cleaning nozzle is both rotating and advancing. This technology allows for thorough cleaning of the screen but requires more moving parts and a greater installation and service area in order to accommodate the moving scanner.

The Manta’s OneMotion nozzle movement has many benefits:

  • By moving in only one direction the screen is cleaned faster with just one rotation of the scanner. The fast cleaning allows the filter to maintain filtration efficiency and throughput over time.
  • Small footprint and service space. The Manta’s vertical orientation requires minimal footprint for installation, and since the filter opens from above, only a small area is needed for servicing the screen


The Manta utilizes Filtersafe’s patented nozzleX technology but takes it to the next level. The traditional nozzle array has turned into 4 nozzle blades that are aligned around the scanner pole so that with each rotation 100% of the screen’s surface area is covered by the nozzles. Staggering the nozzle openings offers a few benefits of hydraulic stability during flush.

The nozzleX proximity nozzle blades maintain constant contact with the screen for maximum cleaning power, but don’t wear out – or cause damage to the screens, thanks to the pressure-equilibrium patent of nozzleX.



To meet the needs of UV secondary treatment, the Manta comes with 25 or 40 micron smartweave screens.

Removing sediment is an important feature of a BWMS filter. Particles not only can require more secondary treatment to neutralize organisms in the water, but organisms can hide within the particles, not only causing non-compliant discharge water but allowing the organisms that make it into the ballast tanks to multiply and contaminate the tanks themselves.

In addition, the particles settle at the bottom of the ballast tanks where over time the quantity increases and reduces the capacity of the ship to carry cargo, since it is already carrying extra weight in the ballast tanks, reducing the profitability of the ship.

The Manta uses Filtersafe’s unique smartweave 4 layer sintered screen. The non-pleated screen means there is nowhere for sediment to get trapped or hide from the nozzle and requires the screen to be manually cleaned. Our nozzleX technology cleans 100% of all 4 layers of the screen. The 4 layer sintered screen is also incredibly durable, allowing the proximity nozzle to constantly pass over the screen and not cause wear or tear. Our nozzles are always the same distance from the screen, whereas with pleated screens the nozzle distance varies and causes the filter to have to exert more pressure to reach particles lodged in the crevices of the pleats – using more energy and causing more wear and tear on the pleated screen.


The Manta is not only a less expensive filter upfront, but it will also save you money along the way. The price tag associated with a filter may not be the true number that it will cost you during the lifetime of your BWMS. Let’s look at the additional costs associated with your BWMS’ filter:

  • Cost to run the filter. Ballast water filters require energy to run them, which is an operating cost of not just the BWMS but of the ship itself. The Manta’s low 1.6 bar minimum operating pressure means that it takes less energy to run the filter than other filters its size. The less money spent operating the filter, the lower the ongoing costs associated with the filter.
  • Cost to maintain the filter. Like any other mechanical appliance, the Manta needs to be maintained. The OneMotion technology means there are fewer moving parts that need to be serviced or can break. It also makes it much easier to open, clean, and maintain the filter. In addition, because the fitler body isn’t tall, there is no need to construct a service platform. The fact that just one person can open the filter at ground level is a huge time and money saver for ships, as it frees up the crew to focus on other important tasks on board. And the fact that the scanner and screen can be pulled out after removing just 20 bolts means that the operations person will be done with their maintenance job very quickly and back to working with the rest of the crew.
  • Cost of fines associated with non-compliance. Filters exist in a BWMS to aide in the task of ensuring compliant discharge water. In tests, a Manta with a 25 micron screen removed up to 99.96% of organisms over 50 microns (the category that ships are most likely to fail in compliance testing).
  • Other hidden costs. The fine level of filtration (25 microns) also keeps more sediment out of the ballast water tank. Sediment in the ballast tank can weigh ships down, reduce the amount of cargo they can carry, or increase the amount of fuel they use.


Interested in learning more about the Manta for your ship or other installation? Reach out to us and we’ll be in touch to see how the Manta can help your system operate better.


How well does Cathodic Protection negate corrosion when used in Seawater Filtration?

The problem with cathodic protection of metal

Ballast water filters need to withstand the most challenging circumstances in seawater filtration. Why is Cathodic protection considered the industry standard for corrosion prevention, and is it the most effective solution available?


A recent report made public by the U.S. Maritime Administration stipulates that, as of January 1st, 2015, there were 41,674 ocean freight merchant vessels (weighing in at 1,000 gross tons and over) registered with an International Maritime Organization number and sailing through waterways across the globe. Among the ships in this worldwide fleet are vessels ranging from container and general cargo ships to tanker ships.

While these ships run the gamut with respect to size and functionality, they all share a single and particularly significant vulnerability. They all run the risk of falling prey to corrosion-related degradation of their ballast water filters due to the various corrosion challenges facing ballast filtration systems.

