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

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

The difference between a rotary screw compressor and a piston compressor has been explained in a previous blog post. In some industries a regular flow of dry and/or clean air is required for particular industrial processes. For these application, a compressed air dryer can offer the perfect solution. This blog post will cover the specifications and precise use of an air dryer. 

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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. 

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Can we help you find the right dryer?

Not sure what type your compressed air dryer is or how to choose the right one? Then get advice from the experts at Mark or request a quote.

Read more about air dryers in related articles

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