Your compressed air treatment guide
If you’re using an air compressor (screw or piston compressor), you probably know proper air treatment is essential. But what devices do you need for your air treatment? And what are their functions within the air treatment process? That’s what you’ll learn here.
- What does the air treatment process look like?
- What devices are essential for compressed air treatment and why?
Why is compressed air treatment important?
Air treatment happens after compression to purify your compressed air and thus rid it of contaminants and make it safe to use.
Depending on your sector, you’ll need different levels of air quality. Medical grade air compressors, for instance, will need to produce a far smaller amount of compressed air of a far better quality than an industrial compressor.
What does the air treatment process look like?
Though the methods within the air treatment process differ, the process itself generally remains the same:
- Atmospheric air is drawn into the air compressor and compressed.
- Along with the air, environmental impurities like moisture and dust particles are condensed. These are harmful to the eventual use of the compressed air as well as the air compressor itself, making it crucial to remove them.
- First, the air is passed through one or more of the different types of air dryers to extract moisture from the compressed air. Air dryers can also follow air filters instead of preceding them.
- Then, the dried air passed through one of the types of air line filters, filtering out particulates and aerosols. Air filters can also precede air dryers instead of following them.
- The moisture and particulates that are removed from the air are safely drained and processed, possibly by an oil-water separator. Any compressed air not immediately used, is stored in an air receiver.
What devices are essential for compressed air treatment?
As you can tell from the air treatment process, a lot of devices work together to ensure high-quality compressed air.
The most important air treatment devices
- Air dryers extract water from the air after compression.
- Air filters or line filters filter particles, aerosols and other impurities from the air after compression.
- Oil-water separators separate water from oil for drainage.
- Air receivers allow you to store compressed air not meant for later usage. You might know it as a compressed air tank.
- Aftercoolers cool the air after compression. Compressed air is initially hot, making it impossible for use. The high temperature would have a negative effect on your equipment, especially its lubrication.
Air dryer vs. air filter
Can't decide on what air compressor you need?
The demands of your industry and the necessary volume capacity will allow you to find the air compressor you need. In some cases rotary screw compressors are a perfect fit, in other cases piston compressors are the ideal choice for you.