Let’s talk dew point and the importance of air dryers for applications where moisture can affect the operation of your machinery.
While air can be compressed into a smaller space, the amount of water vapor contained in the air remains the same raising the dew point. Dew point is the minimum temperature reached without condensation. It can be measured as atmospheric or at pressure:
- Barometric / atmospheric (ADP) – the temperature rating at which the water vapor in the atmosphere condenses into a liquid
- Pressure dew point (PDP) – temperature rating at which the water vapor in the compressed air condenses into a liquid
The dew point of air at ambient pressure is quite different from the pressure dew point of compressed air. When discussing dew point with your air supplier, it is important to be on the same page to ensure the success of your project or application.
Air lines exposed to cooling along the outside wall or on a long run will run the risk of condensation.
Water condensation can find its way into valves and controls
Water can freeze, cause erosion, start bacterial growth and even form clogs
Rust and hydraulic locking in air lines and valves may occur
Causes premature failure of air system
The point is: Dry air is very important. Dry air reduces the frequency of required maintenance and reduces line resistance. Also, it eliminates potential contaminant to your end product.
Dry air is required in applications where moisture might affect the operation of the machinery. Almost every plant requires the use of dry air for part of their process and for instrumentation.
- Pipeline drying – eliminates moisture in the pipe before product flows
- Oil and gas extraction – instrumentation and process
- Food processing – instrumentation, process and prevents product contamination
- Pulp and paper – instrumentation, process and prevents contamination
- Chemical manufacturing – instrumentation, process and prevents contamination
- Air separation plants – usually require -70F or lower