We’ve talked about the importance of using aftercoolers and coalescing filters recently; however, you may still be wondering: why is clean, dry compressed air essential for a smoothly-running operation? Here are a few of the reasons:
Because compressed air is vital to the manufacturing processes of companies across industries, ensuring that the air you’re using to power equipment and tools is clean and dry protects them from failure and unexpected repairs in the future. Additionally, using clean air will help to lower your operating costs across the entire operation because your equipment won’t be working harder just to do simple tasks.
If the air is left untreated, dirt, water, and other contaminants will get caught on the inner surfaces of fittings and pipes and the build-up will result in increased pressure drops along the entire line. Lower pressure will also be detrimental to your efficiency which will add up to thousands of dollars in production costs over time.
The Worst Contaminant
Perhaps the worst offender, liquid water can wreak havoc on a compressed air system. Water will speed up the corrosion process and will shorten equipment life. Additionally, these corrosion particles will clog valves, instrument control lines, and fittings which will cause devastating damage to sensitive equipment. If your operation runs in a cold environment, this liquid water will also freeze and do even more damage to your compressed air system.
People didn’t always see liquid water as such a devastating problem and treated it as more of a minor annoyance. They would tolerate the contaminant by injecting alcohols into the air lines and even utilize electric heaters to help separate the moisture from the air. While this worked for a while, with today’s modernized compressed air systems and specialized equipment, there is no excuse not to remove water right at the source.
The Benefits of Membrane Air Dryers
Membrane air dryers are not only cost-efficient but are also extremely useful at protecting equipment from contaminants in a compressed air system.
Many membrane air dryers use specialized microtubes to produce clean and dry air in a standard compressed air system. As the air moves through the membrane, any water vapors present are efficiently diffused through the membrane, with the result being clean, dry air that is safe for even the most sensitive tools.
If your operation is struggling with contaminant issues, consider installing a membrane air dryer along the line and see the immense benefits it can provide for you.