Every day the air we breathe in is full of contaminated elements and these elements include water vapor as well as the airborne particulates. As a matter of surprise, we always inhale these contaminated elements into our lungs, but they don’t usually harm us as most of the elements are not injurious. However, in stark contrast, all these harmless elements can cause havoc to your air compressors due to the compression process.
Water is the worst enemy of your compressor
Generally, an air compressor focuses on the natural contaminants in the air by the compression process and this process is the main reason for converting these elements into harmful ones. After a while, all the elements will grind down the air compressor components along with the valves. Eventually, they will attack the air tools and thus, your air compressor will be of no use to you.
To get an insight into the problem, let’s have a look at the water condensation. Water vapor is an important part of the air that we breathe in and especially if we live in the humid climates. Additionally, it is not harmful to this atmospheric pressure. Nevertheless, if the pressure is raised through the compression process, then the hot air will be pushed through to the hoses as well as to the fittings. Lastly, when it is in contact with the cooler, it makes the water condensation.
Apart from these facts, water can damage the air compressor and air tools to a great extent. So, removing the water will be a must-do work. Besides, water is not the only liquid element that can cause problems to the air compressor as excessive lubrication in the air can damage the whole air compression. The older the air compressor, the more the damage will be through lubrication because several parts of the compressor begin to wear down. So, lubricating oils leak into the compressed air and thus, creates the problem in the system.
Furthermore, solid items such as the rust, dirt and metal can cause a problem to the air compressor by attacking the compressed air system. As a result of the air contamination, you will get reduced level of efficiency from your compressor and the maintenance cost will go up as well. Your air compressor along with the air tools will be damaged and every now and then, you will have to repair them.
However, where there is a problem, there is a solution. So, following are the tools that can solve this air contamination problem.
- Aftercoolers: Aftercoolers are a great device to cool the heat of the air and it will discharge from the compressor to work. There is a standard rule, which states that for every 20 degrees F cooled, around half the moisture will be condensed. What’s more the Aftercoolers will bring down the discharge heat starting 200 – 400 degrees F to within 20 -50 degrees of the air temperature. With this process, you can condense the moisture into liquid and dislodge them from the system before the cause any problem. Lastly, an aftercooler can eliminate approximately 60% of the moisture from the air.
- Dryers: The dryers can remove the moisture from the air by decreasing the temperature and they can remove the moisture around 30% as well. So, this will be an addition to the 60% that the Aftercoolers will remove. For this reason, you will notice that an aftercooler, as well as a dryer, is fastened with an air compressor to generate the driest air possible.
- Coalescing Filters: With a combination of an aftercooler and a dryer will remove the water vapor from the air compressor, but that still leaves the solid particulates in the system. So, you need to add an air filter to your shop’s air compressor accessories that can eradicate the solid particulates such as the rust, dirt, and metal, etc. These filters are not for condensing the water vapor, but will be used to remove the solid particulates. So, they are no replacement of aftercoolers and dryers.
I would recommend you to use all these three tools because you will get the cleanest air from the air compressor. They will contribute to your air compressor performance and efficiency by keeping the air tools in perfect shape. So, spending money on these tools will be a worthwhile investment as the best air compressor will be protected and will live a longer life.