Filter, Regulator, Lubricator (FRL) Assemblies Information
Filter, regulator, lubricator (FRL) assemblies are pre-packaged or modular assemblies of common configurations of air filters, pressure regulators, lubricators, and gauges. Air leaving a compressor is hot, dirty, and wet and can cause damage to equipment and tools if it is not treated.
The filter cleans compressed air by trapping solid particles and separating liquids such as oil and water that are entrained in the compressed air. Filters are installed in the air line upstream of regulators, lubricators, and all pneumatically powered tools and equipment. They remove contaminants from pneumatic systems, preventing damage to equipment and reducing production losses due to contaminant related downtime.
Pressure Regulators control fluid pressure in compressed air systems. Regulators are also known as PRVs (pressure reducing valves). Pressure regulators maintain a constant output pressure regardless input pressure variations and demands made on the system by downstream components.
Lubricators add controlled quantities of oil into the compressed air system to reduce the friction between moving components within air tools and other equipment that are powered by the system. Adding lubrication oil to the system also clears compressor oils that travel through the system in vapor form. To prevent build up of oil within system components, mineral oils are added to the system to flush away the deposits.
Downstream equipment flow and pressure requirements are used to properly size the correct regulator and lubricator for the application. Manufacturers offer flow characteristics charts on their products to help chose the correct combination of regulators and lubricators.
Important specifications to consider when searching for filter, regulator, and lubricator assemblies include:
- Regulator type
- Performance specifications
- Adjustment control
- Connectors or pipe size
- Body material
- Environmental parameters
There are several choices for regulator type.
General-purpose regulators are designed for typical industrial use; generally operates only above atmospheric pressure.
High-pressure regulators are rated for inlet pressures higher than general purpose; typically over 1000 psi.
Low-pressure regulators have special design characteristics for precise control of pressures typically below 15 - 20 psi.
Differential or bias regulators maintain a pressure differential between two locations in the system.
Pressure-reducing valves are used to provide a sub-circuit with a supply of fluid at a pressure, which is less
Important performance specifications to consider when searching for filter, regulator, and lubricator (FRL) assemblies include:
Regulating (adjustment) range - Dictates the limits of adjustment control.
Maximum flow (gas or air) - Unnecessary to specify if primary application is liquid.
Maximum pressure rating - Refers to the pressure rating for the valve or inlet pressure for the regulator.
Filter minimum particle size rating - Applies to filter, regulator, and lubricator (FRL) assemblies. It is the smallest size particle that will be entrapped by the filter. This rating is an indication of the largest opening in the filter element.
Common features for FRL assemblies include:
- Integral pressure gauge
- Pressure relief
- Corrosive media
ADS AS3316 - Filter Pack Assembly
BS ISO 6953-1 - Pneumatic Fluid Power - Compressed Air Pressure Regulators and Filter Regulators - Part 1: Main characteristics to be Included in Literature from Suppliers and Product-marking Requirements