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How to Remove Water in Your Compressed Air

What Causes Moisture in Your Compressed Air?

As air is compressed mechanically by a compressor the moisture that is in the air is condensed significantly and is also heated due to the mechanical process causing the water to be a vapor initially.  As air travels through your plants air piping it begins to cool and eventually will form liquid water.  The problem with the moisture from your compressed air is that it will impact the life of your air tools as well as the performance of spray guns.

How to Remove the Water From Your Compressed Air

To reduce the water in the compressed air you should implement the following particularly the piping and refigerant dryer, the near tool filtration is applicable especially with spray guns

Consider how your air piping is installed

The way the air line is run through your plant will impact moisture collection.  Specifically, by including legs of pipe that will allow moisture to settle out of the air line will help to remove the moisture that builds in your compressed air line.  These legs should be placed periodically throughout your plant at regular intervals and at the end of a air supply drop leg.  Additionally, air drops that are installed to feed equipment are best to be installed off the top of your compressed air piping by using a t pipe that faces vertically, this will make it harder for moisture to move up the pipe and down into your spray equipment.

airsupply

Refrigerant Dryer after the Compressor

Immediately following your compressor having a Refrigerant dryer will take out the majority of water vapor which is important to reduce the amount of water vapor that goes through your air line.  The Refrigerant dryer drops the air to a temperature that will cause the majority of moisture to separate from the air and then the air will be warmed so that it is not excessively cool.  To learn more about refrigerant dryers check out this great resource which covers refrigerant and desiccant dryer systems for entire plant air supply and what to think about when purchasing one.

Air Filtration Near the Equipment

Air filtration prior to a tool is critical especially for a spray gun.  It will prevent moisture from entering your finish which causes issues like orange peel or fish eye.  There are 3 stages of filtration that you can use.  First is a cyclonic seperator which will remove down to 5 microns of contaminant in the air.  Next is a two stage seperator consisting of a seperator and coalescer filter which will remove down to 0.01 microns of contaminant (which is used in the majority of industrial applications).  The third and final stage of potential filtration is a desiccant dryer which will take the air down to a -40 dew point removing all water vapor from the coating.  A desiccant dryer is a typical use with car finishing.  If you happen to have a desiccant dryer in addition to a refrigerant dryer for your entire compressed air system the three stage unit will be redundant.  For air filtration unit options you can check out this page.

 

Photo Courtesy of Devilbiss.com

 

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