Working professionals from an industrial setting, such as within the manufacturing industry, will probably be using air compressor dryers to help them achieve super dry air quality. This piece of equipment can keep moisture or water vapor from an industrial process, compressed air. In turn, it helps create an ultra-dry environment. Here is a short guide to refrigerated air dryers and desiccant air dryers to help you decide which is right for your company.
Different Types of Air Dryers
Compressed air is a utility that is essential for many in the manufacturing world. It is required in everyday processes, and the quality of air needed can vary vastly. That’s why different organizations require different types of air dryers. In the industry, you can find several types, and the primary difference between these dryers is generally the material used inside the equipment for drying air. Refrigerated dryers are the most commonly used, while desiccant dryers have many advantages over the refrigerated type. Besides these two types of dryers, there are also chemical dryers and membrane air dryers.
This type of dryer functions like a home refrigeration unit and uses a cooling process to prevent moisture from compromising the air quality in a manufacturing environment. Compressed air needs to be reduced to around 35°F, and once it flows through an inlet valve, the excess moisture is removed and drained. Incoming air reheats the air that has just dried, which results in compressed air with a dew point between 35°F to 45°F. They work best in high-temperature settings as colder environments might cause the equipment to become damaged. Refrigerated dryers are generally more economical than other types of dryers.
A desiccant compressed air dryer uses the process of adsorption to create a moisture-free environment. Adsorption describes the process in which moisture is drawn to a desiccant but doesn’t dissolve. A desiccant is a hygroscopic drying agent that pulls out and retains water molecules from air to produce a dry environment. Desiccants used for these types of air dryers include silica gel, activated carbon, calcium chloride, and calcium sulfate. Desiccant air dryers can be used within material processing and to prevent mold in industries that involve food drying, fabric production, flood relief, and healthcare.
These types of dryers are also known as regenerative dryers due to their efficient design. Some desiccant air dryers are designed with two towers. One tower draws moisture from compressed air until the desiccant inside is completely saturated. When it begins drying out, the other tower begins the process all over again. Super Dry Systems is a company that design, engineer, and manufacture desiccant air dryers. With over 25 years of experience, they help industries reduce downtime and increase the life of their tools and equipment.
Refrigerated VS Desiccant
Refrigerated compressed air dryers work well in warm temperatures, and the cost of a refrigerated unit, including setup, operating, and maintenance costs, is often lower than a desiccant dryer. However, they do not work well in sub-freezing temperatures, and the dew point capacity is minimal. On the other hand, desiccant dryers can produce and maintain extra-dry air in a controlled environment. This is essential in many industrial applications where the resulting air needs to be of a certain quality. Refrigerated dryers are not able to produce results that are as accurate as a desiccant dryer.