5 Ways To Reuse Your Air Tank (Now That You Don’t Need One)

One of the coolest benefits of rotary screw air compressors is that they don’t need an air receiver tank. Instead, these powerhouse air compressors operate at 100% duty cycle and provide instant air on demand.

But there’s one “problem” that many operators experience after they upgrade their recip to rotary screw: their old air receiver tank is suddenly a stationary, unnecessary hunk of metal.

Fortunately, we’re here to help. In this post, we’ve put together a list of five ways to reuse an air tank now that you don’t need one…
Continue reading “5 Ways To Reuse Your Air Tank (Now That You Don’t Need One)”

The VMAC Diesel Driven Air Compressor’s Helpful Control Box Features & Functions

D60 control box

D60 Control Box

The control box is essentially the brain of the VMAC diesel driven air compressor system. It tells the system what to do and makes decisions based on the programmed settings. The control box is also the communication hub for the air compressor, relaying important information to the operator on an “as needed” basis.
Continue reading “The VMAC Diesel Driven Air Compressor’s Helpful Control Box Features & Functions”

VMAC Direct-Transmission™ Mounted Air Compressor & Multipower System Control Box Features

The control box plays an important role in the Direct-Transmission™ Mounted air compressor and multipower systems (DTM), as it’s used to power the system and communicate with operators and service techs. In addition, the control box monitors the air compressor system on an ongoing basis to ensure its in proper working order.
Continue reading “VMAC Direct-Transmission™ Mounted Air Compressor & Multipower System Control Box Features”

Air Compressor Pressure Relief Valves: Purpose & Testing

What Are Pressure Relief Valves, And How Do They Work?

A compressed air pressure vessel and its operator must be protected from an over-pressure situation—the set pressure of the pressure relief device must not exceed the maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) marked on the air pressure vessel. A pressure relief valve is used to control and limit the pressure build-up in a system.
Continue reading “Air Compressor Pressure Relief Valves: Purpose & Testing”

Why Is My Compressor Shutting Off? Temperature Sensors and Switches

Temperature Sensors and Switches

Temperature switches and sensors are used on applications which require a solution to a temperature control situation. Often less complicated than most electronic controls, temperature sensors and switches are relatively easy to set up.

Temperature sensors are often used for monitoring compressor coolant, oil and air inlet temperatures as well as discharge air temperatures and logging the variations.

Temperature switches are slightly more complex, and include a sensor plus the ability to send signals. A temperature switch senses temperature levels. When the temperature passes a set point the switch sends a signal to a controller to do something to the application, like cut the power, sound an alarm, turn on a light, or disengage the clutch.

Some immersion temperature switches are appropriate for applications that require an inexpensive solution to simple temperature control. These types of switches activate with a specific rise in temperature and are available with a wide range of temperature pre-set values as well as a set point range, set point tolerance, maximum temperature cut-out setting, and probe length.

On-off controllers

An on-off controller is the simplest form of temperature control device. The output from this type of device is either fully on or off, with no middle state. An on-off controller will cut power or disengage the clutch when the temperature passes the set-point. On-off control is usually used where a precise temperature control is not necessary.

A limit controller is an on-off controller used for alarm indication. This type of controller uses a latching relay, which must be manually reset, and is used to shut down a process when a certain temperature is reached.

VMAC temperature sensors, switches, and controls

VMAC air compressors are equipped with a switch which includes an oil temperature sensor. If the compressor oil gets too hot, the switch sends a signal to the on-off controller to disengage the air compressor’s clutch. This shuts down the system and prevents high temperature related damage.

Why is my compressor shutting off?

