Factsheets - Know How for Compressed Air

Factsheets serve to give a compressed but significant information on various topics in the field of "compressed air" in a short time. Furthermore the knowledge of products will be extended and know-how of compressor stations will be given. This is a database of compressed air basics for your daily practice and will be extended on a regulary basis.

Production of oil-free compressed air

The ISO 8573 standard was drawn up to provide an international standard for the quality of compressed air. Part 1 of the standard specifies purity classes of compressed air.

One important aspect here is contamination with oil, which includes all hydrocarbons with 6 or more carbons in the chain. To meet the requirements for quality class 1, the oil content must be ≤ 0.01 mg of oil per cubic metre of expanded compressed air. This oil content includes hydrocarbons in liquid, aerosol or vapour form.


Production of oil-free compressed air with activated carbon and refrigeration drying

For the production of compressed air of ISO 8573 quality class 1, most operators use activated-carbon adsorbers that remove oil molecules from the compressed air by means of adsorption. As activated carbon also absorbs water vapour, it can be quickly spent, especially where the air contains quite a lot of water vapour. At this point, the activated-carbon adsorber is no longer able to take up oil molecules, so that the concentration in the downstream compressed air exceeds the limit for quality class 1 (> 0.01 mg/m3 ). For reliable long-term treatment and consistent low residual oil contents, the compressed air must therefore be dried before it enters the activated carbon...


Preventive maintenance

Even high-quality compressed air system components are exposed to some wear. Preventive maintenance aimed at reducing the risk of failure or malfunction includes the timely replacement of wear and maintenance parts. Depending on the actual operation and the prevalent operating conditions, such parts should be replaced at least every 12 months.


Calibration and adjustment

A measurement error is the difference between a measured value of quantity and its true value. Such errors tend to become more frequent the longer a device is in operation. At some time, the deviations might be so great that they are no longer within the specifications, which means that quality is no longer assured.
By calibrating the device, the measurement error can be determined and documented. If the measurements are outside the permissible range, the device needs to be adjusted. In this process, the measuring instrument is reconfigured so that measurement errors are minimised and deviations from the setpoint value are within the device specifications.


Optimising system pressure

An operating pressure that is too high by as little as 1 bar can already lead to a huge increase in operating costs.


Compresssed air filters - The cost of pressure drop

Compressed air filters improve the quality of the compressed air by removing contaminants. As these tend to deposit on the filter material, the pressure drop increases gradually over time. To ensure that there is sufficient pressure available at the consumers, the compressor must compensate this pressure drop, which results in higher energy costs. 


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