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1. (WO2018140032) IMPROVED INDUSTRIAL COATING APPLICATION FILTER WITH PLEATED SUPPORT
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CLAIMS

1. A filter for a spray coating system, the filter comprising:

(a) a housing including a peripheral sidewall having an inlet opening on a first side and an outlet opening on a second, opposite side of the housing, the inlet and outlet openings providing substantially no resistance to the flow of gas along a flow path extending through the housing from the inlet opening to the outlet opening;

(b) a support backing disposed within the peripheral sidewall between the inlet and outlet openings, the support backing having at least a first substantially planar panel joined at a first edge to a first edge of a second substantially planar panel at a predetermined, non-parallel angle thereto, said first and second panels having openings formed therethrough to provide substantially no resistance to the flow of gas through the panels, wherein a hinge is formed where the first edge of the first panel is joined to the first edge of the second panel, whereby the support backing may be collapsed by pivoting said first panel along the hinge relative to the second panel;

(c) a filtration material attached to the support backing; and

(d) first and second end caps mounted within the housing to the support backing at opposite ends of the first and second panels and on opposite sides of the flow path transverse to the first edges of the first and second substantially planar panels, for maintaining said at least first and second substantially planar panels at the predetermined angle, the end caps having a plurality of preferential hinge lines formed thereon to permit the first and second end caps to collapse to a pleated configuration when the attached support backing is collapsed.

2. The filter in accordance with claim 1, further comprising:

(a) a first stabilizing panel attached to the first end cap by a first hinge at a first edge of the first end cap, the first stabilizing panel having a distal edge; and (b) a second stabilizing panel attached to the first end cap by a second hinge at a second, opposite edge of the first end cap, the second stabilizing panel having a distal edge, wherein the first and second stabilizing panels fasten together near the respective distal edges and, when positioned substantially parallel to the first end cap, apply an expanding force to the first end cap.

3. The filter in accordance with claim 2, further comprising:

(a) a third stabilizing panel attached to the second end cap by a first hinge at a first edge of the second end cap, the third stabilizing panel having a distal edge; and (b) a fourth stabilizing panel attached to the second end cap by a second hinge at a second, opposite edge of the second end cap, the fourth stabilizing panel having a distal edge, wherein the third and fourth stabilizing panels fasten together near the respective distal edges and, when positioned substantially parallel to the second end cap, apply an expanding force to the second end cap.

4. The filter in accordance with claim 1, further comprising:

(a) a first wing extending from an edge the first panel adjacent, but unattached, to the housing sidewall and pivotably attached to the first panel along a pivot axis that is substantially parallel to the housing sidewall;

(b) a second wing extending from an edge of the second panel adjacent, but unattached, to the housing sidewall and pivotably attached to the second panel along a pivot axis that is substantially parallel to the housing sidewall; and (c) a filtration material attached to the panels and the wings and extending across the openings in the panels, wherein the first and second wings are configured so that the force of the flow of air through the housing seats the first and second wings against opposite housing sidewalls.

5. A filter for a spray coating system, the filter comprising:

(a) a housing including a peripheral sidewall having an inlet opening on a first side and an outlet opening on a second, opposite side of the housing, the inlet and outlet openings providing substantially no resistance to the flow of gas along a flow path extending through the housing from the inlet opening to the outlet opening;

(b) a collapsed support backing having at least a first substantially planar panel joined at a first edge to a first edge of a second substantially planar panel, said first and second panels having openings formed therethrough to provide substantially no resistance to the flow of gas through the panels, wherein a hinge is formed where the first edge of the first panel is joined to the first edge of the second panel, whereby the support backing may be expanded by pivoting said first panel along the hinge relative to the second panel to align the first panel at a predetermined, non-parallel angle relative to the second panel;

(c) a filtration material attached to the support backing; and

(d) first and second pleated end caps mounted to the support backing at opposite ends of the first and second panels for maintaining said at least first and second panels at the predetermined angle when the end caps and support backing are expanded to an operable configuration within the housing, the end caps having a plurality of rigid pleat regions with preferential hinge lines at edges thereof that permit the first and second end caps to attain a substantially planar configuration when the attached support backing is substantially expanded by pivoting said first panel along the hinge relative to the second panel to a pre-determined , non- parallel angle.

6. The filter in accordance with claim 5, further comprising:

(a) a first stabilizing panel attached to the first end cap by a first hinge at a first edge of the first end cap, the first stabilizing panel having a distal edge; and (b) a second stabilizing panel attached to the first end cap by a second hinge at a second, opposite edge of the first end cap, the second stabilizing panel having a distal edge, wherein the first and second stabilizing panels are configured to fasten together near the respective distal edges and, when positioned substantially parallel to the first end cap, apply an expanding force to the first end cap.

