Our Rich History

While AAF is an international company, our global headquarters remain in Louisville, where it was founded in the 1920s. Bill Reed, a skilled engineer and entrepreneur, developed the Reed Air Filter in 1921. This creative filter solution for the automobile industry established the foundation for what is today a global leader in air filtration. His concept was so successful, Reed joined forces with seven other firms to create American Air Filter Co. in 1929. Major company milestones include providing filters for 21 types of Allied aircraft during World War II, and supplying environmental control equipment for underground launch sites and control centers for ballistic missiles during the 1960s.

A pioneer in clean air innovation for nearly 100 years, AAF International is just getting started. With our combined resources and expertise, we will continue to lead global initiatives that increase productivity, improve processes and protect public health for the next 100 years.

Our Vision

To clean the indoor air around the globe, improving our quality of life, making us more productive, protecting critical processes and equipment, and creating products that advance the human condition.


  • 1921 Bill Reed founds Reed Air Filter Company and manufactures the first commercial air filter in Louisville, KY USA, the Reed Air Filter.
  • 1924 Akira Yamada founds Osaka Kinzoku Kogyosho Limited Partnership, the company that would later become Daikin, in Osaka; company begins production of aircraft radiator tubes and other products.
  • 1929 Reed Air Filter Company merges with seven leading air filter manufacturers to form American Air Filter Company Inc.
  • 1932 Introduced the Type D RotoClone, a revolutionary breakthrough in dust control.
  • 1935 Daikin succeeds in fluorocarbon synthesis, begins mass production in 1942. – how to make this clear?
  • 1936 American Air Filter (AAF) introduces the first high-efficiency box‐style filter.
  • 1941-2 AAF expands production in Louisville, KY by opening 2 more plants.
  • 1950 AAF introduces fiberglass replacement filters to the residential market.
  • 1950 Flanders Filters founded by A.R. Allan, Jr. to supply filters to the Atomic Energy Commission.
  • 1951 Daikin begins production of packaged air conditioners.
  • 1950s American Air Filter expands into Canada and Europe.
  • 1953 AAF introduces Roll‐O‐Mat®, the first automatic self‐renewable media filter.
  • 1954 First reverse-jet dry fabric dust collector introduced.
  • 1961 AAF introduces DriPak®, the first bag‐style filter.
  • 1963 AAF introduces VariCel®, the first modern high‐efficiency box‐style filter.
  • 1964 AAF introduces the AstroCel® HEPA filter.
  • 1964 Flanders becomes the first filtration company to also make their own HEPA media, leading to the first separator – less HEPA filter in 1968.
  • 1965 – AAF’s first gas turbine filtration installation.
  • 1966-68 AAF opens plants and begins manufacturing filters in Europe, Asian headquarters established later in 1970.
  • 1969 NASA lunar module uses AAF filters in Apollo 11 mission to moon.
  • 1969 Flanders develops the first fluid seal for HEPA filters and later developed the first silicone-based seal in 1986.
  • 1970 AmerKleen line of diesel engine intake filters and housings developed.
  • 1978 AAF introduces first V‐Bank HEPA filter.
  • 1978 Flanders makes the first ULPA filter.
  • 1979 Filtration systems provided for nuclear reactor accident at Three Mile Island.
  • 1982 Daikin develops Japan’s first Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) system.
  • 1988 – AAF pioneers HEPA technology in gas turbines.
  • 1989 AAF introduces VariCel® II, the first high‐efficiency mini‐pleat 4″ deep filter.
  • 1991 Daikin establishes Daikin America, Inc.
  • 1993 Flanders supplies HEPA filters to the International Space Station.
  • 1996 Flanders Filters expands into the retail market.
  • 1997 First modular expandable baghouse. – P&I
  • 1999 AAF begins development of PTFE filters with Daikin Industries.
  • 2000 AAF introduces PerfectPleat®, the first self‐supported pleated filter.
  • 2002 AAF expands production in China.
  • 2005 Expanded Gas-Phase product line.
  • 2006 AAF becomes member of Daikin Group.
  • 2009 AAF introduces MEGAcel® I, first HEPA filter with ePTFE filtration technology.
  • 2013 AAF introduces MEGApleat® filter.
  • 2014 AAF introduces VariCel® 2+ filter with Impress® Technology.
  • 2015 AAF acquires and opens a network of service operations and warehouses across the US.
  • 2016 AAF merges with Flanders to form AAF Flanders in U.S.
  • 2016-20 AAF introduces software and technology packages such as TCO Diagnostic® , Sensor360®, and VisionAir™  Clean – check on all technologies
  • 2016 AAF opens Clean Air Innovation & Research Center in Jeffersonville, IN.
  • 2016 – AAF introduces REDClean Media®, the advanced filtration technology product range that optimizes dust collector’s performance
  • 2016 AAF Acquires Dinair Group AB to form one of the strongest networks within Europe’s filtration industry
  • 2017 – AAF introduces N-hance® the world’s first E12 high velocity filter for gas turbines offshore
  • 2017 – AAF acquires RIS Facility Management GmbH, a leading provider of Indoor Air Quality services in Germany 
  • 2019 – AAF expands its dust collection portfolio by launching new Plug&Play filtration units to meet the needs of different key industrial markets
  • 2020 – AAF develops study at CAC that demonstrates AAF filters are effective against coronavirus surrogate viruses.



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