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How to Choose the Right Air Dryer for Your Needs

There are generally four main types of compressed air dryers which can be used in various industries, from the automotive industry to the manufacturing industry and everything in between. If you are in the market for a new model or are wondering whether it is worthwhile investing in one, here is everything that you need to know. 

Why is an air dryer necessary? 

Moisture in compressed air lines can be extremely damaging to the pneumatical components of a piece of machinery. It can result in the development of rust, the general wear and tear of various parts of the machine, and in improper functioning of important pneumatic controls. Air dryers are designed to get rid of this moisture before it can lead to any of the aforementioned problems. 

Sound good? Below are some tips for selecting the right air dryer for your project. 

Avoid over/under-specifying 

You need to be aware of the exact dew point that is required for your application, and select an appropriate air dryer from there. You definitely do not want to over-specify, or choose an air dryer that dries the air supply to dew points lower than -40°F as this is unnecessarily wasteful. However, you should also be careful not to under-specify, or choose an air dryer that does not dry the air supply to a low enough dew point. After all, damage caused by moist air can lead to a need for expensive repairs and maintenance, excessive downtime, and loss of product.  This is why many business owners opt to design a drying system to meet their specific needs, or to consult with an air dryer expert who can advise them in terms of which preexisting model would be the best possible fit. 

Avoid investing in an air dryer that only contains an aftercooler 

An air dryer that only contains an aftercooler allows air that is still saturated with vapor to move downstream, and this could lead to issues with condensation. This is due to the fact that moist air condenses when the ambient temperature is lower than the compressed air temperature.

Investigate desiccant air dryers 

Desiccant air dryers, like Super-Dry desiccant air dryers, are some of the most popular for a reason. They are particularly useful when it comes to applications requiring flow rates over 100scfm and dew points lower than -40°F/°C. Desiccant dryers work by moving compressed air through a container or tower which contains a particularly absorbent material. This material is what it referred to as a “desiccant.” There are usually two main types of desiccant air dryers. The most popular is that of a silica desiccant air dryer. The other option is a desiccant air dryer that utilizes activated carbon as its desiccant. The only difference between these two variants is that silica gel needs to be replaced once it has been saturated, whereas activated carbon is able to regenerate itself with no need for intervention.

Do your research before you buy and you should wind up with an air dryer perfect for the job. Money well spent! 

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