Compressed Air Filters: Here’s What You Need to Know

Compressed Air Filters: Here's What You Need to Know

This article describes and discusses various air filtration and air treatment products, as well as related hardware like drains.

The reliability of machines’ processes and output is significantly increased by proper air preparation. Compressed air contains particles, moisture, and oils that shorten component and system lifespans and affect their functionality. They also reduce output and energy effectiveness.

To achieve the desired outcome when working with compressed air, air treatment is essential. What sorts of air filters are there, though? How do they all function, then? Learn all the information you require to make your decision here.

What is a Compressed Air Filter?

To purge the air of contaminants such as water, dirt, oil, and other impurities, air filters are installed into the supply lines of compressed air systems. In addition to preventing damage and corrosion, they enhance the functionality of the equipment and components used downstream.

  • FRL compressed air filters refer to a modular system comprised of a filter, a regulator, and a lubricator. Prior to delivery to downstream machinery or the point of use, FRLs treat the compressed air.
  • Mainline compressed air filters are installed on the primary air supply line after the air compressor.
  • Miniature compressed air filters are compact, lightweight, and attach directly to an air tool.
  • Disposable compressed air filters can be disposed of when in need of replacement, reducing maintenance and cleaning.
  • Sterile compressed air filters’ have a high filter efficiency rating for removing contaminants including viable organisms such as bacteria and mold.

We have introduced other compressed air energy storage products:

Why Compressed Air Filtration is Necessary?

Compressed Air Filters: Here's What You Need to Know

One cubic foot of compressed air has the potential to contain millions of dirt particles, sizable amounts of water and oil, and even heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury. Long-term trouble-free operation of the system’s parts, such as valves and cylinders, cannot be guaranteed if they are not filtered out.

Control valves may become contaminated, and seals may swell and prematurely wear as a result of improperly prepared compressed air. Thus, minimizing machine downtime as well as maintenance and energy costs requires proper compressed air preparation.

Types of Compressed Air Filters

You must first be familiar with the different types of compressed air filters and the underlying operating theories behind them in order to choose the right one. You can find the information you need to select the ideal compressed air filter for you in this guide.

  1. Particulate air filters
  2. Activated carbon air filters
  3. Coalescing air filters

Particulate Air Filters

Particulate air line filters remove dust and other harmful particles from compressed air. The particulate filter, like the membrane air dryer, employs a membrane that only allows air to pass through and blocks other pollutants like dust, pollen, and dirt.

Why pick a particulate air filter?

Particulate air filters are often used after an adsorption dryer like a desiccant dryer. To extend the life of your air compressor, they also filter internal particulate matter like corrosion.

Benefits of a particulate filter

  • Filter particulate impurities like dust
  • Prevents clogs in airlines

If you’re looking for a finer filter that removes fumes and vapors, the activated carbon filter is what you need, for moisture you are better off with a coalescent filter.

Activated Carbon Air Filters

Activated carbon filters are often referred to as vapor removal filters, perfectly describing how carbon is used to attract gaseous contaminants and immobilize them. Due to its substantial surface area, carbon is a robust type of filter.

However, to maintain the same level of filtration, the pressure must decrease as the filter becomes more saturated. In order to maintain a reasonable amount of pressure, the carbon filter needs to be replaced every so often.

What makes an activated carbon air filter preferable?

Activated carbon filters or vapor filters are mostly used for food processing and the production of breathable air.

Compressed Air Filters: Here's What You Need to Know

Reasons to go for a vapor removal filter

  • Filters gaseous contaminants like odors, chemical fumes, and vapours
  • Most common filter type
  • Easy to maintain

Vapor filters are often followed by a particulate filter to catch possible carbon particles that break off into the air.

If you’re looking for a filter to take care of moisture, you are more likely to find what you need in a coalescing filter.

Coalescing Air Filters

Coalescing air filters remove liquids like water, aerosols, lubricants, and other oil particles from the air. Through pressure drops and the tortuous path working principle, they coalesce aerosols into droplets.

Because of this versatile way of working, coalescing air filters also catch particulates. To prevent pollution, they are captured alongside the aerosol particles, drained, and put through an oil-water separator.

As with the carbon air filters, coalescing filters need regular replacing to avoid the pressure dropping too dramatically.

The benefits of using a coalescing air filter

Coalescing air filters are incredibly versatile, though not very energy efficient.

  • Filter water and oil aerosols
  • Filter particulate contaminants to a high degree

Properly Maintaining Filter Elements

Compressed air filters

Filter elements must be periodically replaced in order to keep filters operating effectively. Several factors, including the caliber of the supply air and the machine’s operating hours, will affect how frequently this needs to be done. A preventive maintenance schedule that replaces the filter elements every six months is one strategy you can use.

Using differential pressure sensors, which gauge the difference in pressure between a filter’s supply and output pressure, is a more trustworthy approach. When the filter is starting to clog, the pressure will drop.

These could be visual indicators on the filter unit itself or electrical sensors that send a signal to a PLC, which can then alert the operator. When the filter element is clean, for instance, the indicator might be green; when it is clogged and needs to be replaced, it might be red.

Costs and Considerations of Compressed Air Filters

Quality should be considered when buying compressed air filters. Cleaner air will be produced by quality air filters, which will result in fewer issues with your equipment.

When compared to inferior air filters, quality ones have a lower pressure drop. You will save energy by doing this. Every pressure drop in your system (caused by filters, dryers, long piping, etc.) will require you to put your compressor on a higher setpoint, which will cost you extra electricity.

Your filters will eventually fill up with dust. For the compressed air, all this dust will present an additional challenge. This implies that over time, the pressure drop over your filter will increase.

Air filters of lower quality will clog up more quickly than those of higher quality. You’ll need to purchase new filters more frequently as a result of this. With low-cost air filters, however, it also means that the pressure drop over your filter will increase and happen more quickly.

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