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Image of an engineer walking past a Atlas Copco Filter
Technology, Air Treatment

How clean is your compressed air?


Efficient production processes and uncontaminated end products rely on the purity of compressed air. Untreated compressed air may cause extensive damage and lead to serious performance degradation. Just like the air conditioners in our homes, compressed air systems are outfitted with filters to capture air impurities.

How Filtration Works

Originating from the intake air, installation or the lubrication of the compressor element, dust or oil aerosol particles contaminate compressed air and must be removed before the air is used in its intended process. Therefore, filters are installed after the compressor.

Inside the filter is a layer of filter media, made up of glass fiber layers distributed randomly and oriented in all directions. If contaminant particles are larger than the openings between the fibers, they will be separated from the air stream mechanically, like a soccer ball that gets caught in the net of the goal. This process is called “sieving.”

While sieving works for particles that are larger than 1 mm, most contaminants are much smaller than the spaces through which the air flows. In order to remove these tiny particles, three different filtration mechanisms – including inertial impaction, interception and diffusion – come into play.

The calculation of filter efficiency takes into account all three mechanisms. Therefore, filters are engineered to meet both high filtration efficiency and ISO air quality standards. And quality air leads to many benefits including less ongoing maintenance, energy efficiency and of course, cost savings.

Innovative Filtration Technology Results in Cleaner Compressed Air

Atlas Copco’s latest filter technology, the UD+, utilizes filter media of a lower density than in classic coalescing filter technology. Even though the glass fibers in the filter media are not placed as closely to each other as with classic coalescing filters, the forest is significantly larger, resulting in extremely low oil carry-over.

Additionally, less dense filter media ensures the much easier passage of air. This reduces pressure drops and results in a filter that is much more energy efficient. If you’d like to learn more about Atlas Copco’s innovative filtration technology, fill out our Request a Quote form and a representative will be in touch with you shortly.

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