Taking in seawater for ballast naturally invites a host of microorganisms that ballast water filters need to treat, such as Sulphate-reducing bacteria and phytoplankton, which stimulate microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). The filters not only need to protect the ballast water tanks from MIC, but they are also subject to rust themselves and need adequate protection against it.

After several challenging years focused on securing regulatory compliance under the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) and U.S. Coast Guard’s Final Rule for ballast water treatment, shipping’s priority has shifted to operational compliance, which ensures BWMS are compliant for the lifecycle of the vessel.

At the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 75th session, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued guidance to Administrations that all BWMS installations should be tested following commissioning. This requirement, as well as guidance previously issued by individual flag administrations, has provided the first glimpse into the real-world performance of ballast water management systems after installation.

One of the main reasons for BWT failures during compliance testing is organisms over 50 microns, which clog the system. This can be prevented by a strong and robust filter. Without it, the effectiveness of the entire BWTS could be compromised, leaving manufacturers open to criticism from ship owners and operators, who must repeat unsatisfactory tests at a later date.

In an ideal situation, to ensure uninterrupted operation and protect BWTS, the recommended practice of leaving the ballast water filters full at all times or emptying and drying them would help prevent corrosion and its subsequent degradation from taking root. However, the need to take on more ballast water to accommodate the absence of cargo during particular portions of a given voyage and unexpected rough operational conditions during loading and unloading procedures often makes it difficult to successfully and satisfactorily complete the process on a thorough and regular basis. The result: sedimentation accumulates on the ballast water filters, leading to reduced service life, the risk of failures, and high, short- and long-term maintenance costs.

To ensure uninterrupted operation regardless of varying water conditions and other unpredictable factors, ship owners need effective and dependable filtration systems that protect their entire ballast water management systems. The filters remove as much matter from the water as possible before it goes on to secondary treatment, reducing the amount of chemicals needed and time required to neutralize living organisms in the water. If the filters themselves are not adequately protected from corrosion, they might not filter water effectively, incurring frequent maintenance and replacement costs.


Cathodic Protection for Ballast Water Filters in Seawater Applications

Today, most ballast water filter screens in the world are made of 316L stainless steel. Cathodic protection is the most common corrosion protection method for this type of steel, making it widely used in vessels worldwide. Cathodic protection safeguards the metal against corrosion by connecting the at-risk steel to a highly active “sacrificial metal” acting as an anode. The anode introduces free electrons to the space and relinquishes its ions. In doing so, the formerly active 316L steel areas on the screen’s metal surface become passive, and the new, more active metal coating ultimately and safely corrodes instead.

While Cathodic protection is a well-tested methodology and is being successfully used in many seawater applications to negate the effects of corrosion, the time has come to ask if it is the best option for ballast water filters. This is because, though it has long been recommended by filter and screen manufacturers to provide the necessary protection for ballast water screens made of 316L steel, this corrosion protection approach has some significant drawbacks.

A sacrificial anode can be used for protecting the filter’s screen, but the anode is consumable, and its dissolving leads to the formation of a hard scale on the screen surface. This scale is caused by the buildup of calcium carbonate. On a flat or consistent metal surface, this build-up is not as problematic as it is when it forms on complex metal structures such as woven filter screens and results in clogging of the screen pores. This is because the woven screens have a much higher surface area that is exposed and where calcium carbonate can build, but also because the increased surface area also increases the area at risk for common corrosion problems to start. These factors contribute to an environment that produces high amounts of calcium carbonate that can reduce the size of the screen’s pores, reduce the flow rate, or simply block the screen altogether. In high consumption rates of the anode, this becomes a critical risk and requires regular cleaning of the screen.

The economy of Cathodic protection is less-than-ideal. Although it is cheaper than other alternatives, installing Cathodic protection is complicated. Once it is up and running, ongoing electricity supply and periodic inspection and maintenance fees add to the cost.

While Cathodic protection is a viable solution, its durability may call its high investment requirements into question. In particular, the sacrificial anodes’ limited available current and their vulnerability toward rapid corrosion lead to a shockingly limited lifespan.

Furthermore, sacrificial anodes need to be immersed in an electrolyte for a minimum of 24 hours before Cathodic protection can be applied. If filters are not regularly kept full as recommended by manufacturers, the sacrificial anodes need to be immersed for 25% of the voyage.

With such downsides to Cathodic protection, it would only be natural to ask: Are better options available?


