January 23, 2018
Compressed air is a vital energy source in manufacturing. Clean air is essential in the production cycle of many products. Increased demand for both of these resources particularly in the chemical and food industries has led to new, cost-effective solutions for a wide range of applications.Â Upgrading your current air-compression or air-filtration systems, or selecting the correct systems for your start-up, can increase your companyâ€™s productivity and the quality of your product.
CBG will save you valuable time by researching which
Air Cleaners, Air Compressors, and Compressed Air Treatments are appropriate for your operational needs. All major brands are included in the search. Just click on one of the links below (or on Air Systems for more options) to submit your product specifications and instantly receive your personalized comparison list from Corporate Buyers Guide.
Air Cleaning systems are highly adapted to specific production processes and setups. The most common types used are:
• Down Draft Tables
• Dust Collectors
• Mist Collectors
• Portable Dust Collectors
Rotary (or screw) air compressors are generally used for high volume, low pressure (< 300 psi) industrial and commercial applications. Two rotating screws move a high volume of air into a smaller and smaller space, pressurizing it and producing a continuous, consistent output. Rotary air compressors are quieter and considered to be more efficient, more reliable, and more durable than reciprocating compressors. Oil-inject rotary compressors are the most common because the oil reduces friction and as such gives longer compressor life. Food processing and plastic-bottle production however require oil-free air from oil-free compressors.
Reciprocating compressors can produce high pressure ratings (more than 500 psi), but they have lower air capacity. One or more pistons drive air flow, usually to one or two storage tanks attached to the unit. (Compressors with tanks will have higher air-flow capacity.) Reciprocating units are the workhorses of the plastic bottle PET industry, where they take air that is compressed to 300 psi and boost it to more than 500 psi.
The process of compressing air creates heat and moisture that must be removed for many applications. Compressed Air Treatments such as Aftercoolers, Desiccators (Heated and Heatless), Dryers with Refrigerant, and Oil/Water Separators are available for every need.
Removing particles from air is a requirement for many reasons and the cleanliness depends on the final application of the air. The most common requirement is to remove particles which were generated by a manufacturing process so that the air may be released to the environment and meet federal or local cleanliness standards.
The size of particles is usually measured in micrometers, or microns (u). One u is one millionth of a meter, or one thousandth of a millimeter. Particles generated from a grinding or cutting operation may be 100 u to over 1000 u in size. Mist from cooling oil or spray booth operations may be less than 5 u in size. Large particles may be removed from an air stream by centrifugal force, as is done in cyclones.
Most commonly, particles are trapped by the pores of the filter material where the particles are larger than the openings in the filter. The filter is a mat of fibers woven or compressed to trap the particles as the air is blown through the filter.
The particles may get trapped on the surface of the filter material or may get trapped once inside the filter material, depending on the type of filter used. As the filter material blocks the particles, the particles build up, reducing the amount of air flow possible through the filter for a given filter area and air pressure. The particles, therefore, have to be removed periodically from the filter. This can be achieved by shaking the filter, or by blowing air backwards through the filter. Both methods are used in industrial filter applications. The purging by vibration or air is usually done on a timed schedule.
Compressors come as piston ( reciprocating ) or screw ( rotary ) designs.
Reciprocating compressors are mostly used where the air pressure has to be high. Pressure ratings of 12 to 32 atm ( 200 to 500 psi ) are quite common, but have low aie capacity.
Screw type compressors, the pressure is limited to about 12 atm ( 200 psi )., but have high air volume capacity.
Low capacity compressors, both piston and screw type, are available with a storage tank
Compressed Air Treatment:
The process of compressing a gas creates heat. Also, moisture contained in the gas is compressed and turns into droplets which will carry along oil droplets from the lubrication.
Depending on the application, the heat, water and oil have to be removed before the air is used.
Aftercoolers come standard with many compressor design, or can be added to the system.
To remove moisture requires an air dryer. This can be an electric cooler or desiccant air dryers. Desiccant dryers require heat. The heat can be generated externally (Heated). or be generated by the desiccant beads themselves (Heatless)
The water that is removed from the air carries oil with it. The oil and water have to be separated before reusing or disposing.