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PolyMatEx – The story behind the innovation


PolyMatEx is our latest offering of extract filtration, providing an effective replacement for fibreglass and the existing duplex filtration system.

PolyMatEx Background 

AGM Services are a specialist in Spray Booth maintenance, repair and spares provision. Supplying the spray booth industry for over 25 years, AGM Services have always been committed to providing customers with the right services and tools to enable them to run their Spray Booth equipment at peak performance, all day every day.

In response to the ever-changing needs of the automotive repair market, AGM have led the way in terms of innovative solutions for maintenance for Spray Booth equipment using their diverse technical expertise to constantly guide their thinking and strive for continual improvement.

“We are fortunate that we can draw on our experience to continuously bring new products and services to the market for our customers.” Says Wesley Young, Director of AGM Services.

“As economic pressure and legislative and environmental requirements continue to increase for everyone, it’s more important than ever to ensure businesses can remain compliant, operational and efficient for as long as possible. Which is what drove our latest innovation.”

AGM, working in partnership with their key European filter manufacturing partners spent much of 2018 and 2019 developing and testing a number of potential new extract filter products that have resulted in the latest offering that will provide spray booth users with up to 60% longer timespan between filter changes.

History of spray booth filtration

Spray booth filtration has evolved over the years from cardboard filters to the existing filtration system known as “duplex filtration”. Duplex filtration, commonly used in most spray booths, comprises of a primary fibreglass “paintstop” filter, which acts as protection to a secondary synthetic filter. Fibreglass is a relatively cheap and easy filter to transport so has been the standard solution for automotive repair Spray Booths for some time. But rising prices and developments in synthetic filter media are seeing a new generation of Spray Booth extract filters coming through.

So why change?

One of the main considerations for any company running a spray booth is ongoing maintenance. As a maintenance provider, AGM are able to assess the most common causes of equipment breakdown and consequent downtime.

Wesley continues; “We are always mindful of minimising equipment downtime for our customers, but it’s very important that a Spray Booth is thoroughly serviced periodically to reduce the possibility of breakdowns. Quality and compliant filtration is essential to the optimum performance of a Spraybooth, and extract filters need to be changed at correct intervals in-between services to ensure spray booths continue to remove overspray from the spray booth cabin effectively.”

Recognising the impact that filters have on this situation, there were 2 main driving points behind AGM seeking to improve the quality of filter offering to the automotive refinish market;

  1. The busier bodyshops get, the more pressure they put on their spray booths. More paintwork means filters block quicker requiring more frequent changes, exactly at the wrong time. When you’re busy with plenty cars to paint you don’t want to stop to change filters.
  2. Inevitably operators push the filters past their limits, any filters pulled back to allow “one more job” to be painted allows paint overspray build-up inside the air handling plant putting pressure on the damper and fans that control and move the air resulting in potential increased equipment breakdown or further costs to remedy these issues at service.

So, what’s the solution?

Presenting PolyMatEx, a polyester extract filter that holds significantly more overspray than duplex filters before clogging, thereby reducing both the impact on the environment and greatly cutting down the internal damage to the spray booth air handling plant.

PolyMatEx is more environmentally friendly because it’s made from recycled material, there is less media required and it needs changing less frequently. There are also no fibre glass irritants present so is more user-friendly to handle for painters.

The key to this product and its capabilities is the innovative structure and composition of the polyester materials used. The filter composition starts with coarse, open fibres at the top of the filter and gradually changes to finer fibres at the bottom.

When paint overspray hits the coarse synthetic fibre, it doesn’t compress under the weight of the paint overspray like fibreglass, which means that it doesn’t close off the airways, progressively loading to maintain a good airflow through the filter to ensure the pressure drop inside the spray booth is minimal. This unique design means the Spray Booth continues to operate under negative pressure for longer, still clearing overspray effectively, extending filter change intervals leaving painters free to paint!

Environmental benefits of PolyMatEx

Paint overspray is a hazardous product that needs to be disposed of safely, Spray Booth owners have an obligation to the environment as well as their employees.

PolyMatEx provides incredible levels of filtration to under 4mg/mᶾ, and the reduced amount of filter changes, as well as only one filter required reduces the amount of waste produced. Less filter changes = less filter used waste. As all businesses are becoming more and more aware of their impact on the environment, PolyMatEx will help to reduce a body shop’s Carbon Footprint.

Customer feedback on PolyMatEx

It’s important not to underestimate the human factor element in providing an effective filtration system. Fibreglass is unpopular to handle and causes irritation if not handled properly.

After extensive testing at one of AGMs largest group clients, the feedback from those responsible for changing the filters was exactly as they’d hoped. They hugely appreciated how easy it was to handle stating it was “much quicker to change with only one filter that cuts easily, and now my hands don’t itch all day after a fibreglass filter change”.

Simon Barton, Technical Service team member from Direct Line Group had this to say.

“PolyMatEx has greatly reduced downtime across the whole group. On average, filter changes have reduced by between 50-60% but more importantly, the spray booths, which are a critical asset in our body shops are being protected from overuse or abuse. We’ll see their total life operating costs reduced significantly as a result of implementing this innovative product.”

PolyMatEx is a Finalist in the 2020 Bodyshop Awards under the Innovation category and is available exclusively from AGM who are happy to provide a product demonstration in any site in the UK, for more information contact us on 01706 363585.

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