Filters promote air-system reliability

April 11, 2013
Proper filtration is the key to keeping pneumatic systems up and running.

Filters remove dirt, water, and other contaminants that, left unchecked, can hasten the demise of air-powered equipment. Many of the latest versions have high dirt-holding capacity for longer life, improved flow paths that lead to better energy efficiency, and can even alert users when they need maintenance. Here’s a look at some of the newest products on the market.

Repairable inline filter

RIF-Series inline filters are designed to protect small air tools such as grinders, impact wrenches, and screwdrivers. The light and compact anodized-aluminum units can install directly before an air tool, extending life and reducing downtime by capturing foreign particles in the air stream. RIF filters can also be used in low-pressure hydraulic applications. Connection sizes range from 0.12 to 0.5-in. NPT with elements rated for 20-, 40-, or 90-µm filtration.
Adsens Technology, (800) 641-9026,

Lightweight polymer design

Series AS air-preparation units have a lightweight polymer construction and smooth surface, important in industries like food and packaging. The series includes filter choices of 40, 25, 5, 0.3, or 0.01 µm, and activated carbon, as well as regulators, lubricators, and other modular components that permit standard and custom combinations. Ports have inch or ISO-G (BSPP) metal threads in sizes from 0.25 to 1 in. Systems can be customized with lockout or soft-start valves, distribution blocks, filter-regulator combinations, and other accessories.
Bosch Rexroth Pneumatics, (859) 254-8031,

Modular FRL

Series MX air-treatment components for a range of modular FRLs come in five port sizes from 0.38 to 1 in. The durable and lightweight components have aluminum bodies with a polymer cover and polycarbonate bowls. Filter choices include 25-μm and 5-μm particulate filters, 1-μm and 0.01-μm coalescing filters, and an activated-carbon filter. This makes the Series MX suitable for applications ranging from machine tools to food handling. A rapid-clamp system lets users remove and replace one element from the group without disassembling the others.Camozzi, (972) 548-8885,

Filters and accessories

The Maximatic line of FRLs include filters that use centrifugal action to fo
rce water and large solid particles against the side of the housing, where they collect and fall to the lower part of the bowl. The air filter captures smaller particles. The units also include regulators adjustable from 7 to 125 psig and lubricators that control oil dispersal with an adjustable needle valve. The FRLs are rated to 150 psig pressure and have port sizes from #10-32 to 1 in. with standard or high flow rates. Variations include stacking filter/regulators and several bowl and drain options.Clippard Instrument Laboratory, (888) 787-6046,

Compressed-air prep unit

The MS9 with 1-in. ports is the latest addition to the MS Series of air-preparation components. The modular units include pressure regulators, on/off and soft-start valves, filters, dryers, and lubricators, as well as modules with integrated sensors for remote adjustability and monitoring. Connection sizes are from ½ to 1½ in.; filtration grades range from 40 μm to activated carbon filtration. All modules can be replaced without disassembling the entire system. MS9 units can be combined with soft-start and quick-exhaust valves for rapid venting during an emergency shutdown in safety-critical areas.Festo, (800) 993-3786,

Clean-air package

The Clean Air Package is for critical applications that cannot tolerate vapor impurities. First, particulate filters protect against gross contaminants, removing solid particles larger than 5 mm. Automatic drains eliminate liquid water and oil emulsions. Next, a coalescing filter element removes residual oil mists, aerosols, and minute particles larger than 0.3 mm. A differential pressure gage warns when pressure drop exceeds 8 to 10 psi and the element should be changed. Finally, an adsorber filter effectively eliminates odors and up to 99% of most hydrocarbons. The units are available with port sizes ranging from 0.25 to 0.75 in.Master Pneumatic, (877) 240-1005, www.masterpneumatic.com316 SS filters

The Stainless Steel Air Prep Series includes filters with all metal components, including internals, made of 316 SS. All particulate filters use dense-pack elements to ensure maximum impaction, minimal pressure drop, and long duty life. Each component in the Series adheres to the NACE MR0175 Standard. The stainless units resist chemical degradation and are suited for food/beverage, pharmaceutical, natural gas, offshore, and wastewater-treatment applications.
Monnier, (810) 794.4935,

Three-stage stainless-steel filter

The F22 stainless steel three-stage filtration system removes water vapor, particulates, and oil from compressed air or hydrocarbon gas in corrosive environments. It’s for applications where clean, dry air is critical to protect downstream equipment and sensitive instruments from premature failure. The F22 has two general-purpose filters that remove water and particles down to 25 and 5 µm, respectively. The third filter, a stainless-steel coalescer, removes oil. The F22 system is the latest addition to a comprehensive line of FRLs.Norgren Inc., (303) 794-2611,

High flow units

Delta Series filter is for high-flow applications. Units feature an optional 3-µm prefilter that protects fine borosilicate coalescing media from large particles. An inner media wrap permits crossflow action which aids the coalescing process, and three coalescing media options let users specify performance levels. An inner core prevents elements from collapsing in backflow conditions, and metal retainers support the media both inside and outside during pressure spikes or high differential pressures.Numatics Inc., (248) 596-3200,

High-flow particulate filters

F602 Hi-Flow filters are suited for heavy-duty applications that demand minimum pressure drop. A large filter-element surface provides low pressure drop and long life, and an internal deflector plate creates swirling of the air stream to ensure efficient water and dirt separation. A large-capacity bowl lessens maintenance needs. The units come in four sizes, from units with 0.75-in. ports rated to 270 scfm to 1½-in. ports and 450 scfm.Parker Hannifin, Pneumatic Div., (269) 629-5000,

Metal bowls

Metal bowls and bowl guards are now available for the company’s modular air-preparation products, in addition to standard polycarbonate bowls. The metal bowls include nylon sight tubes and manual or auto drains for filters. Air-prep units can include a filter, mist separator, regulator, and lubricator in various combinations. NPT port sizes range from 0.12 to 1 in., flows to 350 scfm, and pressure ranges from 5 to 125 psi. Filter ratings range from 5 to 40 µm.Fabco Air, (352) 373-3578,

One-piece design

New AF modular-style air filters combine the element and bowl in one piece, simplifying element replacement. The units are reportedly up to 46% smaller than previous versions, reducing space requirements. The AF bowl (size 30 and 40) is covered with a transparent bowl guard, allowing 360° monitoring. The AF’s modular design permits simple connection with other air-preparation equipment. The series is available in body size 20, 30, and 40.SMC Corp., (317) 688-0298,

Energy efficient filter

Oil-X Evolution filters are designed to minimize pressure losses and reduce the operating costs of pneumatic systems. The housing’s “bell-mouth” inlet provides a smooth, turbulent-free transitio
n that lets air enter without restriction. A smooth 90° elbow directs air into the element, also reducing turbulence and pressure losses, compared to most typical filters. Some Oil-X models also include aerospace turning vanes which efficiently channel air throughout the filter; and upper flow distributors and lower conical diffusers which provide turbulent-free flow through  the entire media — including the lowest section of the element — which is not possible on conventional filters. This further increases filter performance and reduces energy consumption. Deep-pleated elements and specially treated filtration media reportedly have 450% greater filtration surface area compared to conventional wrapped filters, and 200% more than typical pleated filter elements. The elements are said to significantly reduce pressure losses and energy consumption. Depending on the grade, the filters remove particles and oil aerosols as small as 0.01 µm in accordance with ISO 8573.1:2001Parker Hannifin, Domnick Hunter Div.,

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