With so many applications, processes and production in different environments being dependant on compressed air systems, the compressors not only has to compress the air to a specific pressure, at a certain flow, it has to deliver air of the right quality.
To most people, a compressor is all that is required to compress air, but to obtain the “right quality air” then more equipment will be needed. Filters are often needed to remove oil, water, particulate etc. before it reaches the point of use.
Generally, the main contaminants found in a typical compressed air system need to be removed or reduced for the system to run efficiently.
Sources of Contamination in Compressed Air Systems:
Air compressors draw in huge amounts of atmospheric air, which continuously fills the system with contaminants such as water vapour, micro-organisms, atmospheric dirt etc.
THE AIR COMPRESSOR
In addition to the contaminants drawn in through the compressor intake, the compressor also adds additional wear particulates from its operation. Additionally, oil lubricated compressors carry over liquid oil, oil aerosols & oil vapour from the compression process. Once through the compression stage, the after-cooler will also condense water vapour, introducing it into the compressed air in both a liquid and aerosol form.
COMPRESSED AIR STORAGE DEVICES AND DISTRIBUTION PIPING
The air receiver (storage device) and the system piping that distributes the compressed air around the facility both store large amounts of contamination. Additionally, they cool the warm, saturated compressed air which causes condensation on a large scale, adding liquid water into the system. This saturated air and liquid water leads to corrosion, pipe scale and microbiological growth.
Therefore regardless of the type of compressor installed, purification equipment is required.