Alternatives to Cathodic Protection

One of the best alternatives to Cathodic protection is using a higher-grade stainless steel for ballast water filtration. For example, 904L steel eliminates the need for Cathodic protection altogether. Traditionally used in the high-technology, aerospace, and chemical industries, 904L is also famously utilized in Rolex’s luxury watches. It has been chosen by luxury watch manufacturers thanks to its higher polish and water-corrosion resistance, enabling wearers to go about their daily business wearing the high-ticket accessory worry-free.

Austenitic stainless steel 904L has a higher percentage of nickel and chromium than 316L steel, in addition to copper. Its composition provides it with superior corrosion resistance capabilities, rendering Cathodic protection unnecessary.

Indeed, 316L steel is the traditional staple coating historically relied on by the ballast water market, and as such, it is regularly produced and widely available. But while 904L is less common, it is still relatively available, and can be supplied with excellent lead time.

Though the initial cost of 904L steel is higher than that of 316L steel, due diligence processes have found that the benefits of applying 904L steel for ship ballast filters in seawater applications far outweigh the costs. The higher durability requires less maintenance and extends the lifespan of screens and filters, ultimately saving the industry precious stakeholders’ time and money in the long term.

If better corrosion resistance can be obtained by upgrading the steel, the traditional choice of 316L steel for ballast water screens, which necessitates Cathodic protection, needs to be re-evaluated.


Bottom line

Using Cathodic protection to prevent corrosion of ballast water filter screens made of 316L steel requires more frequent maintenance and part replacements, leading to increasing costs over time. The sacrificial anodes used in Cathodic protection stimulate the formation of scale, which clogs the screens. Installation of Cathodic protection is complicated, and the anodes need to be immersed in an electrolyte for a significant portion of the voyage. Overall, Cathodic protection is complicated to install and is a less durable corrosion prevention approach than other existing solutions available in the market today, such as using a higher grade stainless steel.

Several parameters have been used to evaluate corrosion prevention approaches for ballast water filtration systems, including Pitting Resistance Equivalent Number (PREN), Pitting Resistance Accelerated Test, corrosion rates in acidic conditions, and natural seawater tests. A new comparative analysis of corrosion resistance approaches is now available for download in a special free white paper.


Download it now: Overcoming Corrosion of Stainless Steel Screens in Seawater Applications.

Mr. Nier Spielberg Returns to VP Marine & Sales at Filtersafe

Filtersafe is proud to announce that as of November 1, 2022, Nier Spielberg has returned to his position as VP Marine & Sales at Filtersafe. Nier had previously held this position for 3 years and stepped down at the end of 2020 in order to spend more time with his family. He continued to remain a part of the Filtersafe family, serving in an advisory role for the executive team over the past two years, which has allowed him to quickly resume his place amongst Filtersafe’s leadership.

“I’m happy to be back and to serve our clients in the best possible way,” says Nier, ”I’m looking forward to finding ways to empower and support our clients in this very competitive marketplace.

“I’ve always enjoyed working, especially with Etai [Dagan] and Filtersafe, so once I decided that I wanted to return to working in a fuller capacity, it made sense that I return to Filtersafe and my old role.”

Nier has extensive experience in the Marine and Ballast industries. He has been with Filtersafe since 2007, where he started as the Head of Marine Sales for Scandinavia and Northern Europe. After a few years, he worked in other capacities in the shipping industry before returning to Filtersafe in 2014 as VP of Business Development.

Etai Dagan, Filterafe CEO and Founder remarked, “Nier’s return is eagerly anticipated, not just by our team, but by our clients as well. Aside from being incredibly knowledgeable about the shipping industry and its needs as it pertains to ballast water treatment, he also has a unique ability to connect with people and build relationships. He was sorely missed when he stepped back from his role, and we’ve already heard from our clients how much they are looking to work with Nier again.”

Filtersafe Develops New UV BWMS Filter

Manta Series: Engineered Ballast Water Filtration Dedicated to UV BWMS

Compact, high-performance, and easy-to-maintain MANTA filters, created in response to market feedback, also receive equivalent series type approval.


ISRAEL; 2nd June 2022: Filtersafe, a world leader in automatic seawater filtration, has today announced its new ‘MANTA’ filter series, with the first of the portfolio exhibited at Posidonia 2022 in June.


The company’s latest high-performance filter is able to maintain impressive removal rates – 99.6% of organisms over 50 μm – all in a cost-effective package with a small footprint, specifically engineered for UV-based ballast water management systems (BWMS).


These organism removal rates ensure that ship owners and operators will be compliant with the International Maritime Organization’s D-2 standard for the implementation of the ballast water management convention, which must be adhered to by 08 September 2024, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) existing ‘Final Rule for Ballast Water Treatment’.


