The importance of a compressed air dryer and filter in (industrial) air compressors

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The importance of a compressed air dryer and filter in (industrial) air compressors

air compressor

We’ve already discussed the difference between a rotary screw compressor and a piston compressor. In certain industries, a regular flow of dry and/or clean air is required for particular industrial processes. That’s where a compressed air dryer or air dryer filter offer the ideal solution. In this article we discuss the specifications and precise uses of both. 

 

 

Compressed air dryers

Type of compressed air dryer: desiccant compressed air dryer

Moisture can always occur while using standard piston and/or screw compressors, simply because the specific process of compressing the air produces water vapour. This moisture might have damaging and corrosive effects on your compressor systems or end-product.


In certain industries dry air is essential to the specific process. That is why compressed air dryers are widely used to make sure the compressed air remains completely dry. There are three different types of compressed air dryers:

1. Refrigerating compressed air dryers

These types of dryers work by cooling the air to low temperatures and condensing the bulk of the water vapour. Some water vapour does however remain in the air, so this specific type of compressed air dryer is not to be used in applications that are water-sensitive.

2. Desiccant compressed air dryers

Desiccant dryers use a certain amount of desiccant material to remove the water particles from the air. While one part of the desiccant material is absorbing water, the other part is drying. There are two types of desiccant dryers: heated and heatless.

Heated dryers use heat to remove water from the desiccant material. These dryers operate on steam or electricity.

Heatless desiccant dryers use the dry air of the compressor itself to remove water vapour from the desiccant material. The advantage of this type of desiccant dryer is that there is less outside energy needed. 

3. Membrane compressed air dryers

These dryers use membrane microtubes that let through water vapour. The compressed air goes through the tubes, and the water vapour diffuses through the membrane. The same dry air is used to remove the moist air from the membrane.

These dryers require little maintenance, and are explosion-proof. They are mostly used in rooms where an extreme temperature (heat or cold) is required. 


Compressed air filters

Whereas compressed air dryers are used to dry air that flows through the compressor, compressed air filters are used to clean that air.

These filters can remove: 

  • oil (vapour)
  • rust
  • dirt particles
  • carbon
 

There are also different types of compressed air filters - sometimes installed in combination with each other. 

Type of compressed air filter: Particulate filters

1. Particulate filters

These filters specifically remove solid particles from the airflow. The filter traps and stores the different particles when the air flows through. Afterwards, the filter can be cleaned by removing the particles. It is the ‘biggest’ filter and is used at the beginning of the cycle. 

2. Coalescence filters

These compressed air filters can remove oil, oil vapour or moisture. Since the filter is still big enough, it can also remove smaller solid particles.

3. Activated carbon filters

These filters remove odors, hydrocarbons and oil vapour. First, the air goes through a particulate and/or coalescence filter. Afterwards, the activated carbon filters remove any vapour or smell.


Can we help you find the right dryer and/or filter?

Would you like more information about the compressors, air filters and dryers that MARK has to offer? Can we help you decide? Let us know - we answer all your questions as soon as possible. 

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