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Compressed Air Quality Testing

Compressed Air Quality Testing

Compressed air testing is a standardised process for verifying that compressed air is free from impurities. This process is governed by ISO 8573:2017, setting out the nature and permissible concentrations of contaminants in a compressed air stream. It specifies screening for three key contaminants, namely water, oil and solid particles.

Why is compressed air quality testing important?

Air quality plays a vital role in process reliability. At CDH Group, we operate sophisticated testing equipment developed specifically for mobile and flexible analysis of compressed air. The data can be used both for documenting compressed air quality and for identifying any source of contamination.

Substances including water, water vapour, oil, oil mist and small particles can impact on compressor performance and reduce efficiencies. For certain industries such as foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals, requirements are even stricter due to the potential impact on the end product. Precise and accurate monitoring is important to ensure consistent quality air supply for plant and equipment.

How does CDH Group test compressed air quality?

CDH Group technicians attend on-site to sample your compressed air systems. We use industry-leading equipment and analysis to provide:-

  • Accurate measurement of residual oil content in compressed air
  • Detection of the smallest solids down to 0.1 µm in size
  • Hydrocarbon vapour and gas detection levels as low as one-thousandth mg/m³ of residual oil content
  • Precise oil vapour measurement using PID sensor technology
  • Periodic bacterial air assessments for compressed air

 The equipment also measures humidity, volume flow, pressure and temperature.

What industries benefit from strict compressed air quality?

Compressed air used within food and beverage production environments requires testing to stringent standards to comply with both Health & Safety and quality requirements, with pneumatic processes demanding absolute air purity. 

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), the governing body for compressed air, and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have worked together to produce a Code of Practice for Food Grade Compressed Air.

This code gives minimum purity standards for compressed air coming into direct contact and indirect contact with food products, defining allowable levels for dirt, water and oil, in line with quality levels specified in all editions of ISO8573-1, the international standard for compressed air quality in a food manufacturing environment.

Air quality testing services provided by CDH Group tests to the parameters specified by the Code, in line with Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) used to identify and manage food safety-related risks.


How can you test the quality of compressed air?

Accurate testing requires specialist equipment and laboratory analysis to determine levels of contaminants in compressed air. Our specialist team carries out work across the UK to help ensure compressed air quality meets the requirements specified by different environments and production processes.

Is compressed air quality testing a disruptive process?

No. It is quick and requires little time on site, the detailed analyses are carried out under laboratory conditions. Compressed air equipment does need to be operational to enable the testing procedures to be completed.

How often should compressed air quality be tested?

This will depend upon your compressor equipment, the industry in which you operate and the requirements of ISO 8573:2017.



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