Filtersafe has received an equivalent series type approval from Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and the USCG. As one of the first complete filter redesigns to be approved under the USCG’s Policy Letter (CG-OES 03-20) Guidance on Testing Alternate Components for a Type Approved BWMS, the MANTA reflects one of the first true evolutions in ballast water filtration since the complex and costly testing regimes were mandated. Gaining approval under this policy ensures that customers of the performance-leading BallastSafe filter now have a new, more compact option to add to their BWMS portfolio.

The MANTA filters family

The MANTA features Filtersafe’s new one-motion scanner. This new design removes lateral motion of the scanner, reducing cost and eliminating parts. It features a larger proximity nozzle which is able to clean the filter screen in one continuous motion. When combined with the filter’s unpleated screen, the MANTA has improved cleaning coverage that reaches 100% of the screen.


A high-performing filter with scalable automatic self-cleaning technology is particularly important for BWMS operations in challenging water conditions, which is a priority for regulators and ship operators alike. Automatic filter cleaning can be increased when ballasting in sediment-rich waters, including those found in the port of Shanghai, to ensure a consistent flow rate and to avoid costly operational issues such as clogging. Despite being tested with a finer mesh filter, the MANTA outperformed the original BallastSafe design in independent testing of the cleaning, removal rate, and throughput efficiency of the filters.


Corrosion prevention remains another key industry pain point. Filtersafe introduced 904L stainless steel across its filter screen supply chain last year and this superior steel is also used in the MANTA series’ sintered screens. In addition, and in order to combat the steady-rising cost of alloy material, Filtersafe, together with its partners, has adopted a new SuperQuenching procedure, borrowed from the space industry, to overcome the material degradation of 316L due to the weaving, sintering, and fabrication process. This allows it to also offer a viable 316L screen option at a lower cost. Improved longevity and superior cleaning reduce maintenance costs and, even when maintenance is required, MANTA is thoughtfully designed to ensure it can safely and efficiently be maintained by one person.


Mark Riggio, Head of Marine at Filtersafe, commented: “As requested by leading BWMS manufacturers, we’re pleased to offer Filtersafe performance in a smaller package, designed specifically for UV systems. Having equivalent series type approval already completed makes adopting a MANTA filter a no-brainer for our current customers. The rising challenges posed by sediment-rich water conditions are not going away – and now we have the filter that anyone can use to meet them.”


“From a shipowner and operators’ perspective, MANTA is a win in both the CAPEX and OPEX categories. You expect CAPEX costs may be a little more for a high-quality filter, MANTA disrupts that. And our OPEX costs have always been Filtersafe’s strong point. If you have any questions about this or just want to see a MANTA filter, I encourage you to swing by the Filtersafe booth at Posidonia.”


Ballast water management is one of the toughest water treatment challenges in the world and demands the best technical solutions. There is sufficient technology and innovative equipment available on the market today to overcome operational challenges and ensure seamless, cost-effective regulatory compliance.


Powerful Lessons to Be Learnt From BWMS Operational Data

Ballast water management systems (BWMS) haven’t been the black-box solution that many shipowners had hoped for. They work, but as participants in a webinar hosted by De Nora and Filtersafe heard, there are outside variables that can make them challenging for managers and crew, especially if they don’t have quality equipment and adequate support from manufacturers.

Taking a look at some real-life case studies, the participants in the “What can vessel data tell us about BWMS commissioning & operation?” webinar (see full webinar below) discussed crew training, system commissioning, and striking a balance between power consumption and filter capabilities.

In one case study, crew operating their system for the first time found that while the portside pumping system worked as expected, the starboard system sounded the differential pressure alarm and shut itself down. Initially suspected to be a filter backflushing problem, the true cause lay in the design of the piping. This was only picked up by careful analysis of the system’s data logs by Filtersafe personnel who were then able to propose a workaround to the crew.

Why wasn’t this picked up during system commissioning? Sometimes both port and starboard pumps are not run simultaneously during commissioning – sailing schedules and crew availability can lead to such risks being taken.

In another case study, the crew complained that the filters were backflushing all the time – and the crew suspected that the culprit was the challenging waters in which the vessel was ballasting – but that ultimately wasn’t the cause of the problem. Rather, after manual cleaning, the filter was being reassembled incorrectly causing premature component wear. A further look at the data logs revealed another problem – an undersized airflow line. The problem was subsequently fixed on the vessel and also other vessels in the fleet.

It’s important that crews do not continually resort to bypassing systems. This would endanger the environmental objectives that ballast water treatment systems are designed to prevent: the spread of harmful aquatic organisms. One compliance issue which was highlighted is the proliferation of organisms in the ballast tanks, and therefore the criticality of emptying and cleaning the tanks regularly.

As an equipment manufacturer, De Nora provides intelligence and support to ship managers to monitor operations and avoid any issues that might frustrate crews. Furthermore, De Nora can help optimize power usage and reduce power consumption when ballasting in less-challenging conditions. This can be achieved regardless of treatment technology (UV or electrochemical dosing) and it can be done without risking schedules or compliance with D-2 standards.

