In-Line Filtration for Compressed Air
From the intake at the compressor to the point-of-use, utilizing the right type of filters and maintaining them regularly will ensure a consistent supply of clean air to your operations and reduce pressure drop.
About Our In-Line Filtration for Compressed Air
Fluid-Aire Dynamics carries high-quality inline filters from PneuTech as well as national brands like Ingersoll Rand and Great Lakes Air. We can help you get to the air purity you need while minimizing pressure drop and maximizing energy savings.
- Compressed air particulate filters
- Activated carbon filters for compressed air
- Coalescing inline filters for compressed air (utility grade and high efficiency)
- 2-in-1 filtration elements
- Compressed air filter housings
- Moisture separators
Proper air compressor filter maintenance will go a long way towards preventing problems with your air compressor. Clean air and oil filters will save energy, reduce wear and tear on the air end and extend the life of your air compressor. The right inline filters will remove contaminants from the airstream, including:
- Dry particulate (filter ratings from 1 micron to 0.01 micron)
- Oil (down to 0.002 PPM)
- Hydrocarbon mists and vapors (activated carbon filters only)
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What is the difference between a particulate and coalescing inline filter for compressed air?
Particulate inline filters remove solid particulate. Coalescing filters remove both oil and solid particulate; they can usually remove much smaller particles than is possible with dry filtration alone.
- A standard particulate filter uses a basic dry filter media to remove larger particles (usually 3 micron or larger) along with some liquid water as the air stream passes through the media. Some can capture dry particulate down to 1 micron. They are not designed for oil mists. These filters are appropriate for applications where the air does not need to be especially clean and oil carryover is not a concern.
- Coalescing filters use multiple layers of very fine mesh to trap both liquids and fine particulate. Aerosolized oil droplets are captured by the fine mesh, where they coalesce back into larger droplets. Oil drips off the filter and is collected along with fine particulates trapped in the oil droplets. Coalescing filters remove smaller particles, down to 1 micron or even 0.01 micron in size, along with as much as 99.9999% of the liquid oil from the downstream compressed air line.
Coalescing inline compressed air filters are preferred for most compressed air applications because they can capture oil mists as well as dry particulate and are able to capture smaller particles as well as the coarse particles collected by a particulate inline filter.
Learn more about inline filtration options. Now sure which is right for you? Contact one of our inline filtration experts.
What is the micron rating for a compressed air filter?
Inline filters for compressed air are rated by the size of particulate they are able to remove. The smaller the micron rating, the smaller the pore size and the smaller the particles it is able to capture and remove from the airstream.
- A 1 micron filter can remove particles down to a size of 1 micron. These filters can capture most allergens, mold spores, larger dust particles and many bacteria.
- A 0.01 micron filter removes material 100 times smaller than a 1 micron filter can capture. Fine particulates from combustion engines, suspended atmospheric dust and many viruses fall into this size range.
Most 1 and .01 micron elements are coalescing-type filter elements, which remove aerosolized oil mists as well as dry particulate. Most filter companies sell the 1 micron and the .01 micron elements at the same price. So which inline filter is right for you? It depends on your applications and how clean you need the air to be.
- Most plants can be served well by 1 micron filters. These inline filters are perfectly adequate for removing the majority of dry particulate and oil from compressed air. They will tend to have a longer life than 0.01 micron filters, but have higher oil carryover and will not remove the smallest dry particulates.
- A 0.01 micron element will take out more oil and smaller particles, such as the fine particulate created by combustion engines. These filters will produce drier, cleaner compressed air, which can be important for sensitive applications. The only drawback is that it will have a shorter life and experience higher pressure drop because it is collecting more oil and particulate.
The literature for the inline filter will provide specifications, including the micron rating and the percentage of particulate it removes of this size. For example, the PneuTech Utility Grade Coalescing Filter removes 99.99% of particulate down to 1 micron, while the PneuTech High-Efficiency Coalescing removes 99.99% of particulate down to 0.01 micron.
Not sure which inline compressed air filter is right for you? Contact us for help in designing your compressed air filtration system.
How often do compressed air inline filters need to be changed?
Inline filters should be replaced at least annually or after 8,000 hours of operation. Filters may need to be changed more frequently if the incoming air is dirty or oily. The inline filter for your compressed air system removes oil and particulates from the compressed air supply. Over time, the filter media becomes loaded. When this happens, you will notice increased pressure drop across the filters, which is shown by the pressure differential indicator. Change the filters when indicated by the pressure differential indicator, even if it has not yet been a year.
When inline filters are loaded, they can no longer perform their job of removing contaminants from compressed air. This results in poorer air quality. Operating with loaded filters also drives up energy costs, as it takes more energy to push compressed air through the saturated filters. You will need to change inline filters more often if:
- Incoming air contains a lot of particulates.
- You experience high oil carryover from your air compressor.
- The filtration system has not been adequately sized for your compressed air system.
Do compressed air filters need to be changed annually, even if you are not noticing pressure drop? Yes. Pressure differential indicators can give false readings sometimes due to improper installation of the filter element or a small hole in the element. In this case, no pressure differential is present. However, the filter media will still be saturated and worn. For best results, make sure your inline compressed air filters are changed every year.