Our next lesson is all about air flow. Although this will eventually be covered in just about every vacuum system sale, we often notice a lot of confusion around the terms SCFM, ICFM and ACFM.
Standard Cubic Feet of air per Minute. For our purposes, this is the volume of air standardized at 68F at sea level pressure. We tend to disregard the “sea level” part when talking to you about vacuum systems, but we do take site elevation into account in the design calculations.
Actual Cubic Feet of air per Minute. When pressure is applied to a standard cubic foot of air, it gets smaller (or compresses). When vacuum is applied, it expands. The volume of air after it is pressurized or rarefied is known as its actual volume.
Inlet Cubic Feet of air per Minute. Blower manufacturers use charts that specify their volume performance based on conditions at the inlet of their equipment. Because air system designers have to read these charts, we tend to use the term.