Clean Compressed air is vital to the industry and its usage can be classified into two categories; Process Air and Direct Contact.
PROCESS AIR APPLICATION
Process applications employ compressed air for a specific kinetic activity. For example, during pill production, the uncoated are churned in a large drum as part of the coating process. Compressed air often drives the drum. Similarly, it plays a large role in the conveyance process.
DIRECT CONTACT APPLICATION
Direct contact entails the direct contact of compressed air with the application, thus making air quality critical. For example, compressed air is used to coat tablets to ensure their structural integrity. Impurities in this air will compromise the integrity and worse, contaminate the product. It is also critical in jet milling, where nitrogen is used to reduce active ingredients. Specifically, the powder is fed into a milling chamber where compressed air or nitrogen, usually in a vortex motion, promotes particle-to-particle collisions. Particle classification is made by inertia, following reduction via impaction and abrasion.
Compressed air is used for bottle cleaning to safely remove dust and small particles from containers before filling. The system is particularly suitable for removing loose contaminants that may have accumulated during shipping or storage. Containers first enter the rinsing area and are then bathed with ionized air generated by special transvector air flow amplifiers. The static charge that attracts debris to the surface of the containers is neutralized. Rinsing heads use a blast of compressed air to clean them. A vacuum collects the loose particles which are then disposed. As a final direct application, membrane technology with nitrogen generators uses compressed air forced through a polymeric hollow fibre to selectively permeate oxygen, water vapour and other impurities out of its side walls while allowing nitrogen to flow through its centre and emerge as high purity N2 gas.