If your compressor trips on over temperature, it could be for any of the following reasons:

  • Ambient temperature too high or not enough ventilation
  • Too low oil level
  • Wrong type of oil being used
  • Dirty oil cooler
  • Thermostatic valve not working
  • Dirt / obstruction in oil lines
  • Plugged oil filter
  • Restricted air flow over the air to liquid cooler
  • Too high an engine liquid coolant supply temperature in a liquid to liquid cooler
  • Faulty temperature switch

Excessive oil temperatures can cause damage to your air compressor including premature lubricant degradation, high oil and moisture carryover, and varnishing of the compressor internals and system components (such as the oil filter, cooler, and separator filter). Lubricant flash points also present a fire hazard.

The costs related to rectifying these issues through the use of temperature switches and controls can result in significant cost-savings, as risks of down-time and injury are minimized.

Interested in learning more about air compressor components and accessories? Browse our collection of air compressor accessory blogs here.

 

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Auxiliary port driven air compressor system considerations

Today many industrial engines come equipped, or can be ordered with, an auxiliary port (pump drive) that is used to power accessory equipment.  Quite often you will find a hydraulic pump or a standard piston type air compressor mounted there; what isn’t seen much is a rotary screw compressor mounted there.  We’ve had many inquiries asking if there is a compressor available that would meet the heavier duty cycle and air flow requirements for specific jobs.  These range from spray foam, pump priming, air gouging, to air tools and dust collection.  While VMAC does have direct drive, port mounted rotary screw compressors, there are several factors to consider before choosing to mount a rotary screw compressor to that auxiliary port. Continue reading “Auxiliary port driven air compressor system considerations”

The Purpose and Functions of Compressed Air Storage Tank

We’re often asked if a particular air compressor installation requires the use of an air receiver tank. Most applications will benefit from the use of air storage whether it’s a vertical or horizontal air tank. The choice of what style of tank is generally made by the installation location and the amount and type of space available. Vertical receiver tanks are readily available in sizes from 10 – 2560 Gallons, and horizontal receivers are available from 5 – 2560 Gallon capacities.
Continue reading “The Purpose and Functions of Compressed Air Storage Tank”

Components of your VMAC mobile rotary screw air compressor system

You’ve decided that a rotary screw compressor system is the right choice for your application; maybe you are converting from using reciprocating compressors. When installing your new compressor you’ll need to locate a few different components and plumb hosing between them. In this article, we’ll briefly explain the functions of the components of a rotary screw compressor system. Continue reading “Components of your VMAC mobile rotary screw air compressor system”

What are Dual Tower Regenerative Desiccant Air Dryers (and how do they work?)

Heaterless Type (Pressure Swing Dryers)

Dual tower desiccant air dryers are used to produce dewpoint temperatures below the freezing point of water, as well as reduce the moisture content of compressed air used in critical process applications. Typical dewpoints produced by these types of dryers are -40° F to -100° F, although lower dewpoints are possible. Continue reading “What are Dual Tower Regenerative Desiccant Air Dryers (and how do they work?)”

Why the fuel valve is important on small gas engines

Protect your engine, turn off your fuel

You just finished a job using your gas drive air compressor and you’re getting ready to drive to your next job. Did you remember to shut off your fuel valve?  In this article we’ll explain why you should.

Most small gas engines have a fuel valve that should be shut off by when the engine is not in use.  This can be easy to forget, especially when using remote controls.

Fuel shut-off becomes important when moving equipment as vibration can cause the carburetor needle valve to move allowing fuel to trickle into the carburetor, the float chamber and down the intake valve.  This can cause:

  1. Engine flood, causing downtime waiting for the flood to clear.
  2. Dilution, when fuel goes past piston rings and mixes with oil, causing engine damage.
  3. Hydraulic lock, when incompressible liquid causes engine damage or failure.
Best practice for small gas engines – ensure equipment is on level ground, and the fuel valve is shut off when re-fueling and when equipment is not in use.

Why does the engine flood?

Any time vibration causes the carburetor float to drop in the float chamber, pressure is reduced against the needle valve.  Reduced pressure against the needle valve allows pressurized fuel from the fuel tank to pass through the valve.

