Compressed air has many industrial applications. Nearly three-quarters of manufacturers rely on compressed air distribution systems for material handling, use with machines, and separation and painting equipment.
Compressed air is piped through compressors to pneumatic machines or other workstations. The type and size of compressor piping used will determine the efficiency of the entire process. Therefore, to ensure maximum performance, only the most suitable piping should be used.
However, choosing the right air compressor piping is easier said than done. Read on to learn what you need to know when selecting air compressor piping.
Pressure drop is the difference in air pressure between the compressed air distribution system and the actual point of use. There is always some resistance and difficulty in moving air through the piping. As a result, the air pressure decreases as the air passes through the piping.
Length and size affect the pressure drop rate. For longer and smaller pipes, air will have more difficulty passing through, resulting in more pressure loss. Therefore, the air compressor piping you use should be large enough and take into account the pressure drop.
The biggest problem with pressure drop in automotive repair shops and plants is the use of small piping. As their business expands and the demand for compressed air increases, the air compressor piping becomes too small to meet their needs. When it comes to compressor piping, the size of the piping should increase as the air demand increases.
While pressure drops will always occur, you should minimize it as much as possible. This will increase efficiency. A compressed air distribution system in peak condition should only lose about 10% of its pressure. If you are losing more pressure than this, evaluate the entire system to determine the cause.
Types of Compressed Air Hoses
There are a variety of compressed air hoses on the market. Most are made of materials such as steel and plastic. In addition, there are many types of tubing and fittings. With all of these available options in mind, finding the right tubing for your needs can be a bit confusing.
Whether you choose steel or plastic compressed air tubing depends on the type of compressor you have and the size of your plant.
With steel, you’ll get strong pipes that can withstand high pressures and temperatures. However, they are more expensive than plastic ones and tend to rust.
Plastic pipes are lightweight and do not rust, but they are not suitable for use at high temperatures. In the past, plastic pipes would break under pressure and pieces would scatter dangerously. Modern plastic pipes, however, are less prone to this problem.
The layout of your system is critical, as it is the roadmap for compressed air. If the route is unnecessarily long or multiple users rely on one pipe, delays will occur and system efficiency will be reduced.
Here are some ways to improve the design of your air compressor system to ensure that the system, including piping, operates more efficiently
Straighten the path: By reducing unnecessary bends in the system, you will be able to use the same amount of energy to generate more pressure.
Recover waste heat: With a well-designed system, you can recover up to 90% of your waste heat.
Cool intake air: Cold air requires less energy to compress than hot air. Move the compressor inlet to a shaded area outside.
Minimize energy costs: To reduce on/off cycles, use a storage tank or receiver to buffer short-term demand changes.
Have multiple compressors: Larger air compressors use more energy even when they are not running at full capacity. With smaller compressors, the system will be very efficient because you will only turn on each compressor when needed.
By optimizing your compressed air distribution system with Air Master compressors, you can save up to 30% on your air costs. Remember, efficiency starts with the compressor piping you install.