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Breathing Ait Systems

This article explains why compressed air is purified for breathing air systems and the importance of coalescing and activated carbon filtration systems.

Breathing air users including paint sprayers, firefighting, scuba diving, military services, industrial and medical breathing air products and applications have in recent years become increasingly aware of their responsibilities to protect users and operators working in contaminated environments in the presence of fumes, oil, vapours, gases, solid particles and micro-organisms.

Contaminants frequently found in general compressed air systems would include but not limited to, water, oil, rust, dust, metal filings, paint particles and bacteria. For compressed air to be suitable for breathing air applications it must be correctly purified to ensure user safety.

What type of purifier should be used.

With a variety of purification products available in today’s market from simple respirators to self-contained breathing apparatus it is essential that the inhalation risks be fully assessed and a suitable purification system selected to exceed the health and safety requirements for the user.

Shako is a world leading designers and manufacturers of air treatment equipment. The Shako UMF lightweight ergonomic high flow breathing air filter system exceeds the demands of most applications and comes complete with air flow indicator so users can visually see the state of each filter. The Shako UMFL 0.01 micron coalescing filter traps all particles over 0.00001mm in diameter and the UMFKB activated carbon filter system will trap any biological particles and oil vapour giving technically absolutely clean air.

Additional benefits include safety lock quick release 10 bar rated 15 bar tested polycarbonate bowls for fast filter element replacement with optional aluminium or acid and alkali resistant bowls and manual, semi or fully automatic filter drain systems.

What breathing air system should I use

There are many branded BA filter systems on the market today, commonly pre-assembled ready for installation some with pressure regulation and some without. The better systems will comprise of a three stage filter system with outlet pressure control such as the UFR filter/regulator pre-filter with 5 micron element to remove particles over 0.01mm and 90% of water, then the UMF coalescing filter that removes particles exceeding 0.00001mm and most of the remaining moisture and then finally the activated carbon UMFK filter that removes smell, vapour and any remaining oil particles or moisture. These three stage breathing air filter systems will outlast and outperform any two stage filter system giving long term cost reductions but most importantly far less likely hood of filter element blockage and loss of breathing air supply due to clogging. Colour coded RED ZH04H coalescing filter elements and GREEN ZH04HCA activated carbon elements prevent installation errors and are readily available.

The Shako UFR-UMFB-UMFKB filter pressure regulator, coalescing filter and activated carbon filter is supplied complete ready to use with pressure gauge and mounting brackets. Every Shako 3 stage breathing air filtration system has been factory assembled pressure function leak and flow tested.