It keeps things clean and running smoothly
Because the product of an air compressor is air, the air filter plays a critical part in its operation. There are many substances that can get into an air compressor system such as dirt, dust and metal oxides which interfere with the machine itself as well as the pipes and tubes. These particles can clog openings, wear out seals and other components resulting in decreased air output. So here are some basic compressor care tips.
Combining with contaminants that get into the air compressor, chemical gases can cause more damage. Some of these gases are: carbon dioxide, chlorine, sulphur and freon. During the compression process, water is produced which in turn can cause molds and fungi in the system. These microbes produce waste which can clog pipes and cause valves to jam.
A good air filter in an air compressor can prevent this and ensure that only clean, dry air is in the system. There are several types of compressed air filters based on several filtration systems such as direct interception of contaminants, inertial impaction and diffusional interception using the Brownian Motion of small particles.
A compression intake filter is the first line of protection and blocks contaminants before they can enter the compression chamber. Aside from removing 80% of particulates, it also blocks chemical contaminants. Compressor air/oil separators are a type of filter used in rotary screw air compressors. This type removes oil and water droplets from the air stream. It also removes large solids that can interfere with the air flow.
A coalescing filter removes oil and water particles in the air by blending them into droplets. The droplets are then removed from the compressed air stream. A particulate filter removes large contaminants like scales and metal oxides. The high temperature particulate filter performs the filtering function but with protection against high temperatures which might be a cause of fire. Usually the final stage in the filtration process, a vapor filter removes chemical vapors which manifest themselves in things like odors and flavors. It is placed as close as possible to the output of the air compressor.
In summary, the purpose of the air filter in an air compressor is to deliver not just air but clean air and ensure that the air compressor functions efficiently. By removing all the impurities that can interfere with the operations of an air compressor, the air filter protects the parts of the machine and prolongs its life.