7. The filter in accordance with claim 6, further comprising:

(a) a third stabilizing panel attached to the second end cap by a first hinge at a first edge of the second end cap, the third stabilizing panel having a distal edge; and

(b) a fourth stabilizing panel attached to the second end cap by a second hinge at a second, opposite edge of the second end cap, the fourth stabilizing panel having a distal edge, wherein the third and fourth stabilizing panels are configured to fasten together near the respective distal edges and, when positioned substantially parallel to the second end cap, apply an expanding force to the second end cap.

8. A method of making a gas filter comprising the steps of:

(a) expanding a support backing from a compressed state, the support backing having at least a first substantially planar panel joined at a first edge to a first edge of a second substantially planar panel, said first and second panels having openings formed therethrough to provide substantially no resistance to the flow of gas through the panels and a filtration material attached to the support backing; (b) expanding first and second pleated end caps mounted to the support backing at opposite ends of the first and second panels, the end caps having a plurality of rigid pleat regions with preferential hinge lines at edges thereof that permit the first and second end caps to attain a substantially planar configuration when the attached support backing is expanded by pivoting said first panel along the hinge relative to the second panel to a predetermined, non-parallel angle, the end caps maintaining said first and second panels at the pre-determined angle when the end caps and support backing are substantially expanded to an operable configuration; and

(c) inserting the support backing and end caps into a housing including a peripheral sidewall having an inlet opening on a first side and an outlet opening on a second, opposite side of the housing, the inlet and outlet openings providing substantially no resistance to the flow of gas through the housing, the support backing being inserted within the peripheral sidewall between the inlet and outlet openings.

9. The method in accordance with claim 8, further comprising:

(a) fastening a first stabilizing panel to a second stabilizing panel and disposing the first and second stabilizing panels substantially parallel to the first end cap, thereby applying an expanding force to the first end cap; and

(b) fastening a third stabilizing panel to a fourth stabilizing panel and disposing the third and fourth stabilizing panels substantially parallel to the second end cap, thereby applying an expanding force to the second end cap.

10. A filter for a spray coating system, the filter comprising:

(a) a housing including a peripheral sidewall having an inlet opening on a first side for receiving a flowing gas and an outlet opening on a second, opposite side of the housing, the inlet and outlet openings providing substantially no resistance to the flow of gas along a flow path extending through the housing from the inlet opening to the outlet opening; and

(b) a support backing disposed within the peripheral sidewall, the support backing having an upstream side, at least most of which faces the inlet opening, a downstream side, at least most of which faces the outlet opening, and a lateral center of the support backing, the support backing having at least a first substantially planar panel joined at a first edge to a first edge of a second substantially planar panel at a predetermined, non-parallel angle thereto, said first and second panels having openings formed therethrough to provide substantially no resistance to the flow of gas through the panels, wherein the first substantially planar panel has filtration media mounted to a surface that faces away from the lateral center and at least a segment of the first substantially planar panel has an upstream end that is farther from the lateral center than a downstream end.

11. The filter in accordance with claim 10, wherein the support backing further comprises at least a third substantially planar panel joined at a first edge to a first edge of a fourth substantially planar panel at a predetermined, non-parallel angle thereto, said third and fourth panels having openings formed therethrough to provide substantially no resistance to the flow of gas through the panels, wherein the third substantially planar panel has filtration media mounted to a surface that faces away from the lateral center and at least a segment of the third substantially planar panel has an upstream end that is farther from the lateral center than a downstream end

12. The filter in accordance with claim 10, further comprising first and second end caps mounted to the support backing at opposite ends of the first and second panels transverse to the first edges of the first and second panels, for maintaining said at least first and second panels at the predetermined angle.

13. The filter in accordance with claim 12, wherein the end caps have a plurality of preferential hinge lines formed thereon to permit the first and second end caps to collapse to a pleated configuration.

14. The filter in accordance with claim 13, further comprising:

(a) a first stabilizing panel attached to the first end cap by a first hinge at a first edge of the first end cap, the first stabilizing panel having a distal edge; and (b) a second stabilizing panel attached to the first end cap by a second hinge at a second, opposite edge of the first end cap, the second stabilizing panel having a distal edge, wherein the first and second stabilizing panels fasten together near the respective distal edges and, when positioned substantially parallel to the first end cap, apply an expanding force to the first end cap.

15. The filter in accordance with claim 14, further comprising:

(a) a third stabilizing panel attached to the second end cap by a first hinge at a first edge of the second end cap, the third stabilizing panel having a distal edge; and (b) a fourth stabilizing panel attached to the second end cap by a second hinge at a second, opposite edge of the second end cap, the fourth stabilizing panel having a distal edge, wherein the third and fourth stabilizing panels fasten together near the respective distal edges and, when positioned substantially parallel to the second end cap, apply an expanding force to the second end cap.

