What are the threats that reduce your performance in compressed air?

The simplest and cheapest way to automate movements is still pneumatic technology. It uses the force of compressed air to move loads using pneumatic cylinders. To ensure the longest possible service life for your pneumatic systems, the quality of the air is crucial. Un poor quality compressed air is the main cause of premature failure of a pneumatic circuit eand decreases your energy performance in compressed air.


There are three types of threats that can greatly reduce the performance of your compressed air system.

The first is dust. Dust particles can scratch sensitive surfaces or damage seals. Eventually, leaks appear and the efficiency of your machine decreases. The finest dust will not damage the pneumatic components. However, in some environments (food production, electronics), they may contaminate your products.

The second threat is water. With humid air, rust quickly eats away at metal parts: Cylinder rods, valve pistons, shock absorber adjustment screws, etc

The final threat is oil in your system. More and more products run on dry air, and dirty oil from the compressor can clog small orifices, or clog mufflers. This oil can also bring bad odors, which can be problematic in some industries (food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical) ISO 8573-1:2010

It defines the main quality requirements for compressed air and sets maximum quantity thresholds for the three types of contaminants: Dust, water, oil.

For these three contaminants, the standard sets a class from 1 to 10 which defines the different thresholds of presence in the compressed air.



Refrigerated dryers can reach a pressure dew point of 3° while regenerative dryers can go down to -40° and even -70° under certain conditions. However, the regenerative dryer is more energy intensive.

There are a large number of filters on the market with different characteristics. The order of installation and location in relation to other filters and equipment must be carefully planned.

Black steel should be avoided because of its corrosion potential. Aluminum, copper or extruded stainless steel remain the materials of choice for the food industry because of their smooth, corrosion-free finish.


The purification equipment is installed to deliver a specific air quality. The key is to identify the quality of compressed air required to meet your system and customer requirements.

Each point in the system may require a specific air quality.

Tip: Using the quality classification listed in ISO8573-1 will help you easily select the right purification equipment for your needs.

For even more information, please visit our page on air quality.