The performance of compressed air powered tools and equipment can be impaired with a poorly designed distribution system. This system hinders air pressure and flow. Poor performance can also be traced to inefficiency of the pipe’s separation system. This allows contaminants to reach and damage the equipment. The installation of quality hose reels for air compressor systems can promote both safety and productivity of an operation. These should also be manufactured to fit industry standards.
A compressed air system can benefit from the installation of a closed-loop or ring main pipe. These ring main systems allow air to use the path of least resistance to reach the main point of demand. Straight-line air distribution capacity can be increased with a closed-loop ring main system.
A feeder pipe that is larger than the ring itself can improve the efficiency of dry compressed air storage systems. This ensures that a ring main system does not have the same flow restrictions as a smaller sized feeder.
Quick couplings and connections can restrict air flow. Joining of stationary equipment should always be connected with a hard pipe or a flexible hose with ball valves and barbed fittings that take a longer time to install. Quick couplings should only be used in instances requiring the similarly quick disconnection of air tools, spray guns, and equipment.
Elbows are pipe fittings that join two pipes at an angle. The use of elbows for compressed air systems should be limited because they can cause a pressure drop and large amounts of flow restriction. Radius bends are more appropriate solutions for pipe fitting connections as they have less flow restriction compared to elbows. Pipes are ideally kept as straight as possible to reduce additional expense and loss of efficiency from pipes going around columns and roof beams.
Leak tests should not find that a system experiences a pressure drop greater than 10%. A completely leak free compressed air system is a costly addition to an existing installation. On the other hand, it is easier to make new installations leak-free with the use of aluminium, copper, or stainless steel pipes. Stainless steel materials are especially able to provide inexpensive and durable solutions.
The compressed air system’s dips and low points can increase the likelihood of a contaminant buildup. This can result in restrictions or blockages to airflow. As such, the system should account for proper condensate drainage.
The main piping system should include isolation valves, tees, and plugs. This allows future modifications and expansions to involve easy and cost-effective installation.
Dropper pipe installation is more cost-effective when drip leg drains are placed only at the point in the system where condensate and contaminants accumulate. This means dropper pipes do not necessarily have to be placed off the top of the main header pipe.
Proper installation and well-designed, efficient systems can promote the performance of compressed air powered tools and equipment and reduce the risk of corrosion or contaminant issues.