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Here's what industry experts say about Class 0 & its benefits

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20 January, 2020

Importance of ISO and Class 0 in compressor selection

Did you know about ISO 8573 or Class 0 air quality standards? Why class 0 compressed air quality is important to food & beverage, chemical, electronics, pharmaceutical industries, semiconductors, automobiles and other critical applications?

Well, this blog will help you to understand more about IS0 & Class 0 standards for compressed air and oil-free air products. In a general term, class 0 concept comes when there is the need for high quality compressed air which comes in direct contact with the product & can damage the final product.

Terms like ISO, Class 0 and Oil-free used to imply that the equipment like compressor meets certain standards. Yet, all these terms have key differences and can lead to unintended consequences if these differences are not understood.

Class Zero PPT Banner Chemical

ISO (International Organization for Standardization)

  • ISO defines the standards for various processes and applications.
  • Quality of Compressed air defined by the ISO standard i.e. ISO 8573-1:2010 having 7 different classes. Class 0 is one of them.
  • ISO provides information about the types of contaminants in the compressed air system and defines purity classes of compressed air with respect to solid particles, water vapors & oil content; independent of the location at which the air quality is specified or measured.
  • Depending on air quality requirements, compressors can be ranked from ISO Class 0 to class 6. 
  • Before 2001, Class 1 was the ultimate classification and referred to as “technically oil-free air.” But this class still allows having oil content up to 0.01 mg per m3 of air & which could be enough to damage the final product in critical applications. 

Class 0 air quality

class 0
  •  Class 0 term is related specifically to the quality of compressed air & defined on 3 major parameters. They are:
    1. Solid particle content 
    2. Water vapor present in the compressed air 
    3. Oil content.
  • This new class (Class 0) introduced in 2010 in-order to specify more stringent air quality requirements. 
  • Compressors that do not use oil or lubricants in the air compression chamber during the compression process, produces 100% oil-free dry air and meets the Class 0 requirements as per oil content in the discharged compressed air & thus, complies to Class 0 standard as per ISO8573-1:2010.

Air quality ISO8573-1:2010 table

Air quality ISO8573-1:2010 table

Air quality ISO8573-1:2010 table

Class 2.4.2 means

  • The first number represents the solid particle class 
  • The Second number represents the water class 
  • The third number represents the oil class

Benefits of Class 0 Oil-free Compressor

When it comes to a compressor; oil-free compressor complies with class 0 standards which are very essential for the critical applications* to ensure that the final product should not get contaminated or damaged due to oil particles in the compressed air. *critical applications are semiconductors, medical equipment, paper, food products, pharma applications, paint applications, etc.

Oil-free compressors having air purity class 0 with respect to oil helps you to get rid of:  

  1. Filters to remove the oil from compressed air 
  2. To reduce high energy consumption due to higher pressure drops created by the filters
  3. Risk of damaging the product quality & product lifecycle due to contaminated air by oil.
  4. Cost of possible production stops, contaminated product or loss of brand image. 
  5. Condensate water treatment from the compressor (oil-injected), thus avoids the violation of the Environmental clearances.

So, Risk-free air = Oil-free Air = Class 0 certified.