airflow system

Pipe Layout Elements That Affect the Pressure of Compressed Air Systems

One of the main appliances in your industry is a compressed air system. This will transfer power as air pressure to various devices in your workspace. The primary element that holds the entire compressed air system together is its piping. This will determine the profitability of your operation.

This is because faulty piping and considerable loss of air pressure might negate your entire profit margin and place you way behind your competitors. A stainless steel press fitting is among the key elements you should focus on when laying the pipes of your compressed air system.

These fittings will connect one pipe to another, enable the pipes to turn corners and fit into various spaces. When carelessly chosen, however, they will become the primary threat to the efficacy of your system.

The following are some of the pipe layout aspects that will result in a considerable pressure drop and reduce the efficiency of your compressed air system.

Sharp Angles

The presence of sharp angles in your pipe layout will impede the flow of air through it, causing a pressure drop. This is much like driving along a sharp bend when you need to slow down. Air cannot slow down but will instead rebound in your pipe and get an undirected course.

This is known as a laminar and will in turn cause turbulence leading to a pressure drop. Having a straight path for your airflow is the ideal choice though this might not always be possible. You can, however, opt for 45 and 30-degree bends rather than 90-degree bends to minimise the turbulence associated with sharp angles.

Moisture

corrosion

Water corrodes some pipe materials and causes their rusting and flaking off. This rust is carried by air in your pipes to the end-use equipment and will clog the nozzles at this point while contaminating the compressed air. The corrosion will also cause a rough surface inside the pipes that in turn generates air turbulence.

While moisture is unavoidable, you can minimise it by drawing in air from the top of your compressor. Alternatively, you can install air dryers at the outlet of the compressor just before the air gets to your piping for supply to its point of use.

Obstructions

The primary restrictions in compressed air systems include connectors, valves and devices like sensors and dryers. These will reduce the diameter of the pipes that air will flow through and cause the accumulation of air particulates.

Both issues will cause a drop in pressure. You can eliminate the obstructions in your systems by picking an anti-corrosive pipe material and minimising the add-ons on your system.

Leaks

These are the leading cause of pressure drops and generally, occur at the point of your joints. These are usually the fitted rather than the welded or brazed joints. The leaks can also generate excess compressor capacity and thus increase your operation costs and reduce the service life of your compressed air system.

A compressed air system will undoubtedly change the operations of your industry. Before investing in one, however, you should consider the above aspects. With the guidance of an unbiased compressed air equipment supplier, you can take the right steps to avert these issues.

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