If this happens frequently, fuel will overfill the float chamber, flood down the throat of the carburetor, and flow into the cylinder through the open intake valve.

Fuel in the cylinder can flood the combustion chamber above the piston, creating hydraulic lock, preventing the engine from turning. This fuel will also slowly drain past the piston rings, diluting the oil in the crank case. If the engine manages to start with diluted oil, severe and premature engine damage will follow.

How does the float work?

The float chamber is located below the carburetor body. Through the operation of the float and the needle valve, the float chamber maintains a constant fuel level while the engine is working. The fuel flows from the tank into the float chamber through the needle valve. When the fuel rises to a specific level, the float rises. When the buoyancy of the float is balanced with the fuel pressure, the needle valve shuts off the fuel passage, thereby maintaining the fuel at the predetermined level.

Any other reasons?

Not only does shutting off the fuel valve prevent the engine from flooding while being transported, it prevents flooding because of contamination in the float valve, and extends the life of the float valve by decreasing pressure on it.

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Is this unique to Honda engines?

Most manufacturers of small gas engines have this same issue.  Like the Honda engines used in VMAC G30 Gas Drive Air Compressors, Subaru and Kohler engines used in other air compressor brands state in their literature that fuel valves should be shut off when not in use, including during transport.

VMAC G30 Gas Drive Air Compressors are powered by Honda’s GX390 air cooled 4-stroke engine.  The G30 is a Honda-approved application.  The engine includes electric start capability, is EPA and CARB-compliant, and comes with Honda’s 3-year warranty.

Do you have questions about VMAC’s G30 Gas Drive Air Compressor?  Please give us a call at 1 888 514 6656 or email us at [email protected].

If you have any questions about this article or anything mobile compressor related, please contact us.

What is an FRL – Filter Regulator Lubricator

Air leaving a compressor is hot, dirty, and wet – which can damage and shorten the life of downstream equipment, such as valves and cylinders. Before this air can be used, it needs to be cleaned and lubricated. That’s where an FRL comes in! An FRL combines a filter, regulator, and lubricator into one component to keep air compressor systems in optimal working condition.

FRL Components

An FRL is comprised of three primary components:

  • Airline filter
  • Pressure regulator
  • Lubricator

Each of these individual components has its own role, supporting the larger air compressor system. We will explain more about these roles in the following sections.

Airline Filter

An airline filter cleans compressed air. It strains the air, traps solid particles (dust, dirt, rust) and separates liquids (water, oil) entrained in the compressed air. Filters are installed in the air line upstream of regulators, lubricators, directional control valves, and air driven devices such as cylinders and air motors.

Filter Regulator Lubricator

FRL System

Because airline filters remove contaminants from pneumatic systems, they prevent damage to equipment and reduce production losses due to contaminant-related downtime. Downtime in an industrial plant is expensive; often it is the result of a contaminated and poorly maintained compressed air system.

Selecting the proper size of filter for any application should be done by determining the maximum allowable pressure drop, which can be caused by the filter. The pressure drop can be determined by referring to flow curves provided by the manufacturer.

Types of Air Filters

There are three general types of air filters:

  • General purpose
  • Coalescing (oil removal)
  • Vapor removal

General Purpose, are used to remove water and particles, while Coalescing filters remove oil, and Vapor Removal filters remove oil vapor and odor.

Pressure regulators

Pressure regulators reduce and control air pressure in compressed air systems, including rotary screw air compressors. Regulators are also frequently referred to as PRVs (pressure reducing valves).

Optimally, a pressure regulator maintains a constant output pressure regardless of variations in the input pressure and downstream flow requirements. In practice, output pressure is influenced to some degree by variations in primary pressure and flow.

