Air Dryers

Water is a natural by-product of compressed air. The air will always contain some water vapour but, like a wet sponge, as it is compressed, its ability to hold the vapour diminishes. This results in liquid water being produced alongside your compressed air.

The amount of water will vary depending on factors like the ambient air pressure, temperature, and humidity. However, in almost all uses, you can expect a significant volume of water daily.

In some settings, such as food or chemical manufacture, this water can wreak havoc with processes, but even if there’s no risk to your products, the water can damage your compressed air systems and equipment.

If you can see water dripping or leaking, it’s a sign that maintenance is needed. And even if you can’t see any problems, it’s essential to have air dryers that meet your needs.

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The risks of undried air

Although we are surrounded by harmless water vapour, it can create problems within compressed air systems.

As well as pressure, temperature also affects how much water vapour air can hold. Because  compressing the air heats it, it means as the air cools in your system, more water can condense, risking corrosion and damage to your equipment.

The vapour or moisture can also directly impact on operations, by reducing the quality of processes or harbouring bacteria that can flourish and spoil products.

Integrated air compressor dryers

Some air compressors include an integrated aftercooler. This will cool the air before it leaves your compressor, forcing more of the water to condense for removal. They can remove up to 70% of the water vapour in the compressed air, more than enough for most compressed air applications.

However, in some situations, for example where the intake air can be particularly humid, or the uses require very dry air, a further drying process is needed.

integrated air compressor dryers

Choosing the right additional dryer

There are two main types of additional dryer for compressed air, the type   that’s right for you
will depend on how you use your air.

Refrigerated dryers

Additional refrigerated air dryers work on the same principle as an integrated aftercooler. A refrigerated unit will dramatically cool the condensed air to 3ºC, removing all the condensate that forms. It then warms the air back to room temperature.

Although some water vapour remains, it will not condense and cause a problem in most uses. However, it is unsuitable for when compressed air system travels outside or through refrigerated areas.

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Desiccant dryers

Desiccant dryers are the most effective dryers available, and used in situations where only the driest air can be used, for example, in food preparation.

These use adsorption, in which water molecules adhere to the surface of desiccant media. The compressed air is passed through a desiccant chamber, leaving only dry air. The system will have two chambers, allowing one to be in use while the other regenerates.

The result is exceptionally dry air, with dew points as low as -40ºC, which can be used in even the most demanding processes.

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Applications for air dryers

It’s important to consider all the factors that might affect condensation. A system that’s fine in the frosty winter months might still need a dryer for humid summer heatwaves, for example. However, there are compressed air uses that almost always need additional dryers.

Air that is used in or near any process that can be impacted by water will need drying. An example might be where air is used to move components or clean areas in a production chain. In situations like this, refrigeration drying is likely sufficient.

Where products are chilled or need to be the highest purity possible, such as food, chemical, or pharmaceutical production, they are likely to need the highest standard possible from desiccant drying.

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Caring for your dryers

Like the rest of your compressed air system, taking care of your dryer is essential, not just to extend the life of your system, but to ensure the quality of your products.

Dryers are designed for heavy use but will still need regular servicing and maintenance. This will include checking refrigerant or desiccant levels and effectiveness. A regular service should include testing your dryers to ensure they meet the required standards.

We can offer a full-service plan that covers your whole system, including dryers.

Our plans range from call-out options to fully inclusive service and maintenance options.
For a single monthly fee, our inclusive service options cover you for everything, from regular checks to repair or replacement equipment if it’s ever needed. And our engineers are trained to work with any brand’s equipment.

Call us today, and our experts can discuss your options. Whether it’s making sure you have the air drying that’s right for your needs, or finding out how we can ensure you keep running, Anglian Compressors is here to take care of everything air compressor-related.

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FX-FD Refrigerant Dryers

CD-BD Desiccant Dryers

SD Membrane Dryers