Air compressors and dryers go hand in hand. You need both pieces of equipment for your application to thrive. Think of a washer and dryer? Generally, you don’t have one without the other. Together they make the process of laundry as quick and as easy as possible. Sure, you can hang your clothes to dry, but they might take days to dry completely. So why do you need a dryer with an air compressor? We will explore that below.
What makes up air?
Air is mostly gas. According to NASA the Earth’s atmosphere is made up of approximately 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen, as well as small amounts of other gasses such as carbon dioxide, neon and hydrogen.
But air isn’t just gas; it also holds water. That is why people talk about it being humid when it is hot and muggy out. Humidity is the amount of water air can hold before it rains.
Since air holds water, it is important to make sure you purchase a dryer with your compressor. Without a dryer, it can lead to gallons of water building up in your system.
Why is water in compressed air a bad thing?
It depends on your application; it may even be good for you. However, for many applications even the smallest concentration of water could be disastrous for your infrastructure and/or your product. Excess moisture in your system’s air can cause:
- Corrosion in metal components
- Malfunctions in your instruments and controls
- Ice build-up can occur in colder climates or operating conditions that can cause blockages in your piping which can lead to a serious safety risk
- Staining, dilution, contamination, and other quality issues with your final product
- Microbial contamination can occur because wherever there is water there will be (potentially harmful) micro-organisms
It is safe to say there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about water in the compressed air you use, no matter what the application.
What can you do about it?
Luckily, Atlas Copco has the technology to prevent these issues from ever arising. From after cooling and (centrifugal) separation to refrigeration, desiccant drying and/or adsorption drying, … they all work by forcing the moisture in the air to precipitate into liquid water so we can get rid of it.
Have a compressor system, but don’t have a dryer? Contact one of our experts to discuss getting your system fitted with the right dryer for your application.