Pressure regulators are used to control pressure to:

  • Air tools
  • Blow guns
  • Air gauging equipment
  • Air cylinders
  • Air bearings
  • Air motors
  • Spraying devices
  • Fluidic systems
  • Air logic valves
  • Aerosol lubrication system
  • Most other fluid power applications

General purpose regulators are available in relieving or non-relieving types. Relieving regulators can be adjusted from a high pressure to a low pressure. Even in a dead-end situation, relieving regulators will allow the excess downstream pressure to be exhausted. This causes a loud hissing sound which is perfectly normal.

Non-relieving regulators that are similarly adjusted will not allow the downstream pressure to escape. Instead, the trapped air will need to be released in some other way—for example, by operating a downstream valve.

Downstream equipment flow and pressure requirements must be determined to properly size the correct regulator for the application.

Lubricator

A lubricator adds controlled quantities of tool oil into a compressed air system to reduce the friction of moving components. Most air tools, cylinders, valves, air motors, and other air driven equipment require lubrication to extend their useful life.

The use of an airline lubricator solves the problems of too much or too little lubrication that arise with conventional lubrication methods such as a grease gun or oil. Airline lubricators also supply the right kind of lubricant for the tools being used.

Once the lubricator is adjusted, an accurately metered quantity of lubricant is supplied to the air-operated equipment and the only maintenance required is a periodic refill of the lubricator reservoir.

Adding lubrication to a system also “washes away” compressor oils that travel through the system in vapor form. Mineral oils added to the system prevent synthetic compressor oil build-up on system components. When lubricators are not used in a system, a coalescing filter should be installed to remove compressor oil aerosols.

Lubricators are sized by downstream flow requirements. An analysis of air flow use must be made. After determining how much air flow is needed, a lubricator can be chosen. Manufacturers’ curves will be similar to the one shown.

Types of Airline Lubricators

Airline lubricators come in one of two types:

  • Oil-Fog
  • Micro-Fog

Oil-Fog airline lubricators are used for heavy applications such as single tools, cylinders and valves, while Micro-Fog lubricators are used for multiple applications, several cylinders or valves.

In oil-fog lubricators, all the oil droplets visible in the sight dome are added directly into the air flow. This results in relatively large oil droplets passing downstream. In micro-fog lubricators, the oil droplets visible in the sight dome are atomized and collected in the area above the oil in the bowl. The smaller, lighter particles are drawn into the air flow and pass downstream. As a result, typically only 10% of the visible oil drops in the sight dome is passed downstream.

Choosing The Right FRL For Compressed Air Systems

Compressed air is clean, readily available and simple-to-use, but it can be the most expensive form of energy in your application. Unregulated or improper pressure settings can result in increased compressed air demand, which results in increased energy consumption.

Excessive pressure can also increase equipment wear, resulting in higher maintenance costs and shorter tool life. A rule of thumb states that every 2-psig increase in operating pressure adds an additional 1% to compression energy cost.

Point-of-use FRLs (filter, regulator and lubricators) are needed to ensure that every tool or process is receiving a clean, lubricated supply of compressed air at the proper pressure to provide peak performance.

Choosing A Filter For Compressed Air

Reliability is one of the strongest reasons to use compressed air, and proper filtration is the key to maximizing reliability and longevity. Compressed air can carry condensed water, oil carryover from compressors, solid impurities (pipe scale and rust) generated within the pipelines, and other wear particles from the ambient air. These contaminants can cause problems at every point of use, and should be removed by installing suitable filters.

Contaminant particle size is measured in micrometers (µm), which each represents one-millionth of a meter or 0.000039 of an inch. Filters are rated according to the minimum particle size that their elements will trap. Although filters rated at 40 to 60 µm are adequate for protecting most industrial applications, many point-of-use filters are rated at 5 µm. Note that finer ratings increase the pressure drop through the filter, which equates to higher energy cost to compress the air.

In addition, finer filters clog more rapidly, also increasing pressure drop. (In other words, while filters finer than necessary do no harm to downstream components, they will have a negative impact on air system operating cost.)

 point-of-use filters

Point of use filter

Many filter manufacturers will define the expected pressure loss and dirt holding capacity, using curves related to pressure and flow. Therefore, particle-removal filters should be selected based on acceptable pressure drop and pipe-connection size.