Ballast water manufacturers, operators, and regulators have collected a lot of data so far during the experience-building phase of the regulations. It’s important to leverage this data to make sure shipowners – and regulators – can be confident that systems are working as intended when onboard a ship, and to make sure that ballast water rules have the positive environmental impact they were designed for.

The biggest takeaway from this data is that quality pays. Working collaboratively with quality, expert partners, and installing the highest quality systems is the best way to reduce operating costs, save time for both ship operators and crew, and deliver compliance.

Installing a cheap, low-quality system – where suppliers are not acting as technical partners – means buying twice, with almost certain costly failures and no tools to rectify them. And the ramifications of this will only become more extreme as ballast water is more heavily policed in the years to come.

And let’s not forget why ballast water treatment is so important! While significant attention is being given to finding effective solutions to the industry’s decarbonization challenge, the risks of invasive species remain real and dramatic. As we strive for a more sustainable future for shipping, environmental stewardship requires taking responsibility for both water and air alike.

Here is the full webinar with division in chapters for your convenience:

Filtersafe’s Smartweave Screen: Water Filtration at a Whole New Level

The heart of any filtration system is the screen. It is the barrier that keeps downstream systems protected, ballast water free from invasive species, and RO membranes safe from upstream contaminants.

Filtersafe’s patented filtration technology all started with a vision to engineer a dedicated seawater durable filter that could handle filtration of microscopic organisms without letting the microscopic organisms through or clogging. After years of R&D our engineers created our unique smartweave screen, utilizing a patented manufacturing and sintering process that places our screen leaps and bounds above the alternatives.

By using a combination of weave wire filtration screens, protective screens, and a reinforcement layer, the innovative, highly effective screen filters out sediment and microorganisms, providing invaluable filtration support no matter where it’s installed.

Why It’s Important

As the heart of a filter, the screen provides two key benefits that make or break the functionality of the filter – it’s ability to filter out particles down to the designated micron and its ability to work without clogging.

wedge wire candle filter with debrisIf a filter can’t be trusted to filter down to the required micron level, many problems can occur. In an industry such as ballast water filtration, allowing organisms in the ballast tank can cause a ship to be in non-compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s D-2 regulations, and result in heavy fines for shipowners. In agriculture, it can result in sediment getting through to the drip irrigation lines and clogging the pipes and nozzles, resulting in expensive maintenance. Every filter request comes with a request to filter down to a specific micron level because anything bigger than this size will cause problems downstream. It’s imperative that end users can trust that their filters are filtering down to the level requested.

The second issue, clogging, is deeper than just the screen stopping because of a clog. Clogging can also refer to any unexpected reduction in the filter’s flow rate, which can cause cascading problems. Firstly, many filters clean based on the concept of differential pressure – that is the pressure inside of the filter is higher than that outside and this difference in pressure triggers the screen to be cleaned. If the screen cleaning mechanism can’t properly remove the debris building up on it, the buildup of debris can reduce the clear opening of the filter mesh and significantly reduce the flow through the filter. Even before it clogs completely, this phenomenon can reduce flow through the filter by up to 80 or 90%, effectively rendering the filter clogged even though it still can pass the process fluid.

On a cargo ship this reduction in water can slow or even halt the loading or unloading of cargo, as the ship can become dangerously unbalanced as products are moved on and off and there isn’t a respective change in balancing ballast water. The additional time in port not only throws of the ship’s schedule down the line, but can result in expensive additional docking fees while in port. In many industrial applications a clogged filter can simply shut down the process its involved in – in a food production facility this means stopping production, but if the filter is involved in a HVAC/cooling tower application, the particles that aren’t filtered out can cause corrosion within the system, or even more dangerous cause the system to overheat and shutdown as the vital cooling water isn’t being provided.

Now that we understand how important a properly functioning screen is to various industries, let’s learn more about how Filtersafe’s smartweave screen works.

How It Works

The basis for Filtersafe’s smartweave screens is our exclusive weave-wire mesh layer. This is the layer that determines the micron level down to which the filter filters, and can range anywhere from 10-500 microns, depending on the application. In order to enhance the strength of the screens (and we’ll see below flimsy screens are a real problem), the mesh layer is covered on either side by a protective layer. In addition, on the outside of the screen is an additional perforated reinforcement layer, for enhanced durability.

