STERLING Separation Ltd Advertisement Feature
Condensate management must
be the complete package
All oil-lubricated compressed air systems will produce oil-contaminated
condensate that should be cleaned by an
oil/water separator before disposal. At the core of the
separator is its filter medium; an adsorbent material that,
in simple terms, attracts oil and repels water.
The task requires adsorbent materials that offer exceptionally
large surface areas (fibrous or wool-like structures) while
maintaining a physical integrity that doesn’t impede the flow by
collapsing when in contact with condensate.
STERLING® separators use a unique blend of coarse, medium
and fine polypropylene shred in balanced proportions to deal
progressively with everything from large floating oil droplets to
microscopic particles in suspension. The volume of filter material
then determines the contact time between the adsorbent and
the condensate, one of the most crucial design factors.
Once all that is decided – by calculation, experience and a
generous safety margin – the filter medium needs a suitable
housing. STERLING® applied considerable time and thought in
designing separators that would overcome the practical problems
so often experienced in real world installations, because there are
more problems caused by poor housing design, selection and
installation than there are by failings of the filter medium.
30 AirUser 2020/21
STERLING® created separators for small, mid-range and large
applications to help make installation decisions less critical and
provide accessories that make it easier to complete the ideal
STERLING® provides free-of-charge field support and
advice to customers and non-customers. Below are three
issues we’ve often encountered and resolved.
Multiple separators poorly connected. When using 2 or more
separators to increase system capacity it’s vital to ensure that the
condensate inflow is shared equally. A simple ‘tee’ fitting can’t
do the job accurately – leading to shorter service intervals and
higher costs. The answer is to consider a purpose-built flow
equaliser such as STERLING’s CSEQ3 for a simple, economical
and efficient way to install two or three separators of any brand.
It is quicker and less expensive than fabricating one on site.
Restricted outlet flow. When smaller separators are installed at
a distance from the drain, it can be difficult to provide sufficient
fall in the outlet pipe. We’ve seen separators placed on upturned
buckets, but a purpose-built stand offers a stable platform and is
the professional way to add extra height to the separator.
Occasional overflowing. Condensate collector lines are often
installed at floor level, with a riser to the separator, so it’s quite
possible to have a quantity of static water
present in the line – especially if zero-loss
drains are fitted. Any blast of air from a
timed drain or malfunction (or testing) of a
zero-loss drain can deliver that condensate in
a flow spike that separators aren’t designed
to handle. It is best practice to mount the
collector feed above the separator so that it
empties naturally as each auto-drain operates
There are dozens of other issues that a
practised eye can spot. If you have a
condensate management installation that you
aren’t sure about, or a recurring problem that
keeps costing you a recall to site, contact
STERLING® and we’ll give free honest advice
based on our wealth of experience.
STERLING Separation Ltd
Units 23/24 Longford Ind Est,
Longford Rd, Bridgtown, Cannock,
Staffordshire, WS11 0DG,
Mike Amphlett Director
Richard Turner Director
Dennis Winder Sales Manager
+44(0) 7896 044334
Phone: +44(0)1543 502010
Purpose-designed stand to increase
Triple inlet, triple outlet flow equaliser.