Air Testing & Quality Analysis

Compressor Services

Compressor Science Inc. offers comprehensive compressed air testing for system quality, compressed air dew point, particulate, oil content and microbial counts.

Compressed Air Quality

Compressed air is commonly considered a utility that is as clean as the facility’s ambient air, however, it is NOT.

The filtration systems that are commonly used, are designed to protect process equipment from large slugs of water, oil, rust and pipe scale with a nominal rating of 25-40 micron and are not capable of removing sub-micron contaminates such as bacteria and other micro-organisms.

The most common standard that is used is the ISO8573.1-2010 in conjunction with section 6 of The Code of Practice that was co-jointly developed by the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) and the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Section 6 of this code defines three separate categories of compressed air as used in the food industry:

  • Direct contact with food
  • Indirect contact with food or non-contact, (high risk)
  • Non-contact - no risk

Point of Use Application

ISO 8573-7:2003 specifies a test method for distinguishing viable, colony-forming, microbiological organisms (e.g. yeast, bacteria, endotoxins) from other solid particles which may be present in compressed air. One of a series of standards aimed at harmonizing air contamination measurements, it provides a means of sampling, incubating and determining the number of microbiological particles. The test method is suitable for determining purity classes in accordance with ISO 8573-1, and is intended to be used in conjunction with ISO 8573-4 when there is need to identify solid particles that are also viable, colony-forming units.

  • For direct contact applications, section 6 of The Code recommends a class rating of 1.2.1
  • For indirect contact applications, a class rating of 1.2.1 is recommended
  • For non-contact, no risk applications, a class rating of 1.4.1 is recommended

The ISO 8573 standard consists of purity classes for contaminants in compressed air: particles, water, and oil.  In addition, ISO 8573-1:2010 also identifies microbiological contaminants.  The ISO 8573 purity classes can be used to describe the quality of a compressed air system or to specify the required quality for a precise application.  Compressed air specifications should meet product performance requirements.

ISO8573 is arranged as follows:

Part 1: Contaminants and Purity Classes
Part 2: Test methods for oil aerosol content
Part 3: Test methods for measurement of humidity
Part 4: Test methods for solid particle content
Part 5: Determination of oil vapor and organic solvents content
Part 6: Determination of content of gaseous contaminants
Part 7: Test methods for viable microbiological contaminant content
Part 8: Test methods for solid particle content by mass concentration
Part 9: Test methods for determining liquid water content