Earlier this autumn, the Algar Air team attending the BOGE Distributor Conference met with Tim Preece, Technical Officer for the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) for an update on the Compressed Air Purity (Quality) Standard.
Algar Air Team at the BOGE Distributor Conference


Lots of companies offer air quality or product testing. But unless they fully understand air quality standards as they apply to your business, they shouldn’t be advising you on the right compressor equipment or the right testing methods to assess air quality within the compressor.

That’s why members of the Algar Air team took the opportunity to meet with Tim Preece of BCAS for an update on air quality standards.


Why does air quality matter?

Clean air is hugely important to most air compressor users. If you make food, beverages or pharmaceuticals, or if you use a compressor for paint spraying, you’ll want to ensure that the air is as clean as possible to ensure your products (or product finishes in the case of paint spraying) are uncontaminated.

But it’s not just delicate finishes or health and safety that can be jeopardised by dirty air (that is, air contaminated by oil, water, dust and other particles). When dirty air gets sucked back into a compressor it forces the motor to work harder, increasing wear, running costs and servicing frequency.

Clean air, then, matters for pretty much everyone with an air compressor.


What are air quality standards for air compressors

The relevant standards are:

  • ISO 8573 Series
  • ISO 12500 Series
  • ISO 7183

Usually, the standard most businesses will be concerned about is ISO 8573-1, which specifies the purity of air required at a particular point in a compressed air system. The remaining parts of ISO 8573 (and there are lots of them) are used to test a compressed air system for specific contaminants. For example, ISO 8573-8 : 2004 specifies the test for solid particles while ISO 8573-6 : 2003 sets out the requirements for gaseous contaminants.

Algar Air Team at the BOGE Distributor Conference


Are air quality standards compulsory?

Technically not. ISOs are international standards. Compliance isn’t ‘the law’, although some industries – notably food and beverage – have regulatory targets that effectively make compliance essential.


Training with BCAS

If you want to demonstrate that you meet a particular standard, you need your compressor to be tested. Unless your tester understands air purity requirements they won’t know what test procedures to follow, what samples to take and how to report.

Our time with BCAS not only ensured we can continue to offer air compressor testing to the required standard. It means we can advise you on air purity standards for your equipment. It also means that, as every industry inevitably moves towards tighter standards, we can help you stay ahead of your air purity obligations.

Thanks to Tim at BCAS for a hugely valuable session.

Talk to us about the air quality standards for your business and the compressed air equipment to meet them. Email us or call 0114 243 2347.

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