A typical pressure drop through such filters would be between 1 and 5 psig. A filter with larger body size will produce less initial pressure loss and provide longer operating life than a smaller size filter with the same removal ratings.

Most point-of-use filters claim to remove condensed water, typically via a form of cyclone separator at their inlet end. The water-removal efficiency of such filters is very dependent on the incoming air velocity. Therefore, these filters must be matched to the intended airflow, rather than acceptable pressure drop.

If the filter is intended to remove moisture, an integral automatic float-type drain should be provided to periodically remove accumulated liquids from the filter bowl. Generally, such filters have transparent polycarbonate bowls, which allow easy visual inspection of the sump level.

Numerous chemicals can attack this plastic material and it only performs well at pressures below 150 psig and temperatures between 40° and 120° F. A metal bowl may be required when the filter could be subjected to conditions outside those limits, as well as when synthetic compressor lubricants, which often contain chemicals that are harmful to polycarbonate, are present.

Coalescing-type filters,

Coalescing filter

Coalescing Filters

Most oil entrained in a compressed air stream, as well as some of the condensed water, will be in the form of mists or aerosols that can pass through the openings in standard airline filters. Air for instruments, spray painting, and bulk-material conveying frequently requires the removal of such droplets. Coalescing-type filters will accomplish this job.

Aerosol carryover through such filters is commonly stated as parts per million (ppm) of oil vs. air by weight and will range from 1 to as little as 0.01 ppm. Coalescing filters are often rated to remove aerosols that are substantially smaller than the nominal size of the smallest solid particle that would be captured. Some models offer dual-stage filtration; the first removes solid particulates to protect the coalescing element in the second stage.

Because all coalescing filters create a greater restriction to the airflow, pressure losses will be higher than those of conventional compressed air filters. Coalescing filters have an initial (or dry) pressure drop and a working (or saturated) pressure drop, both based on pressure and flow rate. The effective removal efficiency of such filters depends greatly on the air velocity passing through the filter assembly.

Therefore, choose a coalescing filter based on acceptable oil carryover, expected airflow rate, and pipe-connection size. A coalescing filter rated at 0.1 ppm will typically have a clean, wetted pressure drop between 2 and 5 psig, while a high-efficiency filter rated at 0.01 ppm can cause as much as 10 psig drop once it becomes wetted or fully saturated during service.

Flow in scfm

High efficiency filter pressure by flow

Selecting The Right Pressure Regulators

Once a minimum suitable operating pressure has been determined for any compressed air application, it is essential to supply the air at a constant pressure, regardless of upstream flow and pressure fluctuations. Thus, it is critical to install the proper regulator or pressure-reducing valve in the airline.

Air regulators are special valves that reduce supply pressure to the level required for efficient operation of downstream pneumatic equipment. A filter to protect the regulator’s internal passages from damage should always be installed upstream from it.

Poppet-Style Valves

There are several types of air regulators. The simplest type uses an unbalanced-poppet-style valve. This design incorporates an adjustment spring, does not have a separate diaphragm chamber, and is non-relieving. Turning the adjustment screw compresses the spring, which forces the diaphragm to move, thus pushing a poppet to uncover an orifice.

As pressure rises downstream, it acts on the underside of the diaphragm, balancing against the force of the spring. The poppet throttles the orifice opening to restrict flow – and produce the desired downstream pressure. A spring under the poppet assures that the valve closes completely when no flow exists. This is the least expensive type air regulator.

Pressure regulators

Regulator with diaphragm chamber

Diaphragm Chambers

Larger, more expensive regulators, incorporate a separate diaphragm chamber, which has an aspirator tube exposed to the output pressure. Segregating the diaphragm from the main airflow minimizes its abrasive effects and extends the life of the valve.

