Moisture is always present in the air, even in dry conditions. However, as ambient air is drawn in to become compressed air, the water concentration becomes even more pronounced.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to remove moisture from compressed air — whether the source is water vapor or oil droplets from the compressor. Before discussing how to remove moisture from compressed air, we’ll first look at why it is important to do so.
Reasons to Remove Moisture in a Compressed Air System
Numerous industries use compressed air for various operations. It’s critical to the success of each project that the ratio of water to air be precise. For instance, compressed air is frequently utilized in spray paint delivery systems. A quality air compressor can ensure an efficient, even coat. Moisture, however, can affect the appearance of the paint, as well as its uniformity and durability.
For industrial cleaning applications, compressed air can make quick work of equipment maintenance. However, with an excess of water vapor or oil droplets, the component may not be completely cleaned, and buildup and corrosion may occur.
In businesses where machinery is driven by compressed air, dampness can adversely affect any area of the system where air can reach. Corrosion, improper operation and damage may occur from the presence or accumulation of this moisture.
In addition, the compressor system itself could be impaired if moisture is not removed from the air. As air travels through ducts, pipes, hoses and nozzles, vapor can cause buildup or corrosion, hindering the integrity of the equipment.
How to Remove Moisture from an Air Compressor
There are several ways to remove moisture from compressed air, depending on the requirements of the end application and the system. Other factors include the amount of moisture to be removed, the necessary dew point, the ambient conditions and the pressure of the air in use. To minimize moisture, consider the following methods:
- Filters: Filters in air compressor systems are good at eradicating oil droplets, as well as first and other particulate contaminants. Filters alone, however, will not remove water vapor.
- Separators: Separators involve a mechanical, centrifugal process that isolates oil and some water vapor from the air. Filters and separators in conjunction can usually ensure that your compressed air is clean enough for any application.
- Dryers: Dryers are the most effective technique to safeguard your operations and equipment from moisture. They work by cooling the air so that water vapor condenses into liquid, which can then be easily removed. Make sure that dryer traps are regularly drained so that moisture and other contaminants do not re-enter the air or the system.
Kaishan USA specializes in fulfilling all of your compressed air needs, from compressors to dryers, filters and other equipment. We work to ensure the quality of your compressed air and the integrity of your processes. To learn more, browse our products today.