Many types of equipment and tools run on compressed air. Some of the industries that use these systems include the pharmaceutical, automotive, and manufacturing industries, among others that use compressed air piping to maintain operations.
This page provides an overview of the role piping plays in compressed air systems.
Understanding Compressed Air Piping Systems
Using compressed air efficiently requires looking at the whole system, which includes:
- Demand, or the amount of compressed air needed to run equipment
- How long the compressor will run in a given time period
- Air quality requirements including moisture and particle tolerances
- Compressor size to meet demand
- Receiver tank for storing compressed air
- Distribution system
- Control system
Piping makes up the distribution system. It connects the compressor to the storage tank and carries the air to points around the facility. The layout and connections in the piping system determine how easily and at what pressure the compressed air reaches each tool and piece of equipment that needs it.
Key Components of Compressed Air Piping
Compressed air piping systems include the pipes themselves, elbow and tee connectors, adapters for male and female end pieces, ball valves, and pipe union pieces. Wall mounts, brackets, and other hardware are used for installing the piping safely and securely.
Design Considerations for Compressed Air Piping
The most important design consideration for compressed air piping is the piping material. Options include PVC or CPVC, aluminum, galvanized steel, stainless steel, copper, and other metals.
Aluminum compressed air piping is a trusted and durable material commonly selected because it is lightweight and resists corrosion.
To achieve an efficient piping layout, be sure pipes are sized correctly for your needs. Use pipes big enough to handle airflow requirements, which minimizes drops in pressure. Note that every pressure drop of 2 psi can cause loss of up to 1 hp. Incorrectly sized pipes also contribute to accumulated moisture or debris, and result in under-performing air driven tools and equipment.
Compressed Air Piping Installation and Maintenance
Installing Kaeser compressed air piping is simple and does not require specialized skills, welding, threading, or brazing. Wall mounting hardware, brackets, and supports are available to attach pipes securely.
Keep these layout and installation tips in mind:
- Focus installation in cool and dry areas that are accessible for inspection and maintenance
- Orient pipes with a downward slope of about 1 inch per 10 feet to promote airflow and limit standing water
- Avoid sharp angles in piping whenever possible to ensure proper airflow and pressure
- Consider adding dryers or filters as needed throughout the system to control air quality
After installation, it’s important to maintain regular maintenance and inspections to keep the system at peak performance.
Safety Measures for Compressed Air Piping Systems
Safety compliance keeps staff and equipment consistently safe while maintaining system integrity. This also lowers the risk of accidents and improves productivity.
Follow these steps for safety with compressed air piping systems:
- Install a shutoff ball valve near the compressor to shut down the full system immediately
- Plan pipe layout for easy access but avoid placing them in the way of other equipment, walkways, etc.
- Wear appropriate hearing, eye, and other protective gear when installing and operating equipment that uses compressed air
Advantages of Proper Compressed Air Piping Systems
Compressed air piping systems offer several benefits:
- Centralized compressed air is efficient
- Easy to expand system as your needs change
- Quick and easy to install – no specialized skills needed
- Simple mounting and connecting hardware
- Can incorporate with other types of pipe in existing compressor systems
Featured Compressed Air Piping Products
At Compressed Air Systems, Inc., we carry a full line of Kaeser air compressor systems, piping, and equipment, such as:
- Aluminum Compressed Air Piping
- Aluminum Compressed Air Piping Equal Unions
- Aluminum Compressed Air Piping Couplings
- View all Compressed Air Piping Products here.
Compressed Air Piping from Compressed Air Systems, Inc.
Whether you need a complete compressed air system or aluminum compressed air piping to expand your existing system, Compressed Air Systems, Inc. can help. We carry high-quality Kaeser products that will meet your unique needs.