Diagram of Reverse Osmosis (RO) Membrane Elements and Parts

ro membrane components, parts of an ro membrane, how ro elements work

Click on the Reverse Osmosis (RO) membrane filter diagram above to see helpful videos about RO Membranes/Elements!

Industrial Reverse Osmosis (RO) Membrane Elements & Parts

reverse osmosis membrane diagram, complete water solutions

Feed Solution

The feed solution is the water source or processing fluid. Prior to reverse osmosis, the feed solution may have been treated with chemicals, passed through pre-filters, or even a UV system. The feed solution varies based on the source of your feed solution.

reverse osmosis membrane diagram, complete water solutions

Brine Seal

Brine seals are plastic or rubber devices that seal one end of the membrane element against the wall of the component housing. This prevents the feed solution from bypassing around the element.

reverse osmosis membrane diagram, complete water solutions

Perforated Central Tube

The perforated tube in the center allows the membrane element to maintain its shape facilitates the passage of water through the parts of the RO membrane element.

reverse osmosis membrane diagram, complete water solutions

Permeate

The permeate is the final and desired “product” of reverse osmosis filtration. The permeate water is sometimes referred to as pure water, or simply “product” water, and usually has 95%-99% of the dissolved salts removed from it.

reverse osmosis membrane diagram, complete water solutions

Concentrate

The concentrate is the undesirable water that exits the membrane element. Sometimes called the “reject” water, it carries the concentrated contaminants that did not pass through the membrane.

reverse osmosis membrane diagram, complete water solutions

Permeate Collection Material

Also known as a “permeate water carrier”, or “mesh spacer”, the collection material is placed between two layers of the flat sheet membrane. Constructed of a knit fabric called “tricot”, it prevents the membrane from closing itself off under pressure and facilitates collection of permeate water.

reverse osmosis membrane diagram, complete water solutions
reverse osmosis membrane diagram, complete water solutions

Reverse Osmosis Membrane

Most RO membranes are thin-film composite (TFC), constructed with a thin polyamide layer atop a polyethersulfone porous layer. In conjunction with the permeate collection material, the membrane has the property of high rejection of undesired materials (like salts).

reverse osmosis membrane diagram, complete water solutions
reverse osmosis membrane diagram, complete water solutions

Feed Channel Spacer

Feed channel spacers are a netting material placed between the flat sheets of a reverse osmosis membrane to promote turbulence in the feed / concentrate stream. This material is referred to as “Vexar.”

reverse osmosis membrane diagram, complete water solutions

Outer Wrap

When treating brackish water, your RO elements will need to have a fiberglass wrap, as higher pressures are needed. However, if treating regular feedwater, a tape outer wrap should suffice. It all depends on your needs!

View more resources to help you learn about reverse osmosis here and contact Complete Water Solutions today with any questions about your industrial reverse osmosis system!

Schedule a Service Call

Schedule a Sales Call

Call for a FREE Quote Today

(855) 787-4200

ro membrane components, parts of an ro membrane, how ro elements work