16. The filter in accordance with claim 10, further comprising:

(a) at least a first web pivotably mounted at a first end of at least one of the first and second panels, and attached to the other of the first and second panels transverse to the first edges of the first and second panels for maintaining said at least first and second panels at the predetermined angle at the first end of the first and second panels; and

(b) at least a second web pivotably mounted at a second end of at least one of the first and second panels, and attached to the other of the first and second panels transverse to the first edges of the first and second panels for maintaining said at least first and second panels at the predetermined angle at the second end of the first and second panels, wherein the first and second webs are on opposite sides of the flow path.

17. A filter for a spray coating system, the filter comprising:

(a) a housing including a peripheral sidewall having an inlet opening on a first side and an outlet opening on a second, opposite side of the housing, the inlet and outlet openings providing substantially no resistance to the flow of gas along a flow path extending through the housing from the inlet opening to the outlet opening;

(b) a support backing disposed within the peripheral sidewall between the inlet and outlet openings, the support backing having at least a first substantially planar panel joined at a first edge to a first edge of a second substantially planar panel at a predetermined, non-parallel angle thereto, said first and second panels having openings formed therethrough to provide substantially no resistance to the flow of gas through the panels, wherein a hinge is formed where the first edge of the first panel is joined to the first edge of the second panel, whereby the support backing may be collapsed by pivoting said first panel along the hinge relative to the second panel;

(c) a filtration material attached to the support backing;

(d) at least a first web pivotably mounted at a first end of at least one of the first and second panels, and attached to the other of the first and second panels transverse to the first edges of the first and second substantially planar panels for maintaining said at least first and second substantially planar panels at the predetermined angle at the first end of the first and second panels; and

(e) at least a second web pivotably mounted at a second end of at least one of the first and second panels, and attached to the other of the first and second panels transverse to the first edges of the first and second substantially planar panels for maintaining said at least first and second substantially planar panels at the predetermined angle at the second end of the first and second panels, wherein the first and second webs are on opposite sides of the flow path.

18. The filter in accordance with claim 17, wherein the first and second webs have a plurality of preferential hinge lines formed thereon to permit the first and second webs to collapse into a pleated shape when the attached support backing is collapsed.

19. A filter for a spray coating system, the filter comprising:

(a) a housing including a peripheral sidewall having an inlet opening on a first side and an outlet opening on a second, opposite side of the housing, the inlet and outlet openings providing substantially no resistance to the flow of gas along a flow path extending through the housing from the inlet opening to the outlet opening;

(b) a collapsed support backing having at least a first substantially planar panel joined at a first edge to a first edge of a second substantially planar panel, said first and second panels having openings formed therethrough to provide substantially no resistance to the flow of gas through the panels, wherein a hinge is formed where the first edge of the first panel is joined to the first edge of the second panel, whereby the support backing may be expanded by pivoting said first panel along the hinge relative to the second panel to align the first panel at a predetermined, non-parallel angle relative to the second panel;

(c) a filtration material attached to the support backing; and

(d) at least a first web pivotably mounted at a first end of at least one of the first and second panels, and attached to the other of the first and second panels transverse to the first edges of the first and second substantially planar panels for maintaining said at least first and second substantially planar panels at the predetermined angle at the first end of the first and second panels; and

(e) at least a second web pivotably mounted at a second end of at least one of the first and second panels, and attached to the other of the first and second panels transverse to the first edges of the first and second substantially planar panels for maintaining said at least first and second substantially planar panels at the predetermined angle at the second end of the first and second panels, wherein the first and second webs are on opposite sides of the flow path.

20. A method of making a gas filter comprising the steps of:

(a) expanding a support backing from a compressed state, the support backing having at least a first substantially planar panel joined at a first edge to a first edge of a second substantially planar panel, said first and second panels having openings formed therethrough to provide substantially no resistance to the flow of gas through the panels and a filtration material attached to the support backing; (b) attaching a first web, which is pivotably mounted at a first end of at least one of the first and second panels, to the other of the first and second panels transverse to the first edges of the first and second substantially planar panels for maintaining said at least first and second substantially planar panels at the predetermined angle at the first end;

(c) attaching a second web, which is pivotably mounted at a second end of at least one of the first and second panels, to the other of the first and second panels transverse to the first edges of the first and second substantially planar panels for maintaining said at least first and second substantially planar panels at the predetermined angle at the second end, wherein the first and second webs are on opposite sides of the flow path;

(d) expanding a housing from a compressed state, the housing including a peripheral sidewall having an inlet opening on a first side and an outlet opening on a second, opposite side of the housing, the inlet and outlet openings providing substantially no resistance to the flow of gas through the housing; and

(e) inserting the support backing into the housing within the peripheral sidewall between the inlet and outlet openings.

21. The method in accordance with claim 20, wherein the step of attaching the first web to one of the first and second panels is carried out before the second web is pivoted relative to the panel to which the second web is mounted.