Industrial Compressed Air Treatment

Industrial Compressed Air Treatment can prevent environmental contaminants such as dust, oil, water and harmful vapours that are drawn into your air compressor and concentrated, from contaminating your compressed air network.

The raw compressed air which is delivered from a standard oil-lubricated air compressor will be contaminated with particulate, water and oil from the compression process. Some processes such as shot blasting will tolerate this contamination, but most modern manufacturing machinery such as CNC centres require clean dry particle free compressed air.

Using a combination of dryers and filtration we can remove the contamination to various levels to suit the process or application, this can be done either in the compressor plant room or at the point of use.

The standard for the measurement of contaminants in compressed air is ISO 8573-1:2010, each contaminate is graded in order with a number between 0 – 6, 6 being the most heavily contaminated and 0 being better than the cleanest listed specification. The contaminates will always be referred to in the following order, Particulate, Water and Oil using the numbers 0-6.

Example of a typical ISO classification or specification for a machine shop would be ISO 8573-1:2010 Class 2.4.2 (particulate 2 / water 4 / oil 2)

For more information about the details of ISO 8573-1:2010 please contact us.

Air compressor filters

Our Atlas Copco air filters reduce contamination from particulates, water and oil, providing you clean air and preventing harmful corrosive sludge from building up inside your pipes and reaching your equipment.

The filters combine technical innovation and rigorous testing to bring you some of the most advanced and effective air filtration systems on the market.

Compressed Air Dryers

There are three main types of air dryers generally used: desiccant, refrigerant and membrane.

Desiccant Air Dryers

Desiccant air dryers traditionally adsorb moisture from your compressed air using a desiccant material. They’re suitable for all industrial applications and are particularly effective if you require extremely dry air at low Pressure DewPoint (PDP) requirements of -20°C PDP or as low as -70°C PDP for specialist applications.

Atlas Copco’s most recent innovation in desiccant drying is the new Cerades CD+ range which has a revolutionary ceramic desiccant core which has improved flow and reduced pressure drop across the dryer while removing the need to use a dust filter after the dryer to contain the dust carried over by a traditional desiccant dryer. The new Cerades CD+ dryers have also reduced the volume of purge air required to regenerate the desiccant to an average of only 16% against the usual 18-20% lost using a traditional desiccant.

Refrigerant dryers

Refrigerated dryers protect your compressor system by cooling the air and turning water vapours into condensation. The excess water is then drained away, preventing harmful corrosion.

The dryers have low operational costs and are most often used in general plant operations providing PDP of around 3°C under normal operating conditions.

Membrane air dryers

In a membrane dryer, compressed air flows through membrane tubes in a pressurised vessel. Water molecules pass through the membrane into the vessel, where they’re safely drained away.

Membrane dryers are lightweight, compact and have no moving parts, so they’re cost-effective to run and require little maintenance and achieve dryer air than a refrigerant dryer. Membrane dryers can achieve very low PDP levels, but the PDP outlet is directly proportional to the PDP inlet, this is referred to as Pressure DewPoint Suppresion (PDPS).

The Atlas Copco SD membrane dryers are available with a choice of -35°C or -55°C PDPS

Example 1      Site air is already fridge dried to 3°C, using a membrane dryer with a -35PDPS we will lower the DewPoint to -32°C PDP.

Example 2     Site air is untreated, we can assume a PDP of approximately 25°C, using a membrane dryer with a -35PDPS we will lower the DewPoint to -10°C PDP.

Membrane dryers are very popular with Coordinate Measurement Machines (CMMs) as they can be fitted at the CMM air inlet and do not need any power to work.

Oil water separators

Condensate treatment units take the water and oil that have been filtered from your compressed air and separate them, so the oil can be disposed of safely.

Use Atlas Copco EWD zero-loss drains with liquid level sensors to monitor the condensate build up and only empties it when it reaches a certain level. This saves energy and stops you wasting your compressed air.