Aviation Fuel Filtration

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Qualification procedures to API 1581 5th edition


Qualification to EI 1581 

Laboratory testing to qualify the performance of filter/water separator systems is specified in EI 1581. A critical performance test specified in EI 1581 is the single element test. This is a test of the intrinsic ability of filtration system components to remove particulate matter and free water from jet fuel. A second critical test is the full-scale test. This is a test of the ability of systems of components, which meet single element test criteria, to remove particulate matter and water under the flow conditions present in commercial-scale systems.


Qualification to EI 1581 by similarity

Because the scale and complexity of full-scale testing place significant demands on testing resources, it is desirable to minimize the number of full-scale tests required to qualify a range of filter/ water separator systems.

Similarity is the methodology developed to minimize the number of full-scale tests. The concept is that full-scale testing is not needed if a candidate filtration system can be shown to be sufficiently similar to a system already qualified (by full-scale testing) to support the expectation that full-scale testing would meet EI 1581 requirements. Such a system is said to be 'qualified to EI 1581 by similarity'.

Similarity is also the methodology used to confirm that the performance of a filter/ water separator system is not compromised when different system components are used in service by operators. This recognises that the configuration, layout and operation of a filter/ water separator system are critical to its water and particulate matter removal performance in service. This also ensures that the system remains qualified to EI 1581. For further information see EI 1550.


Qualification from the 3rd to the 5th edition of the EI 1581

In most cases, the qualification to a 5th Edition EI1581 takes place on the bases of “similirarity”  without testing "full-scale". The following are the steps involved::

1..The end user provides following information about the currently used filter/water separator and filter elements already qualified to the 3rd edition of the EI 1581 which can be found on the name plate attached to the vessel or other documentations

a) Name of the housing manufacturer
b) Housing Model/ Part Number
c) Flow rate
d) Coalescers -manufacturers and models
e) Separators - manufacturers and models

2. Supplier/Manufacturer analysis the  information provided and determines whether the system can be certified on the basis of 'similarity'

3. The supplier/manufacturer sends the end-user of a copy of a similarity data sheet where the vessel and recommended elements have similar characteristics to a vessel and element combination that has already qualified in accordance with the 5th edition as witnessed by an independent witness acceptable to JIG Member Companies.

4. The suppliers provides new  5th edition certification plate for the vessel.

In cases where qualifications can not be done based on "similarities",  supplier/manufactuer prepares the information which describe required steps in order to qualify for the 5th edition of the EI 1581.