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Moisture Damage in Compressed Air Systems and How Refrigerated Air Dryers Can Help

If your business uses a compressed air system, you would already know that moisture is an inevitable by-product of the process. While moisture is perfectly natural, if you don’t handle it correctly you can end up with a range of problems throughout your compressed air system. That’s where refrigerated air dryers come in.

Moisture Problems in Compressed Air Systems

The main purpose of the refrigerated air dryer is to remove moisture from your air before it can hit your system. However, you’ll get some other flow-on effects from using a refrigerated air dryer.

Lack of Efficiency and Downtime

Can your system afford to be down for a period of time while you’re trying to fix moisture-related problems? While not the main function, a refrigerated air dryer can also assist in filtering out other contaminants such as oil and other pollutants which can cause significant production issues. Think of it like cleaning the air before it has a chance to hurt your productivity.

Costly Repairs

Moisture in your compressed air system may not cause noticeable problems immediately, but it’s the hidden issues that can be costly later. Pipes can become corroded, which in turn adds contaminants to the air flowing into your end-use devices. Without proper moisture management, you’re damaging not only your pipes and other components, but also your tools.

How Do Refrigerated Air Dryers Work?

All the air coming into your compressor contains water vapor. The compression process heats the air, meaning it can hold the moisture in vapour form. When air cools, that seemingly harmless vapour turns to liquid.

A refrigerated air dryer ensures this process occurs before the air enters the compressor. When the air is cooled to a certain temperature (usually between 2°C and 10°C), the liquid water is removed via a drain trap. With the air relatively free of moisture, it can then be sent into the main compression chamber. The dry air can be compressed and sent through your system with much less risk of moisture being present.

Without using a refrigerated air dryer, that humid, vapour-filled air would cool later in the process – in your pipes, which can cause a range of problems.

Which Refrigerated Air Dryer do you Need?

Every compressed air system is different, so you need to choose a refrigerated air dryer that can perform under pressure. Literally! Each refrigerated air dryer has a maximum air pressure it can handle. If your system runs at a higher pressure, your air dryer will be ineffective. The same goes for the maximum flow capacity.

For example, smaller compressed air systems may work with an Atlas Copco F5, with a maximum flow capacity of 5litre/sec or 12cfm. Our range goes right up to the heavy industrial power of the Atlas Copco F335, which can handle a flow capacity of 335 litres/sec or 709.8 cfm.

Other Dryer Options

In certain conditions, refrigerated air dryers may not be the best option. We offer alternatives such as membrane dryers and dessicant dryers, and also air dryers down to -70°C.  For professional advice on the best type of air drying solution for your workshop, speak to us today!

The Best Refrigerated Air Dryers with Air Tools WA

Here at Air Tools WA, we give you the best advice on your refrigerated air dryer needs. To keep your system working smoothly, contact us today for a huge range of products, the best service, and the right advice every time.

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