Compressed air has a variety of applications within industries from food processing to manufacturing and textile production. The quality of air in these applications is important as it directly affects the installed machines and product quality. Therefore, it is imperative that the compressed air is clean, meaning free from contaminants, which is where air quality standards come in.

When the air is cleaner, there is a lower risk of contamination, which can be critical in industries such as food and beverage or pharmaceutical industries. This is a guide to compressed air quality standards.

What is Compressed Air Quality?

When ambient air is collected for compressing, other particles are also collected such as solid particles/dust, water (liquid or vapour) and oil content (vapour or aerosol), which contaminates the air. In the compression process, the concentration of these contaminants increases, as more can be added. Therefore, air treatment is vital in removing these contaminates from the compressed air system.

When the air is correctly treated, it is then considered clean and safe for use. Air quality is determined by both how clean and dry it is, and this can be calculated by counting the number of particles of a specific size that are present in one cubic metre of air, the dew point and the amount of oil (aerosol and vapour).

ISO Air Quality Standard

The international standard to test compressed air quality known as ISO 8573-1 was developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). These air quality standards measure the water, oil content and solid particles present in the compressed air.

Depending on the amount of contaminants found in the compressed air, a specific air quality class is assigned. These classes are set in accordance with ISO 8573-1, and air compressors are class graded according to their purity after compression. This allows you to understand which type of compressor you require in line with the air purity class your application needs.

What is Class 0 for Air Quality?

Class 0 compressed air refers to the highest level of air quality available. It has been recommended that Class 0 air should only be used in critical processes to reduce the risk of air contamination. Although its name may suggest it, this classification does not mean the compressed air has zero contamination, but it does have the minimum level of contamination present.

Businesses that use air compressors for breathing applications should get these regularly tested for air contamination, as this could cause serious health risks. At Air Power East, we provide air compression quality testing and services to ensure your air compressor performs optimally. Contact us today if you have any further questions or you’re interested in any of our air compressor services.

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