All You Need to Know About Compressed Air Quality Filters

All You Need to Know About Compressed Air Quality Filters

Compressed air filters are essential equipment in various industrial operations. The purpose of these powerful tools is to eliminate contaminants from the compressed air system and prevent any pressure drops. This article examines the types, uses, and importance of high-quality compressed air filters.

Why Compressed Air Filters are Important

Typical compressed air system filters protect machinery from damage and extend its operational life, by preventing contaminants from entering air-operated equipment.

Air filters ensure machinery operates at an optimal performance level by reducing the downtime and maintenance costs associated with contamination. They also ensure product quality, safeguarding company reputations and consumer trust.

Types of Compressed Air Filters

Control Gear offers a variety of compressed air filters, suitable for diverse industrial needs:

Particulate Filters

These filters remove atmospheric dirt and solid particulates, providing up to 99.9999% particle removal efficiency. A typical application of a particulate filter is in the food and beverage industry, where absolute air purity is essential.

Particulate Filter Technical Data

  • Atlas Copco particulate filters are typically available in three primary micron sizes: 3 micron, 1 micron, and 0.01 micron.
  • Correct sizing ensures the filter catches even the smallest particles.
  • Designed with high-performance borosilicate microfibres and treated with a water-repelling oleophobic agent to increase their efficiency and longevity.
  • Capable of handling various flow rates, from 1 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) to a robust 5,000 CFM, allowing them to cater to a wide range of industrial applications.

The particulate count largely depends on the size of the filter and the air quality in the working environment. However, with a filtration efficiency of 99.9999%, you can rest assured that the count of remaining particles post-filtration is minuscule.

Micro-biological Filters

These filters provide absolute removal of solid particulates and micro-organisms. Their stainless steel construction allows sterilisation using steam in situ. Pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, where sterilisation is critical, commonly use these filters.

Microbiological Filter Technical Data

  • Atlas Copco micro-biological filters are renowned for their superior filtration capability.
  • Available in two primary micron sizes, 0.01 micron and 0.003 micron, which makes them perfect for catching tiny micro-organisms as well as solid particulates.
  • Manufactured from robust, high-grade 316L stainless steel to resist corrosion and withstand challenging operating conditions. 
  • Compliant with the stringent standards of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, where contamination risk must be minimal.
  • A virtually negligible count of remaining particles post-filtration, assuring maximum hygiene and cleanliness.
  • Can handle different flow rates, ranging from 1 CFM up to a substantial 5,000 CFM. This versatility allows the filters to cater to a wide spectrum of industrial applications.

Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters remove oil vapours and odours often undetectable to human senses. These vapours, if not properly filtered, can contaminate final products, affecting quality and safety. The activated carbon filter employs a bed of activated carbon to adsorb these microscopic oil vapour particles.

Activated Carbon Filter Technical Data

  • Atlas Copco’s activated carbon filters come in various sizes to accommodate different industrial needs. The filters can handle particulate sizes as small as 0.01 microns, providing a highly efficient filtration solution.
  • The construction of these filters is top-notch, using durable and highly absorbent activated carbon.
  • The activated carbon bed can adsorb up to 99.9999% of oil vapours, ensuring almost no contamination in the final product.
  • These filters offer a high flow rate too, supporting capacities from 1 CFM to 5,000 CFM.

With such exceptional technical specifications, Atlas Copco’s activated carbon filters are truly a benchmark for guaranteeing optimal air quality, in various industrial environments.

Coalescing Air Filters

These filters specialise in trapping and removing small liquid oil droplets and oil aerosols, which can harm equipment and product quality.

The filter operates by causing tiny droplets to coalesce, or come together, forming larger droplets that can be more easily drained away. These filters are particularly beneficial in industries that require dry, clean air, such as the automotive, electronics, and textile sectors.

Coalescing filters ensure a high level of air purity, ultimately reducing maintenance costs and enhancing overall operational efficiency.

Coalescing Filter Technical Data

  • Atlas Copco’s coalescing filters cater to particulate sizes as minute as 0.01 microns, ensuring superior filtration.
  • The material composition involves high-quality borosilicate microfibers, which offer impressive durability and efficient coalescing characteristics. 
  • These filters can handle high particulate counts, ensuring clean, dry air all the time.
  • The flow rate is equally impressive, with capacities ranging from 1 CFM to 5,000 CFM.

Atlas Copco’s coalescing filters are a testament to the brand’s commitment to delivering high-quality, reliable, and efficient filtration solutions.

Dust Removal Filters

These filters efficiently remove dry particulates like dust, pollen, and mould spores, ensuring clean and breathable air. They trap these particles in a complex web of fibres, where the dust remains until the filter is either cleaned or replaced.

Dust removal filters are integral in industries that produce a significant amount of dust or where clean air is paramount, such as woodworking, metalworking, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Dust Removal Filter Technical Data

  • Atlas Copco’s dust removal filters not only enhance the lifespan and reliability of your equipment, but also maintain a safe and healthy working environment.
  • These filters tackle particle sizes as small as 1 micron, capturing fine dust and other particulates with ease. 
  • Manufactured from a unique blend of polyester and cellulose, ensuring excellent durability and dust capture rates.
  • Can handle air flow rates ranging from 1 CFM to 5000 CFM, depending on the specific model.

