Compressed air will always contain some level of moisture depending on the environment and ambient temperature surrounding the compressor. Using the air while it contains moisture can cause a number of issues for your tools, other equipment and ultimately your business. Water contamination can lead to microbial contamination, corrosion, blocked or frozen valves, cylinders, air motors and tools and premature wear/failure of equipment. Water contamination of compressed air systems can reduce production efficiency and increase manufacturing costs. If you are in an automotive shop using compressed air for your tools, the tools will rust over time if they are constantly powered by humid air. Spray painting can also be affected if water enters the paint stream. If you are using compressed air to power the actuators in your brewery, these too will rust, become clogged and shut down because of the moisture coming in contact with the equipment. Textiles using compressed air to manufacture fabric run the risk of ruining products by letting moisture come in contact with fabrics, dyes and other items.
To prevent any of the risks above, air dryers are used to remove the moisture following the compressed air process. Dry compressed air is a concept with a wide range of meanings and dew point is an indication of how dry the compressed air is or needs to be. While air can be compressed, water cannot be compressed, and the cost of a new air dryer is cheaper than the loss of products and production.
Air dryers are used downstream of an air compressor to rid the compressed air of any moisture or humidity before it reaches your application or final product. Using air dryers is imperative in many applications such as the food/beverage industry, electronics manufacturing and spray painting in the automotive industry.