Choosing the Right Compressed Air Filter

Compressed air filters are used to remove contaminants from air after compression. There are many types, sizes and levels of quality for filters, depending on their use. Choosing the right type of filter depends on the level of maintenance you are willing to perform and the requirements of your system.
Finding the right filter for your industrial air compressor can increase the efficiency of your unit and reduce energy costs.

View compressed air filters

  • Why use a compressed air filter?

    ewo filter regulator

    High-precision industrial processes must be free of contaminants. Just as when you put a paper filter in your percolator to obtain a clean, perfectly filtered coffee, your pneumatic equipment (valve or cylinder) needs a compressed air filter to work with air that is free of particles, oil aerosols and other lubricants.

    Compressed air increases the concentration per m3 of particles in the atmosphere. The air leaving a compressor is also loaded with other contaminants (dust, rust, oil, water, etc.).

    In order to obtain the purest air quality possible, filters must be connected to the airflow to capture impurities before they contaminate the system.

    Installing the correct compressed air filter will thus prevent:

    • damaging expensive equipment (corrosion of metal components, clogging of valves and pipes, etc.)
    • contaminating products (particularly in the agri-food, pharmaceutical and medical industries)
    • affecting the performance or lifetime of other air handling components
    • fires
    • unexpected downtime due to equipment breaking down
    • constant equipment maintenance
  • How to choose a compressed air filter?

    Before choosing your compressed air filter, there are several elements you should consider:

    • The size of the particles to be filtered
      • There are standard universal filters that remove particles from 5 to 40 microns.
      • Filters that remove particles less than 1 micron also exist, in particular for pharmaceutical and food industry equipment.
    • The flow rate and head loss (or pressure drop)
      • Filters exist in different sizes depending on the flows to be managed. These flows can be up to 1,700 Nm³/h.
      • In order to select the right size, you will need to determine the maximum head loss for your filter.
      • Refer to the pressure drop curves according to the flow rate provided by manufacturers.
      • For optimal operation, it is recommended to avoid pressure drops greater than 5 psi.
    • Temperature
      • At what temperature will your compressed air filter operate?
      • High performance filters are available for high temperatures (over 450°C).
    • Environmental standards
      • Compressed air filters are subject to the ISO 8573 standard, which specifies the purity classes of compressed air for the presence of solid particles, water and oil, regardless of their location in the compressed air system.
      • This standard also provides general information on pollutants in compressed air systems and refers to other parts of ISO 8573 with regard to the measurement of compressed air purity or the specification of compressed air purity requirements.
      • Lastly, the ISO 8573-1:2010 standard also identifies gaseous and microbiological pollutants.

    Elements to consider before choosing your filter:

    • The size of the particles to be filtered
    • The flow rate and head loss
    • Temperature
    • The applicable standards
  • What are the different types of compressed air filters?

    PIAB particle filter

    There are various filters available for removing different types of contaminants.

    Particle filters

    They remove particles such as dust, dirt, pollen, etc.

    They remove 99% of the particles present in the air with a diameter of 0.3 micrometers.

    CAMOZZI AUTOMATION coalescing filter

    Coalescing filter

    They are used to filter liquids, oil aerosols and certain submicron particles (up to 0.01 micron) suspended in compressed air.

    They increase the coalescence of liquids. Coalescence is the process by which fine drops of liquids fuse together to form large drops under the effect of a pressure drop. As the droplets grow, they fall into a moisture trap, ridding the air of any liquid contaminants. This means the compressed air obtained is drier and cleaner.

    They are easy to maintain because they do not clog up much, but these filters are not effective at removing vapours.

    There are also cold coalescing filters (operating at 2°C) that are more effective at filtering moisture.

    JURA FILTRATION activated carbon filter

    • Activated carbon or steam filters
      • They are used to remove odors and impurities through the process called “adsorption.”
      • Adsorption is the chemical process by which the activated carbon filter naturally attracts oil vapors.
      • These filters are very expensive however.
      • They also require a dust filter to prevent small particles of coal from bursting and entering the airflow.
  • Why choose a pressure regulating filter?

    CAMOZZI AUTOMATION filter regulator

    Pressure regulating filters provide clean, dry air with controlled pressure.

    • They can be mounted in a compressor, or between compressed air lines, in addition to the compressed air devices.
    • The pressure can be adjusted manually at any time. This means you don’t have to worry about pressure fluctuations. You will be able to keep full control over the pressure thanks to a pressure gauge, supplied with the pressure regulating filter.
  • Why choose a filter lubricator?

    A filter lubricator is a component that cleans the air from the compressor and lubricates it for the network.

    • Lubrication is made possible by an integrated lubricator that controlls the quantites of oil added to the compressed air system.
    • Filter lubricators are compact, easy to install and inexpensive.
    • They are, most often, equipped with a tank of about 150ml. This will allow you to avoid using traditional lubrication methods, which are very time-consuming.
    • This will help you avoid damage to your pneumatic equipment, which can be caused by moisture, rust or limescale.
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