Everything you need to know about Air Dryers

Posted on

Air dryers are a key component in your production process to ensure that the compressed air you use is contaminant free.

Industries that might use air dryers include:

  • Automotive
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical
  • Engineering
  • Food and drink
  • Manufacturing and packaging
  • Textiles and paint

along with many others.

How can an air dryer save me money?

If your compressed air supply is contaminated with water or other elements such as dirt and dust, you won’t get a clean, consistent supply of air.

The results of this can be:

  • Less efficient performance of equipment
  • More frequent breakdowns
  • Costly damage to your air compressor
  • Shorter lifespan of your air compressor
  • Corrosion of parts
  • Failure of elements such as air cylinders and Solenoid valves
  • Poor performance or failure of air tools

As well as affecting your energy bills and production costs, contamination can increase your carbon footprint.

An air dryer will remove condensate from your compressed air supply and help to stop condensate forming in airlines and other equipment.

What types of air dryers are on the market?

There are several dryers to choose from; deliquescent dryers are no longer a popular choice, but the following are widely used:

  • Refrigerant air dryers
  • Desiccant air dryers
  • Membrane air dryers

The latest models, such as those manufactured by Atlas Copco and supplied by PPS, are easy to install and require minimum maintenance. Highly energy efficient, they offer a fast return on investment.

Refrigerant dryers ­– reliable and cost effective, these remove humidity and moisture from a compressed air system using a refrigerant gas. Refrigerant dryers have an air/air heat exchanger alongside an air/refrigerant heat exchanger. A capillary tube reduces the pressure of the refrigerant and the refrigerant filter removes particles before they reach the capillary. Once the compressed air has been cooled, the humidity can be condensed then removed through a drainer.

Desiccant dryers – improving productivity and protecting your system, a desiccant dryer uses a desiccant media to draw water from the compressed air. These systems usually have two towers, which the wet air is passed through, and are sometimes known as twin tower dryers. Once the desiccant in one tower cannot draw out any further water, the air is switched to the second tower, while the saturated desiccant is purged or dried out.

Membrane dryers – these are versatile for use in a number of different applications and environments, including small spaces, high vibration spaces, explosive environments and those with fluctuating ambient temperatures. Inside the dryer are thousands of hollow fibres. As the compressed air passes through, water vapour is either swept out by gas or collects on membrane coating, depending on the type of membrane dryer. Dry air is then able to continue onwards for use.

For every application, there is a suitable air dryer. If you would like further information on which is best for you, our experienced engineers can talk you through the options. Contact: sales@pps.co.com or call 01422 321 772.