Have You Prepared Air For Your Pneumatic Tools?

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Pneumatic systems generate compressed air and are used globally for producing the necessary energy for projectile motions (air gusts). You will rarely enter an industrial facility and fail to find a pneumatic tool.

A compressed air system in the industrial setting is made up of four major components: distribution, treatment, consumption and production. Preparing the air for use in the tools is about balancing all these components.

Air Quality: Why It Matters

There is one matter that shouldn’t be overlooked: air quality. Contaminants like water and oil vapour could enter the system and mix with the airstream. Their presence could compromise the equipment that comes into contact with the compressed air and also affect the health of the workers in the area. Pneumatic filters for air compressors are, therefore, crucial components for keeping compressed air in prime condition for the health of your equipment.

Need For Air Preparation

Pneumatic parts for processes and machines need a steady supply of dry and clean air to perform optimally. The pushing, positioning, and all the other pneumatic movements need projectile motion. Moreover, the compressed air must meet the ideal pressure and flow. The FRL (filtration, regulation and lubrication) unit is responsible for preparing the compressed air. Without the FRL, the machine or process could develop issues due to particulates, moisture and excess lubrication.

Let’s take a closer look at these three segments of compressed air filtration:

1. Regulation

This process ensures that the machine or component receives continuous air at the ideal pressure. Many machines need compressed air of 80-120 psi. Because of the importance of constant air pressure for instruments and processes, regulators are designed to have accurate adjustment and pressure relief capability. Regulation is also crucial for worker safety: compressed air at less than 15 psi is already strong enough to dislodge an eye.

2. Lubrication

Why is it necessary to lubricate compressed air? Lubrication plays several roles in pneumatic devices. First, it minimises wear and tear of grinders and other hand-operated tools. Second, it seals rods and minimises leaks. There are d9ifferent types of lubricators, each suitable for different kinds of equipment and tools. Most systems come with sight glasses, too, which are used to check oil levels.

3. Filtration

The level of filtration depends on the end-use of the compressed air. This process is important because the air naturally carries many contaminants like particulates, vapours, etc. Because of the many possibilities, air compressor filters come in three types: dry particulates, vapour removal and coalescing.

In dry particulate filtration, any desiccants (particles that absorb water) are removed from the air. These filters are also effective in the removal of corrosion particles. This filter is actually the third in the series of three. Initially, the compressed air passes through the coalescing filter, and then through the vapour removal filter. The first filter removes aerosols and water. Through the process of coalescing, the filter collects small droplets of water which now carry the contaminants like oil and water. Gaseous lubricants may sneak through the coalescing filter, hence the need for a vapour removal filter.

Compressed air is irreplaceable in most industries. It provides a reliable source of energy with a wide variety of uses. Check if your air preparation setup is in good condition. Compressed air is good, but it is even better when it is well prepared.

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