Compressed air filtration: the basics

Various type of industrial compressed air filters

Much like a fuel filter in a car is essential for smooth vehicle operation, compressed air filtration is essential for the proper functioning of your compressed air system.

Not only does filtration ensure that your air supply is free of impurities, it dramatically affects the reliability and efficiency of your compressed air system.

Here, we outline the importance of compressed air filtration and the important factors you should consider when determining your compressed air treatment requirements.

Filter for purifier

Protecting against contaminants

Unfiltered air contains millions of particles of dirt, water, oil and other contaminants, each of which can affect your compressed air system in different ways.

The solid particles found in atmospheric air (ambient air), such as dust, can clog valves, while water droplets can oxidise pipes, affect paintwork and damage components.

Oil particles can cause seals and cylinders to swell, and they can even have detrimental health effects, particularly if the application is for the food or medical industry.

Compressed air filtration is essential to mitigate the risks associated with these contaminants, which will reduce system downtime, increase efficiency and minimise maintenance and energy costs.

Manometer, Pressure gauge

Purity, pressure and flow

There are three important aspects that work together to deliver high quality compressed air, which you should consider when deciding your compressed air filtration requirements: purity, pressure and flow.

Compressed air purity is the quality of the air, in regard to the presence of water, oil and other particles. Your level of compressed air purity will not only have consequences for the performance and efficiency of your system, but can have health and legal ramifications if it doesn’t meet the required level.

The flow (volume) and pressure of compressed air will largely be dependent on the compressed air system (with larger systems generally having larger flow rates and pressure). Optimal flow and pressure not only increase system efficiency, but reduce the costs associated with maintenance and energy consumption.

Traditional filters should be sized to handle the flow rate required, while a pressure gauge across the filter will allow you to monitor the build-up of contaminants. Some filter types will ensure the removal of dirt and water, while some remove oil.

Ensuring you understand your application and its challenges – as well as your compressed air filtration requirements – is essential if you are to enjoy the optimal purity, pressure and flow of your compressed air.

Different size of Air filtration

Pilot Air filtration products

Each of Pilot Air’s compressed air treatment and filtration systems is designed to suit varying degrees of filtration and size based on the flow of air in the application.

Activated carbon filter: for the elimination of oil vapours and odour. When installed after an (X) grade filter, it lowers the maximum contents of residual oil to 0.005 mg/m.

0.01 Micron Industrial Air Filter Series X: Oil removing filter capable of separating residual oil and extremely small particles down to 0.01 micron. Maximum content of residual oil 0.01 mg/m³. It produces air technically free from oil.

1 Micron Industrial Air Filter Series S: Filter capable of separating particles down to 1 micron, liquid and oil included. Maximum contents of residual oil 0.1 mg/m³.

3 Micron Industrial Air Filter Series P: Filter capable of separating emulsion and particles down to 3 microns.

QS-01 and QS-02 Compressed Air Filters: Separates moisture out of the compressed air flow with cyclonic action. With 35L/sec max. flow rate, ½” BSP inlet and outlet ports, it is suitable as a workshop filter or industrial pre-filter filter.

Extensive product range

Whether you are looking for a custom-built air compressor or a catalogue product, Pilot Air’s extensive offering of Australian made compressed air storage tanks offers a solution for all your needs, no matter the industry.

Our product range and large stock levels, combined with our comprehensive spare parts inventory, ensure we maintain your compressed air system’s reliability and efficiency while reducing whole-of-life operating costs.

Learn more about our compressed air products.