Filtersafe's 4 layer sintered screen

In order to keep the 4 layers compact and without rubbing (which can lead to wear and tear of the individual layers and compromises the filtration integrity and can also encourage corrosion within the filter screen) we have a unique sintering process, which allows our 4 layer screen to be less than 3 mm thick. The combination of the unique use of weave wire along with the additional protective layers also gives us an unrivaled effective screen area. This means that smartweave screens are able to trap a huge amount of particles while still maintaining a high flow rate (all within a small footprint). Lastly, Filtersafe is able to offer its proprietary screen technology in several different stainless-steel varieties including – 316L, 904L, and SMO254, depending on application requirements.

What is Sintering

Sintering entails heating elements of the 4 layers so that the metals of each layer bond together, without the use of any bonding agent or other external materials, and without actually melting the metal. Sintering produces a secure, reliable bond between the layers, and is especially suited to wire mesh, as it allows each wire to be securely attached in place at the same time. This is especially important as the numerous strands of wire can easily become loose and start fraying if not properly secured together – threatening the integrity of the filtration element cut point.

A Closer Look At Other Screens

The smartweave screen technology especially stands out when compared to the other screen technology options available. Let’s see how smartweave compares to the competition.

Floating weave wire vs smartweave sintered

Floating weave wire screens are similar to our smartweave screens in that they both contain weave wire and therefore have exceptionally high open area and higher flow rates than other screen options, while trapping 8 times more organic matter than wedge wire filters – however the similarities end there. Floating weave wire screens are a popular choice as they are much cheaper to manufacture than our sintered alternative, and therefore cheaper to buy. However, the cost savings in the short term quickly result in expensive problems for buyers.

The screens are called ‘floating’ because the screen layers aren’t sintered together and a cross-section looks like they are floating atop one another. Each layer of the Floating weave wire screens needs to be more robust because it can’t rely on the strength it neighboring layers which leads the overall width of the screen to be 12 mm thick or more with the actual fine filtration layer (working mesh) placed further away from the surface of the screen and the gap between the inner protection mesh and the working mesh can be 2.5mm or more allowing high slippage flows when being cleaned. Alternatively, smartweave screens are only 3mm thick with the working mesh being only 0.5mm away from the inner protection mesh. This increased thickness between the layers can make it harder for nozzles to properly clean the screen (an issue discussed in greater depth in our article about our patented nozzlex technology). Aside from the problems their thickness can cause with cleaning, as the screen layers ‘float’ they can move with changes in pressure within the filter, rubbing against each other. This can cause two problems – corrosion from the steel rubbing and reduced integrity of the weave wire layer which puts the filtration degree in jeopardy. Just one small hole in a screen changes the filtration degree of the entire screen.

Candle filters vs weave wire

Candle filters get their name from the long, tubular shape of the filter. These types of filters are normally wedge wire and rely on metal barriers to filter water and are cleaned through backflushing. While theoretically candle filters are supposed to be able to filter to a finer degree, the backflushing process can allow fine particles to come through. Unlike precision nozzles which suck off debris at the point of nozzle contact, backflushing reverses the flow of water to clean and the force of the reversed flow can weaken the filter’s welds over time,  reducing the durability of the filter. In addition, when fine filtration is required, the open area and porosity of the filter decrease dramatically, resulting in a much lower flow rate.

As discussed above, because smartweave screens are sintered, the layers of the screen don’t rub together, resulting in enhanced durability.  Weave wire screens can also be used on-line or in-line, while candle filters can only be in-line. Weave wire screens also have up to 6 times the open area of wedge wire, resulting in a higher flow rate that can be incredibly valuable if time is of the essence (such as when you are trying to fill up a ballast tank while unloading cargo, or are filtering water at a desalination plant for hundreds of thousands of people). Lastly, while more superficial, weave wire screens tend to leave water looking cleaner, even with larger filtration degrees.

Screen vs sand filters

Sand filters are one of the oldest technologies that are still in use. Sand filters are a common choice when the user wants to remove suspending particles and don’t require a high flow rate. They can be economical choices, but overall, have many cons when compared to automatic screen filters. The table below gives a clear overview on the benefits automatic screen filters have over sand filters.

FeatureSand FilterFiltersafe Filter



External Backwash Pump


Not needed


May be Necessary

May be Necessary

Clean water for Backwash


Not needed

Filtration Degree

25 microns and above (Unless chemical is used)

25 microns and above (Unless chemical is used)

Downtime for Backwash \ Flushing

10 to 20 minutes. System isolated for backwashing unless with
standby unit.

Flushing doesn’t affect system flow.

Approximately 30 seconds for full recovery.

Amount of Backwash water

Easily 6% of total flow

Less than 1% of total flow

Media Replacement


Not needed

Chemical Use

Yes, to achieve fine filtration

No chemical use


Let smartweave Filter For You

smartweave works to its full potential when paired with our nozzlex proximity nozzles, and results in our EVERCLEAR automatic filtration cycle technology. The EVERCLEAR autonomous self-cleaning filtration cycle works with low operating pressure, minimal water for flushing, and is NOT a backwashing sequence, for 100% screen cleaning every cycle.

