Why compressed air preparation?
Untreated compressed air contains contamination in the form of particles, water and oil. Water and oil can either be liquid or gaseous and change from one state to another within the compressed air system. None of these three contaminants is present in a compressed air system in their pure form; they form a mixture. The composition of this mixture can vary greatly at different times and in different places in the system. For example, water can collect in branch lines or particles can become deposited in dead spaces over time, and then be suddenly propelled along by a pressure surge.
Each cubic metre of compressed air contains millions of dirt particles, significant quantities of water and oil and even heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury. If these are not filtered out, there can be no guarantee that the system components will continue to work properly in the long term. What's more, these hazardous materials considerably impair product quality. Correct compressed air preparation is therefore vital in order to reduce machine breakdowns and downtime and guarantee process and product reliability.
Poorly prepared compressed air causes malfunctions such as:
- Fast seal wear
- Oiled-up valves in the control section
- Contaminated silencers
Possible effects on the user and machine:
- Reduced machine availability
- Higher energy costs due to leakages
- Higher maintenance costs
- Shorter component and system service life