Inline desiccant air dryers are highly effective at absorbing moisture and water vapor from compressed air systems. Their function makes them important equipment for a wide variety of industrial and commercial applications.
Let’s discuss how inline desiccant air dryers work and how they are used to help you understand their applications.
How Does an Air Dryer Work?
There are plenty of different types of compressed air dryers, and they all work slightly differently. However, they all have the same function, which is to remove moisture, water vapor, and water content from compressed air that is being passed through them.
Control units or other mechanisms are used to measure the dew point of the compressed air to determine the moisture or water content of the air. The lower the dew point, the less moisture in the compressed air.
The different air dryers include refrigerated air dryers, chemical air dryers, membrane air dryers, and, lastly, desiccant air dryers. For this article, we will be focusing on inline desiccant air dryers.
Inline Desiccant Air Dryer
This air dryer uses desiccant materials to absorb moisture from the compressed air system. These materials are equally stored in two cylindrical compartments or towers. The air passing through these towers gets dried out by the desiccants inside.
However, only one tower is utilized at any given time because desiccants have a limited capacity for holding in water molecules absorbed from the air. While one tower absorbs moisture and water from the compressed air, the other goes through a “regeneration” process.
This process removes the moisture and water absorbed by the desiccants. Once the absorbing tower reaches its capacity, it switches functions with the regeneration tower. Then, the former starts regeneration to remove moisture and water molecules from its desiccants. Meanwhile, the latter starts to absorb water molecules from the passing compressed air.
There are two types of desiccant air dryers, heated and heatless desiccant air dryers. Both function as mentioned above with few exceptions. The heated desiccant air dryer uses an external heat source for regeneration, while the heatless variants don’t require external heat sources.
Inline desiccant air dryers are highly effective, and they achieve up to 99.99 percent moisture removal. Hence, they are widely used for industrial purposes, where removing moisture and water vapor is highly critical.
What Are Inline Desiccant Air Dryers Used for?
Inline desiccant air dryers have plenty of industrial and commercial applications. Here are just a few key ones.
Oil and Gas Industry
The oil and gas industry makes good use of desiccant air dryers in several areas, where moisture in the air can often prove hazardous. They use them for driving pneumatic machines or systems, high-pressure oil recovery, operating rig controls, and oil and gas transportation.
The textile industry requires a lot of dry compressed air for many functions during the production of fibers, fabrics, and clothing. They use the dried air in pneumatic equipment, cooling parts, air knives, and air blow guns, to name a few applications.
The dry air ensures that their machines function properly and the fibers and fabrics don’t get damaged by moisture.
Materials Manufacturing Industry
There are many operations in materials manufacturing that require dry compressed air, and it depends on the type of materials being manufactured. However, there are plenty of common operations like component cooling, pressure cleaning of parts, and pneumatic equipment operations that require inline desiccant air dryers to provide dry compressed air.
Moisture-free compressed air is critical for the operations of pharmaceutical companies. Everything from air drying instruments and fermentation to drying medicines and packaging them requires compressed air that is free from any moisture or water molecules.
Without moisture-free compressed air, their drugs would not be manufactured correctly because they would be prone to contamination at several stages of the manufacturing process.
Food and Beverage Industry
Similar to pharmaceuticals, moisture-laden air can be a huge contaminant for food and beverage products. The food and beverage industry requires desiccant air dryers to provide dry compressed air for production and packaging to ensure the safe consumption of foods and beverages.
Commercial and Industrial Mold Prevention
A wide range of industries uses inline desiccant dryers to ensure that mold does not develop in places where it can be dangerous, pose a health hazard, violate safety codes, or impede operations. The dryers help control the humidity in the environment, preventing mold growth from occurring.
Inline desiccant air dryers are highly efficient pieces of equipment. They can remove moisture content, water vapor, and particles from compressed air to serve many applications. They also prevent expensive industrial equipment from corrosion as well as help in maintaining and cleaning them, prolonging their lifespan.