air compressor myths pt 1

With the amount of information available on the internet about air treatment and compressors, it can be hard to decipher how much of it is actually true! Here are some common myths and misconceptions about air treatment, debunked:

Myth: Filter elements should only be changed when differential pressure (DP) is high.

Fact: Compressed air filtration is installed to improve air quality. DP gauges/indicators are blockage indicators, not air quality indicators. To ensure your compressed air quality, filter elements should be changed annually in line with manufacturer’s instructions.

Myth: Coalescing filters are ONLY for oil removal.

Fact: Coalescing filters have an even higher capture rate with solid contaminants than with liquids.

Myth: Oil contamination is not present in atmospheric air.

Fact: Atmospheric air typically contains between 0.05mg/m3 and 0.5mg/m3 of oil vapor from sources such as car exhaust and industrial processes. Because oil-free compressors use large quantities of atmospheric air, which contains oil vapor that can cool and condense in the compressed air systems, the use of oil-free compressors does not guarantee oil-free air.

Myth: Liquid oil and oil aerosol are the only contaminants present in a compressed air system.

Fact: Generally, there are 10 contaminants found in a typical compressed air system that need to be removed or reduced for the system to run efficiently:

  • Water vapor
  • Liquid oil
  • Oil vapor
  • Rust/atmospheric dirt
  • Water aerosols
  • Microorganisms
  • Oil aerosols
  • Liquid water
  • Pipe scale

Only two of these contaminants, liquid oil and oil aerosol, are introduced by a lubricating compressor. The purification equipment required to reduce or remove the remaining contaminants also removes liquid oil and oil aerosols by virtue of their operation. Therefore, regardless of the type of compressor installed, purification equipment is required.
At 3C, we believe in the importance of educating all air compressor owners and users so that they fully understand the machines they work with. Do you still have unanswered questions about air compressors or air treatment that you’d like solved? Contact us today!

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