If you’re using an air 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.
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.
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.
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
Air dryers and air filters both filter contaminants from compressed air to ensure high-end compressed air. They differ in the way they purify air after compression.
An air dryer removes water from the air after compression in various ways, depending on the type of dryer you use.
Air filters, on the other hand, remove particulate matter and aerosols from the air. Moreover, those aerosols can be both water and oil instead of only water as with air dryers.
Air dryer vs. moisture separator
Although the names ‘air dryer’ and ‘moisture separator’ sound like they might do the same thing, the twosystems are very different.
As stated before, air dryers draw moisture from compressed air to prepare it for use and save your equipment from corrosion.
Moisture separators, on the other hand, are used to drain moisture from your air compressor after filtration. They separate extracted water from extracted oil to safely drain them. They are also known as oil-water separators for that reason.
Air filter vs. line filter
Air filter, line filter and air line filters are all different names for the same compressed air device. If you’re looking for information or new parts, you can search for any of these terms.
It’s a smart move to let an expert guide you for your compressed air treatment. If you’re curious for more information or looking for some personal advice, get in touch with our experts. They’ll gladly help you along the way.