There are many considerations when creating a quality compressed air piping system. If done improperly, it could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars of unwanted expense. An improperly designed system also brings the risk of pressure drop and contamination once the air is dried and filtered. In order to minimize these risk factors, carefully consider these five things when designing a compressed air distribution system. 
 

  1. What It's Made Out Of:
    The material the air compressor pipes are made out of is crucial in deciding it's output quality. Two major things can contribute to pressure loss in the piping; friction and corrosion by lubricants. However, in a system that is properly designed, the pressure lost will be under 10% of the air compressor's discharge pressure. Steel and copper are good choices for air compressor tubes, but the ideal metal to use is ultimately aluminum, as it is easier to cut and install.
  2. Spacing and Size:
    Another thing that can drastically affect the pressure of a system is the size needed for the job and the distance between the air compressor and air delivery. Using pipes that are too small for the amount of airflow and pressure needed may run a serious safety risk. On the opposite end, a compressor that is too far away may lead to a dramatic drop in its pressure, leading to more wear and tear on the machine that will require extra repairs.
  3. How It's Laid Out:
    A compressed air piping layout varies depending on what your business needs. The most frequent types of piping are straight and looped. Loop pipelines are best for plants that are relatively square in size. For plants that are longer and narrower, straight piping is the best choice. Usually, straight pipelines cost less that loops, but using the wrong kind of layout for your plant can lead to more wasted piping material, as well as a lot of pressure drops. To find out which is best for your business, ask a certified professional.
  4. Temperature:
    Temperature is another factor for the quality of your air compressor system. If your system is particularly large, chances are not all of your pipes are in one location. Some may run outside, into other rooms or underground, all of which means there's a potential for different temperature fluctuations. Very cold temperatures could lead to the pipes freezing, while very hot temperatures can begin to break down pipes over time.
  5. Maintenance:
    Keeping the future in mind when it comes to compressed air piping layouts is critical before installation. Keeping extra piping for needed repairs or expansion is also smart. Bypass pipes (done at installation) so the system can keep working during repairs is helpful.

A lot of works goes into making a good, tough air compressor system. Anything less could seriously hurt your business, wracking up unneeded expenses and under-performing to the point of utter frustration. When considering designing a compressed air piping layout, be sure to keep these five things in mind.

For more information, please contact Rapid Air Products