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All compressed breathing air systems have one or more filtration cartridges that purifies air by removing common contaminants found in compressed breathing air. Because of the type of air filtration used on our systems, all Nuvair high-pressure breathing air compressors meet or exceed CGA Grade E standards. Each section of a breathing air filter element has a specific purpose:
- - Molecular sieve section: Filters out oil, liquid, water and solids
- - Hopcalite section: Converts carbon monoxide (CO) to carbon dioxide (CO2)
- - Activated carbon section: Filters out undesirable taste and odor
Nuvair stocks low-pressure breathing air filters, condensate and oil/water separators commonly used in the commercial diving industry. Whether you're looking for individual filters or multi-stage packages, Nuvair has your filtration in stock. You can order individual filters online or contact us to put together a breathing air package for your compressor based on your specific needs.
In addition to filtration, compressed-air drying contributes significantly to an increase in process reliability. Humidity in compressed-air systems causes corrosion, and promotes the growth of micro-organisms. In individual cases, condensate emerges at the point of use - an ongoing danger for the operational flow, for example because of failing pneumatic controls, increased wear and tear or because of other disturbances in the production process.
Common Compressed Air Contaminants
- Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is the most toxic contaminant in compressed air. It enters the breathing air system through the air intake, or is produced by overheating of piston type compressors. The air intake must be placed away from engine exhaust or other sources of carbon monoxide.
- Water/Water Vapor
Air contains moisture which is drawn into the compressor and enters the air stream as a vapor. As compressed air flows through the system, it cools, causing the vapor to condense in the face piece or helmet. Moisture combines with oil and solid contaminants to form sludge, which can clog or damage system components. Water also causes rust in pipelines, and can freeze in cold weather to block air flow.
- Oil/Oil Mist
Oil is a major contaminant in systems using lubricated compressors. In reciprocating compressors, lubricating oil applied to cylinders causes small droplets by the shearing action of the piston to enter the air system as a mist. Oil mist can cause breathing discomfort, nausea and pneumonia, and create unpleasant taste and odors. Centrifugal compressors are oil free.
Solids generally enter the system through the air intake. However, some materials may be introduced by the compressor itself. In non-lubricated compressors, teflon, carbon and other materials are used as lubricants. Frictional wear can cause particles from these materials to enter the air stream.