These specifications underscore Atlas Copco’s relentless pursuit of excellence in producing high-performance, reliable filtration solutions.

Micro-biological Filters

Also known as membrane filters, these are designed specifically to remove or reduce microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi from the air stream. Operating under the principle of physical sieving and interception, they have a complex pore structure that allows air to pass through, while retaining the micro-organisms. 

Technical Specifications of Micro-Biological Filters

  • Atlas Copco’s micro-biological filters incorporate a superior design backed by rigorous performance data. 
  • Can filter particulates as small as 0.01 micron, offering a high degree of air purity.
  • Constructed from durable materials like polyethersulfone, polyvinylidene fluoride, or nylon which provide excellent resistance against thermal and chemical impacts. 
  • Premium materials contribute to the filters’ long lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements.
  • Maximum operating pressure of 16 bar (232 psi), ensuring filters can withstand high-pressure environments.
  • Capable of handling very high particulate counts, with a standard particulate removal rate of 99.9999% at 0.01 microns, ideal for even the most demanding industrial applications. 

Atlas Copco’s micro-biological filters maintain the highest level of air purity, safeguarding the quality and safety of end products.

Anatomy of a Compressed Air Filter

The anatomy of a typical compressed air filter consists of several key components designed to ensure optimal filtration and longevity.

At the heart of every compressed air filter is the filter element. This component is responsible for the filtering process, trapping and removing contaminants from the air stream.

The air filter housing forms the outer shell and provides a protective casing for the filter element. Atlas Copco’s air filter housings are made from high-quality materials, ensuring durability and resistance to wear. This robust construction prevents leaks, withstands high pressures, and allows the filter to operate effectively in various environmental conditions.

The drain valve, typically located at the base of the filter, is crucial for removing collected condensate, ensuring that the air leaving the filter is as clean and dry as possible.

Lastly, the end caps fit securely onto the ends of the filter element. These provide a seal between the filter element and the housing, preventing any unfiltered air from bypassing the element.

Together, these components ensure that Atlas Copco’s compressed air filters deliver superior air quality, maintain equipment efficiency and promote a healthier working environment.

The Role of Water Separators

Water separators are essential to protect coalescing filters from bulk liquid contamination. They employ mechanical separation techniques and can remove over 92% of bulk liquid contamination, making them ideal in environments with high humidity levels.

Compressed air dryers are an integral part of the water separation process, working synergistically with water separators to ensure the optimal performance, and longevity, of your equipment.

The core function of a compressed air dryer is to reduce the dew point of the air, effectively removing the water vapour present. Doing so ensures the air is dry before it reaches the water separator, increasing its efficiency and lifespan.

Atlas Copco offers a range of energy-efficient compressed air dryers that further enhance the efficiency of water separators. The dry, clean air produced not only protects tools and equipment, but also improves overall operational performance, by minimising downtime and maintenance costs.

Selecting the Right Compressed Air Filter

When choosing compressed air filtration products for equipment, consider factors including: the air quality required for your specific application, the overall cost of ownership, and the equipment’s environmental impact. 

Choosing the right air filter is a critical decision that can significantly affect operational efficiency, costs, and quality. First, it’s essential to understand the optimal compressed air treatment for the application. 

For instance, applications in the food and beverages industry might require a high-efficiency coalescing filter to remove water and oil aerosols, and tiny solid particles. In contrast, pharmaceutical applications might necessitate micro-biological filters to ensure the sterility of the air.

Avoid over-treating the air as it can lead to unnecessary costs without improving the air quality to a useful level. For example, using a high-cost sub-micro filter in an air compressor that only requires a general-purpose filter, will increase expenses without adding value to the process.

Lastly, always factor in long-term costs, including maintenance, repairs, and replacements. Atlas Copco filters, known for their robust construction and high filtration efficiency, tend to incur lower overall costs. Their longer filter life reduces the frequency of replacement, and their reliability ensures minimal repair costs, resulting in lower total cost of ownership.

Always keep these factors in mind when selecting your compressed air filters. Remember, over-treating the air can result in unnecessary costs. Similarly, consider long-term costs, such as repairs and replacements and buy air filters that provide maximum efficiency, while minimising maintenance expenses.

Maintaining Compressed Air Quality

Maintaining the quality of compressed air is crucial. Regular filter replacement ensures the optimal performance and longevity of your equipment. Monitor pressure drops to determine filter saturation, and replace them as necessary.

Atlas Copco provides filters that minimise environmental impacts, contributing to a greener industrial environment.

Key Takeaways – Compressed Air Quality Filters

The importance of selecting and maintaining quality air filters in your air compressor system cannot be overstated. Choosing the correct filter not only ensures the best performance, but it also prevents unnecessary costs, and contributes to a more sustainable industrial environment.

Atlas Copco products stand out with their robust construction, high filtration efficiency, and minimal environmental impact. Remember, a wise investment in quality filters today can save you significant costs and hassles down the line.

Trust Control Gear to provide the reliability and efficiency you need in compressed air quality filters. Don’t compromise on the quality and performance of equipment. Get expert advice and help from the Control Gear team to select the perfect air filter for your air compressors.

Remember, choosing the right filter can make all the difference in maintaining the quality, efficiency, and longevity of your equipment. Experience the benefits of high-quality air filters with Control Gear and Atlas Copco today.

Contact Us Today.