Pipework systems for compressed air have progressed considerably over the last twenty years. IN the 1990s. Then plastic pipework with glued and cured joints were common, and while nylon and polyethylene pipe are excellent materials for pipework, some issues particularly around the life expectancy of the joints have become apparent over time.
The potential for brittle leaking joints can lead to higher in use costs for older pipework systems through increased energy costs to replace the lost air pressure and in maintenance costs and potential breakdowns in the event of a failure in a joint. In applications requiring clean air, such as food and pharmaceutical production it is also possible that particulates from old pipework and joints can contaminate the air supply. When looking at the replacement or upgrading of a compressed air pipework system what materials should you be considering?
Galvanised Mild Steel Pipe
Galvanised Mild Steel pipe is historically the most commonly used pipe recommended for compressed air systems. Internally the pipe is uncoated which can lead to moisture generating rust particles which can enter the air supply. A dryer will also be required quite often to help control moisture. The installation of galvanised pipe systems can be a lengthy process and they are prone to leakage over the life of the system.
Extruded Aluminum Pipe
This innovative and commonly used pipework system with push-fit connectors is ideal for compressed air lines. Aluminum is light-weight and easy to handle. It is suitable for clean air applications. It is non-corrosive and remains leak free unlike galvanised pipe systems. With the high cost of the energy used to produce compressed air in mind, reducing air consumption by eliminating leaks throughout the system is an important point to consider. The reconfigurable push fit connection systems used in aluminium pipework also make it easy to adapt to new machinery or working processes.
Stainless Steel Pipe
Stainless steel pipe is used in many processes to prevent corrosion. It combines all of the strength and durability benefits of galvanised pipe without the problem of rusting. The threaded or push fit connectors will be familiar to most maintenance teams, although the tendency of stainless-steel threads to become “frozen” will sometimes make disassembly difficult.
Harrier Pneumatics offer a range of pipework materials to cover all applications. Our aluminium pipe options include the Parker Transair and Teseo box section systems. These are all integrated product ranges specifically designed for compressed air systems, providing highly flexible and energy efficient solutions to your pipework upgrades. Our trained skilled engineers can provide advice on the most suitable type for your production line, and work with you to ensure installation is carried out with the minimum of downtime or disturbance. Get in touch to learn more.Tags: Compressed Air, Pipework, system design
This post was written by Harrier Pneumatics