As flow through this regulator increases, the aspirator tube creates a slightly lower pressure in the diaphragm chamber. The diaphragm deflects downward and opens the orifice without significantly reducing the output pressure. The effect is the same as increasing the adjustment setting. Thus, this style regulator has minimal drop (output pressure decay) as supply pressure varies. The table below compares how that variance occurs with a small and a large diaphragm.

The larger diaphragms in these regulators improve response and sensitivity. As discharge flow through the regulator is increased over its entire range, output pressure drops. Thus, it is important to set the regulator’s desired output pressure under normal flow conditions.

 

Supply Pressure in PSI

Supply pressure in small vs large diaphragms

 

Flow in scfm

Flow in scfm of small vs large diaphragms

Balanced Poppet & Precision Regulators

Another type of regulator incorporates a balanced poppet, but otherwise has the same general construction as the separate diaphragm version. It has a significantly larger orifice to allow for greater airflow. To maintain good stability, the poppet is pressure-balanced. Thus, the effects of output pressure fluctuations cancel out, which improves sensitivity and response, and reduces droop.

Finally, precision regulators often employ several isolated diaphragms acting against flapper valves and nozzles in a balancing principle and are normally manufactured in limited flow capacities with smaller connection ports.

Considerations When Selecting Regulators

Selecting the best type of regulator for a specific application first requires a choice among these styles. Mini-regulators are commonly the direct-acting, non-relieving type, while most standard regulators fall within the self-relieving, separate-diaphragm-chamber style.

The next consideration becomes primary (unregulated supply) pressure versus desired secondary (output) pressure.

Finally, desired airflow rate must be selected. Adjusting screws are normally offered in two styles: tamper resistant, locking Tee type or push-lock, plastic knob type. The first is best when a fixed operating pressure will be set once and left alone. The adjustable knob style (quite common on modular FRLs) is the correct choice for general use, where the operating pressure can be easily adjusted without tools. Regulators also are defined by body size (orifice flow rating) and connection size.

Although several models may appear to be acceptable for any given airflow and pressure, a larger body size regulator will produce better setting sensitivity and less droop than a smaller body model under the same set of operating conditions.

An output pressure gauge is essential, although many manufacturers frequently offer it only as an option. Mounting brackets are another useful option.

Choosing The Best Airline Lubricator

Airline Lubricators

Airline lubricator

Many pneumatic system components and almost all pneumatic tools perform better when lubricated with oil. Injecting an oil mist into the air-stream which powers them can continuously lubricate valves, cylinders, and air motors for proper operation and long service life.

Locating the lubricator last in the pipeline is important to ensure that the correct amount of lubrication reaches each device. Too little oil can allow excessive wear and cause premature failure. Excessive oil in the pipeline is wasteful and can become a contaminant in the ambient area as it is carried out of tools and valves by the air exhaust.

Intermittent lubrication may be the worst condition of all because the oil film can dry out and form sludge or varnish on the internal surfaces of the equipment.

Airline lubricators meter oil from a reservoir into the moving air-stream. As high-velocity air passes through a venturi, it draws the oil up and through a capillary, then drips it into the air-stream.

The moving air breaks up the oil into a mist (small droplets) or fog (larger droplets), which is then carried downstream into the air-powered device. In a typical lubricator, all of the air passes through the venturi during low-flow conditions.

Under higher flow conditions, a spring-loaded bypass valve opens to direct the excess flow around the venturi to a point downstream where it rejoins the lubricated flow. A manual adjusting valve sets the oil drip-rate and a sight glass enables the operator to monitor the output. A fill plug provides access to refill the reservoir, which typically is made from polycarbonate. The same precautions about polycarbonate apply to lubricators as they do to airline filters.

Pressure drop in PSI

Lubricator pressure and flow

Lubricators typically have a larger flow range than an equivalent size regulator or filter, but their pressure drop increases quite rapidly as flow increases.

