Mold Contamination – Compressed Air Testing
Filamentous fungi or what are generically termed “molds” are a natural part of the environment and can be found almost anywhere that moisture and oxygen are present, like ambient air. Molds, along with yeasts, belong to the kingdom Fungi and live in moist places such as soil, plants, and dead or decaying matter. Although molds play a pivotal role outdoors, their growth should be avoided indoors, particularly in manufacturing plants.
Since the environment contains an abundance of mold that range from .50µm to the largest organism on Earth, it’s safe to assume filtering your air is vital to delivering clean compressed air to your end-product or process. For reference, 1µm is one-millionth of a meter, or 1/25,400th of an inch (the width of human hair is ~60-120µm wide). The intake air, or ambient air, that is drawn into a compressed air system can contaminate the delivery piping system with mold spores and hyphae if conditions are right. Oil droplets, water condensate, and air can create a particularly favorable breeding ground for mold to grow.
Mold is a particularly versatile microbe and can grow almost anywhere in either warm or cold conditions. No type of manufacturer is free of risk areas associated with microorganism contamination.