Excelerate Exemplar Filter Installation: Video Case Study

Discover why Excelerate Energy chose the Filtersafe filter (as part of a De Nora BALPURE BWMS) for their challenging FSRU installation needs. Download the case study.

About the BWMS End User

Excelerate Energy owns and operates one of the largest fleets of Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRUs) in the industry and has over 15 years of development, construction, and operational experience. The company’s FSRUs are permanently moored to a docking facility at a location close to a market access point and tailored to fit specific environmental requirements.

For its latest charter, the FSRU Exemplar, Excelerate Energy needed a high-capacity ballast water management system (BWMS) capable of ballasting in the most challenging harbor conditions. To ensure efficient operations, the vessel needed a solution that could provide a flow rate of 5,000 m3/h and fit

into the limited space available in the engine room, to properly support the Exemplar’s 150,900 m3 storage capacity.

See our video case study:

Why they Chose Filtersafe

The BallastSafe Series features a modular design that allows for any possible configuration and is particularly helpful in retrofit installations. BallastSafe filters can be installed vertically or horizontally to provide the flexibility needed in tight spaces, and the vertical filter configuration operates in exactly the same manner as a horizontally positioned unit and to the same performance standard, whilst substantially reducing its area footprint. Filter orientation can be decided in as little as eight weeks before delivery.

Filtersafe’s automatic screen filters utilize unique, patented, and cutting-edge technologies to ensure the high-performance demands of the market are met. They are a dependable filter choice, are approved by all major class societies, and are approved to work with most IMO and US Coast Guard leading BWMS systems.

To learn more about the Excelerate Exemplar installation and the full details of the Filtersafe filter, please download our case study below.

Ballasting Flow Rates: The True Cost of Delays & How to Avoid Them

In today’s maritime industry, ship owners and operators are required to make new, costly investments to ensure that vessels comply with the latest environmental regulations. This includes the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC), which requires most vessel owners to install and operate an effective ballast water management system (BWMS). Typical BWMSs have a primary treatment component, in most cases a filter, then a secondary treatment component to neutralize the organism found in the ballast water. With profit margins under pressure, and numerous products to choose from, many shipowners see BWMS and filter selection as a weighty decision with long-term CAPEX and OPEX implications.

To make a smart decision, it is essential that shipowners understand both the regulatory and technical benefits of specifying a BWMS that includes a suitable filter – one that promotes proper filtration to avoid ballasting delays and non-compliance with the BWMC.


Regulation and non-compliance

In order to comply with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Ballast Water Management Convention and the additional US Coast Guard (USCG) ballast water regulation, it is essential to select and operate a high-performing BWMS to ensure long-term and reliable treatment of invasive aquatic species. In practical terms, most ships ballast in port or river estuary waters, where sediment is significantly higher than out at sea. This can significantly impact flow rates if a low-quality filter is installed, which can then extend ballasting times.


Flow rates impact finances

Ballasting rates for a vessel are designed alongside the rates of cargo loading and discharge. For vessels to safely load and unload cargo, the ballast pumps must be able to either load ballast water or discharge ballast water to maintain the stability of the vessel. The slowing of the flow during ballasting can have dangerous consequences for vessels during cargo discharge if the stability of the vessel becomes compromised, such as listing.

A decreased flow rate occurs for two primary reasons: firstly, during heavy loading, when filling the tanks to maximum capacity as quickly as possible, the filter will often go into continuous backflush and a significant portion of the water will be diverted through the backflush line. Secondly, filter loading and increased differential pressure across the mesh places a larger discharge head on the ballast pump, causing the pump to flow less water to the tank.

In reality, the time it takes to move ballast can range from 12 hours to nearly 90 if the filter is not designed for heavy loading. In comparison, a filter appropriately designed for a vessel’s loads and the waters where it will be ballasting may be able to move more than three times as much water than a filter that slows or clogs.

The exact amount of money that can be lost will depend on the market, the type of vessel, whether the vessel is in port, how busy the crew is, and what the costs may be for additional time alongside. However, as an example, a VLCC tanker earning a typical $36,000/day, every hour of delay can cost $1,500 plus any port charges. These costs can rapidly add up and should be kept in mind when considering CAPEX and OPEX for a BWMS installation.


The challenge of sediment

An additional factor that can decrease flow rates is the level of sediment being collected while ballasting. Two particular locations, the Mississippi River Delta and the Yangtze River, show exceptionally high Total Suspended Solids levels and present a particular challenge to many BWMS technologies.

Sediment is one of the critical factors in filter clogging but allowing sediments to accumulate has further implications to the vessel. The buildup in the ballast tanks between drydocking periods can create an unpumpable, permanent ballast that, if not removed, reduces the vessel’s cargo capacity over time.

