Media / Product and service news / Atlas Copco first manufacturer to offer 100% certified oil-free compressed air

Atlas Copco first manufacturer to offer 100% certified oil-free compressed air

2006-06-28

Atlas Copco’s Oil-free Air division has announced that the company’s Z series of oil-free rotary screw air compressors is the first in the world to be TÜV certified ISO 8573-1 CLASS 0. Risk of any contamination by oil is effectively eliminated during food and beverage processing, pharmaceuticals manufacturing and packaging, electronics manufacturing, automotive paint spraying and powder coating as well as textile manufacturing. Certification was carried out using the most stringent test methods available, simulating realistic industrial installation environments. At all test conditions, no traces of oil could be determined and the compressed air was certified to be in the Category 'Class 0' in terms of oil content.

Atlas Copco has proven its world leadership in the compressor market by setting a new standard for compressed air purity. "We are very pleased to offer our customers a compressed air solution which eliminates risk of contamination by oil," said Mr. Luc Hendrickx, President of Atlas Copco’s Oil-free Air division. "These test results prove that Atlas Copco’s oil-free rotary screw compressors are not just the right choice in terms of operating costs, but also constitute the best choice when it comes to managing risks."
Oil-free Air Helps Manage Risk
Contamination by even trace quantities of oil can result in damaged batches or products, high rejection rates and returns, and costly production downtime and clean-up. Industries that risk contaminating their products with oil may expose themselves to product recalls, legal action and the negative consequences these have on company reputation and brand equity. The industries concerned include food and beverage processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging, electronics manufacturing, automotive paint spraying, powder coating, textile manufacturing, and others.

Certification Process
Due to rising customer concern with safeguarding their industrial processes and end products, Atlas Copco Oil-free Air division received frequent requests for certifications for the air quality level provided by the flagship Z series of oil-free rotary screw air compressors. In 2005, the division initiated a certification procedure for its compressors under the ISO 8573-1 standard.

To carry out the testing, the independent Technische Überwachungs-Verein (German Technical Monitoring Association, or "TÜV") was selected to evaluate the compressors. At Atlas Copco’s request, TÜV applied the most stringent test methods available, adding further temperature and pressure constraints. The results have been made public and show that no traces of oil could be determined in even the most stringent test conditions.

The ISO 8573-1 compressed air standard of 1991 was revised in 2001 to address the needs of critical applications where air purity is essential. The revision established a more comprehensive measuring methodology, including all three forms of oil contamination by air compressors – aerosols, vapor and liquid – to provide a true picture of air quality. To the existing purity classes 1 through 5, a new and more stringent class was added: ISO 8573-1 CLASS 0.

The Atlas Copco Z series compressors were evaluated using the most demanding set of tests. For example, testing employed the standard’s Part 2 B1 full flow test method, which examines the entire air flow, measuring both aerosols and wall flow. In comparison, the standard’s Part 2 B2 partial flow testing method does not capture all wall flow, or liquid oil deposits. Vapors were measured by means of the stringent Part 5 methodology.

One aspect influencing the efficiency and purity of air systems is temperature. While the ISO 8573-1 test methodology establishes reference conditions of 20°C and 1 bar(a), tests on the Atlas Copco Z series were carried out at three different temperatures: 20°C, 40°C and 50°C at the measurement point, and at both 1 bar and 8 bar in pressure. Even so, no traces of oil were found in the output air stream.
Over the past 60 years, Atlas Copco has pioneered the development of oil-free air technology, resulting in a range of oil-free air rotary screw compressors to suit applications that cannot compromise when it comes to the purity of compressed air. With certification to ISO 8573-1 CLASS 0 standard, Atlas Copco sets a standard for the industry: "100% oil-free air".

For more information: http://www.classzero.com