Air compressors can have several applications for surface engineering – the process by which the surface of materials is modified for functional or decorative purposes.

This could be to make the surface look shiny or matt, or to alter its performance during exposure to adverse weather conditions.

Newly updated guidance from the Health and Safety Executive lists some of the techniques used for surface engineering – many of which may incorporate the use of air compressors.

For instance, organic liquid and powder treatments, metal spraying and vitreous enamelling all incorporate the transfer of material in spray form.

However, it is important to be aware of the safety implications of certain substances before passing them through your air compressor pump.

A particular concern is chromic acid, which should only be used when no safe alternative is available.

The HSE stresses that the use of air compressors to blow off plating solutions used in the chromic acid electroplating process should be forbidden in workplaces of all kinds.

By remaining aware of such guidance, and choosing safer alternatives where possible, you can not only keep your air compressor pump in good working order, but also avoid any undue health risks for your employees.