Compressed Air Quality

Different applications require a different compressed air quality - learn why and how to clean your compressed air

Compressed air is dirty – it contains all the contaminations of ambient air, but in concentrated form. Plus the air compressor adds a bit of compressor oil to the compressed air.

We need to upgrade the quality of the compressed air, before we can use it. We do that by removing water, oil and dust. How clean we need to make the air depends on the application.

The three main contaminations that you should be worried about are:

  • Water
  • Oil
  • Particles (dust)

There are some other types of contaminations, like micro organisms, (harmful) gases and odors, but for industrial applications those are of lesser concern.

What compressed air quality do you need?

The quality of compressed air that you need depends on only one thing: the application that you use the compressed air for.

Almost every piece of pneumatic equipment in your factory will have some guidelines about the quality of the compressed air.

To make it easier to talk about compressed air quality, we use quality classes. Each class stands for a particular level of water, oil or dust.

How and where to clean compressed air

Now you know how clean your compressed air should be – how do we accomplish that?

We do that by drying and filtering the compressed air.

The type of equipment that we need, depends on the air quality level that is required.

A higher level of compressed air quality is more expensive, since it requires more filters, better dryers, more maintenance, etc.

So it’s important to meet the quality standards of your machine, but not overdo it.

If you have different machines (compressed air users), with different quality needs, it often pays to clean the compressed air to a basic level for all equipment, and upgrade the air quality level for those user that require it.

Articles in "Compressed Air Systems"