Air filters have a relatively standard purpose. As air carrying various particulates and debris passes through them, they trap and collect the particles to purify the air stream. However, different types of filters complete this task in different ways, depending on the kind of particles you need to filter out of the airflow. Some collect wet particles, others target dry particles and some types can even remove vapors and odors.
Water is naturally occuring in the air as a vapor, and some of it carries into compressed air. With high humidity in workspaces and other gas from the compression process, the particles can potentially cause problems with continued exposure.
Oil particles are also prevalent in compressed air. However, the amount that passes through depends on the type of machine you’re using, its design, operational age and overall condition.
All air contains a small quantity of dirt and dust, but your location can affect what kinds of particles are traveling through your compressor. For instance, if your facilities or jobsites involve working with metals or construction materials, particles from these items can enter the airflow as you’re using the compressor. When allowed to remain in your airflow, these materials can damage pneumatic tools and cause health risks for your employees.
Many of the contaminating particles in compressed air can result in the growth of microorganisms in pipes when they mix with the water and oil residues. Bacteria and viruses can multiply under these conditions, further contaminating the air coming from your pneumatic devices.