Fact: In a typical compressed air system, compressed contamination comes from four different sources, these being:
Source 1 – Atmospheric Air
Air compressors draw in huge amounts of atmospheric air, which continuously fills the system with contaminants such as water vapor, micro-organisms, atmospheric dirt and oil vapor.
Source 2 – The Air Compressor
In addition to the contaminants drawn in through the compressor intake, the compressor also adds additional wear particulates from its operation. Additionally, oil lubricated compressors carry over liquid oil, oil aerosols and oil vapor from the compression process. Once through the compression stage, the after-cooler will also condense water vapor, introducing it into the compressed air in both a liquid and aerosol form.
Source 3 – Compressed air storage devices
Source 4 – Compressed air distribution piping
The air receiver (storage device) and the system piping that distributes the compressed air around the facility both store large amounts of contamination. Additionally, they cool the warm, saturated compressed air which causes condensation on a large scale, adding liquid water into the system. This saturated air and liquid water leads to corrosion, pipe scale and microbiological growth.