For vessels contracted in the bulk and oil trades, this may affect the charter agreement and cause vessels to carry less than the obligatory cargo amounts as per the voyage plan, with potentially significant implications for a ship’s earning ability. Vessels are designed to carry a specific amount of cargo based on weight and displacement, so vessels ferrying around even a few inches of sediment over the entire bottom of ballast tanks can quickly see tonnes of additional weight added to their dead weight. This additional dead weight may offset cargo loads.

The choice of a BWMS and its filter is critical for shipowners and operators to avoid non-compliance and expensive ballasting repercussions. It must be economically sound, both from a CAPEX and long-term OPEX standpoint. The filter within a system has a big effect on its ability to perform effectively, efficiently and within the regulatory parameters. As such, it is an investment with potential implications for many company departments, including technical, operations and finance. This makes BWMS and filter selection a business critical issue.

For more information on this topic, please download our whitepaper on the cost of compliance here:

Filtersafe provides high performing BWMS filters for ConocoPhillips Fleet

Filtersafe multifilter installed on Polar fleet

Learn why ConocoPhillips chose the De Nora BALPURE® BWMS with Filtersafe filters for their entire Polar Vessel fleet.

ConocoPhillips, Alaska’s largest crude oil producer and the largest owner of exploration leases, operates a series of vessels traveling between Alaska and San Francisco. This west coast route has particularly challenging conditions due to widely ranging water quality, including high sediment waters in San Francisco Bay.

ConocoPhillips Polar route with Filtersafe filtersConocoPhillips recognized the need for high-performing ballast water management system (BWMS) filters to ensure regulatory compliance and operational efficiency. In 2015, the company invested in independent testing to assess and choose the right BWMS filter for the fleet’s operational route.

It was through this testing that they came to the conclusion to install the De Nora BALPURE® BWMS with Filtersafe filters across the fleet.

The BallastSafe BS300-T filter . The filter is designed to perform under high sediment loads in poor water quality areas and has a flow rate of 750 m3/hr. Due to the enormous size of the ships in the fleet, it was decided that in addition to 2 BallastSafe BS300-T filters, that 2 additional BallastSafe BS1204H filters should be added when the BWMS is installed in each ship.


Filtersafe solution

Most filters build a “cake” i.e. an uncleanable part of the filter created over time as a result of a decrease in water pressure in the filter system. For the filter to return to optimum performance levels, the filter must be manually cleaned. In contrast to most filters, Filtersafe’s solutions are the only technology available to the global shipping industry today which is self-restoring.

This means the filters have no uncleanable areas and are able to remove even the toughest build-up, with the filter returning to its original clean state after every heavy use in less than three minutes. For example, in the Shanghai Test our filter fully recovered from an unimaginable TSS load of 2,450 ppm in 182 seconds. 

Filtersafe has an exclusive, upgradeable cleaning mechanism that can be modified even after installation to improve cleaning efficiency. This means the filter can be configured according to the vessel’s trading waters and then changed as those trade routes are altered over the life of the ship. This is significant as it removes the limitations that ballast water management systems (BWMS) have traditionally placed on ships, allowing vessels to move between low and high sediment routes, such as the tankers navigating around high sediment areas of San Francisco, without being prohibited by filter performance.



The filter operated under various conditions for several months, monitoring and recording hundreds of hours of valuable operation data. The results of the tests demonstrated flow rates varying between 400-750 m3/hr. These rates were recorded during testing and varied according to inlet pressure levels and sediment loads, which reached as high as 400 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU) (TSS 350- 400mg/L). The filter performed very well during high sediment loads, especially at known turbid locations such as the Shell Terminal in San Francisco Bay and the ports of Anacortes and Valerio in Washington, recovering quickly from the high dirt load conditions. In addition, the filter operated without the need for manual cleaning throughout the duration of the test.

Following the successful installation and the test results on board the pilot Polar vessel transporting fuels regularly between Alaska and other major energy producing ports along the North American West Coast, ConocoPhillips decided to install Filtersafe filters on the entire Polar fleet.

Following the initial test, all five crude oil tankers in the Polar fleet will feature filtersafe filters as an integral part of their BWMS, with 2 ships already past installation and commissioning and the rest with planned installation datesin 2022: Polar Endeavour, Polar Enterprise, Polar Resolution, Polar Adventure and Polar Discovery, as outlined above. Each vessel was assessed according to its ballasting needs to ensure the right filters and flow rates were chosen. Filtersafe also worked with a leading class society, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), to complete a successful remote pressure test survey to certify the filters ahead of installation to ensure the highest standards for ConocoPhillips.

To read more about the installation, please download the case study here: