All air contains an amount of water vapor. When air is compressed, the concentration of water increases. This is similar to when your squeeze a sponge and force the water out.
In order to prevent problems in your Atlas Copco compressed air system, the air needs to be dried. The first steps of removing moisture out of the compressed air occurs by the compressors moisture separator and air cooler. In fact, it can remove 40-60% of the vaporized water. The remaining water is enough to damage your system, and requires further drying to ensure the quality of air.
Conditions That Affect Air Condensation
While condensation is a natural occurrence, there are factors that will increase the amount of water in your compressed air. Factors such as temperature, humidity, compressor size, and overall pressure can all result in an increase of water in your air. Summertime on Long Island brings heat and high humidity, which will increase water production. It is important to consider these factors when choosing your air dryer, as well as finding the right spot for your air compressor.
How Water Can Harm a Compressed Air System
Too much water in your compressed air can damage your facility and overall operations. Untreated condensation in your system can damage your machine components. Additionally, its possible that it will contaminate your end product.
In order to void maintenance costs and plant shutdowns, its recommended to keep your compressed air clean and dry.
4 Major Issues with Compressed Air Moisture:
- Corrosion of piping systems
- Rusting of equipment, due to the lubricant being washed away
- Freezing in control lines in cold weather
- Shortened lifespan of the air compressor
How to Dry Air Compressor Air
There are several ways to dry compressed air. Depending on specific requirements and the type of machines, the proper dryer will vary. Refrigerant dryers offer a reliable and cost effective solution.
Refrigerant Air Dryers
Refrigerated or refrigerant air dryers will cool the air. This allows the water to condense and be separated. After that, the compressed air is brought to room temperature, so that the pipe system does not form condensation.