The acceptable pressure loss for a lubricator is normally considered to be 3 to 7 psig. Lubricators are generally selected based on pipe connection size, oil reservoir capacity, and acceptable pressure loss versus flow rate (many manufacturers publish a minimum flow rate at which the venturi will function properly).

Remember to account for this added downstream pressure loss when setting the pressure regulator. Set it at desired use pressure plus lubricator loss (drop).

Modular & Combination FRL Units

Modular or combination units

Combination FRL unit

Manufacturers frequently preassemble filters, regulators, and lubricators to form combination units. They are packaged together as common body sizes with common connection port sizes. Interconnections may be via threaded nipples or modular face connectors.

The modular connectors allow easy removal of components for servicing or cleaning. In addition, some manufacturers combine filters and regulators in stacked assemblies where the filter head becomes the regulator body. The components share common inlet and outlet connections, which makes the assembly very compact.

filter-regulator-lubricator

Individual pressure regulator

Such packaged units, whether F-R only or complete F-R-L, are practical choices for most industrial applications. The selection criteria are the same as with any of the individual components, except that the combined pressure and flow performance becomes the only consideration.

Note that when critical requirements dictate the use of specialty filters or precision regulators, the assembly probably must be made up of individual selections and connected with pipe nipples.

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Factors to consider when purchasing a compressor for your mobile application

It’s time to buy a compressor for your mobile service truck application.  You’ve figured out what type of compressor and how much air flow and pressure you need as well as how it will affect the load capacity of your truck.  Now it’s simply where you can buy that compressor the at the lowest cost, right?  Well not really.  Besides the installation time, there are some important installation details to consider, depending on the type of compressor you’ve chosen and what type of work you’ll be doing. Continue reading “Factors to consider when purchasing a compressor for your mobile application”

Checking VMAC Belt Drive Systems

Checking for belt misalignment and belt drive design requirements.

VMAC compressor systems use serpentine belts, also known as a micro-v, poly-v or multi-rib belts, which are continuous rubber belts with k-type cross section typically with 6 ribs but can vary between 4 and 8 ribs. Belt drive systems are designed to take into account many different requirements to allow continuous smooth running with minimal maintenance. Some of these requirements are: Continue reading “Checking VMAC Belt Drive Systems”

Why does hose size affect my compressor airflow?

It is important to consider appropriate sizing of all components of your air system.  If you are investing in an air compressor system, restricting the flow anywhere in your system could make it significantly underperform or cost you a lot more in energy costs to run that compressor over its lifetime.

As air travels from the compressor head to your tool it travels through components such as hoses, fittings, valves, and tanks. Each of these will restrict the flow of air in some way depending on the geometry of each component and the magnitude of the flow passing through it. For example, a long small hose feeding a high air demand tool can result in a high-pressure drop.  The result of this will mean either your compressor is working harder and using more power to keep up with your air demands, or if it can’t keep up, your tool performance will be reduced.  In some cases, where torque or power at the tool is important, you may not be able to complete your work.

Continue reading “Why does hose size affect my compressor airflow?”

The Importance of Air Receivers / Auxiliary Air Tanks

Compressed air applications can often benefit from the installation of an air receiver tank.  The receiver tank serves many important functions:

A300047-A 10 gallon air receiver tank

A 10-gallon air receiver tank

  • It damps pulsations from the discharge line of a reciprocating compressor, resulting in an essentially steady flow of air in the system.
  • It serves as an air reservoir to take care of sudden or unusually heavy demands for air in excess of the compressor’s designed capacity.
  • It prevents the excessive cycling of a compressor.
  • It knocks out solid dirt and particulate matter that may have passed through the compressor inlet filter or may be formed by compressor wear.
  • It precipitates out contaminants and oil carry-over from the compressor oil that might get into the compressor discharge
  • It helps cool the compressed air and precipitates out moisture that inevitably results from air compression

Continue reading “The Importance of Air Receivers / Auxiliary Air Tanks”