Designing Compressed Air System

Compressed air treatment, compressed air production

Designing a Compressed Air System

The Transair Connection Process

Labor accounts for 20 percent of the cost of installing an aluminum piping system. By comparison, labor accounts for 60 to 80 percent of a steel system, 50 to 70 percent of a copper system and 40 to 60 percent of a plastic system.

The materials and modular design of a Transair air quick connection pipe system makes it easier and less expensive to install than traditional systems. Its aluminum piping is easier to lift and handle than standard steel piping, and its push-to-connect fittings secure connections with a simple push and twist. The fittings eliminate the need for special tools, pipe preparation and threading. The use of Transair also eliminates the time needed for soldering and glue drying. And once the pipe is pushed into the fittings, the connections secure and ready to be pressurized.

Size Considerations

A common error we see in compressed air systems, in addition to poor piping practice, is line sizes too small for the desired air flow. This isn’t limited to the interconnecting piping from compressor discharge to dryer to header. It also applies to the distribution lines conveying air to production areas and within the equipment found there. Undersized piping restricts the flow and reduces the discharge pressure, thereby robbing the user of expensive compressed air power. Small piping exacerbates poor piping practices by increasing velocity- and turbulence-induced back pressure.

Pipe size and layout design are the most important variables in moving air from the compressor to the point of use. Poor systems not only consume significant energy dollars, but also degrade productivity and quality. The objective in sizing interconnecting piping is to transport the maximum expected volumetric flow from the compressor discharge, through the dryers, filters and receivers, to the main distribution header with minimum pressure drop. Contemporary designs that consider the true cost of compressed air target a total pressure drop of less than 3 psi.

Beyond this point, the objective for the main header is to transport the maximum anticipated flow to the production area and provide an acceptable supply volume for drops or feeder lines. Again, modern designs consider an acceptable header pressure drop to be 0 psi.

Finally, for the drops or feeder lines, the objective is to deliver the maximum anticipated flow to the work station or process with minimum or no pressure loss. Again, the line size should be sized for near zero loss. The lower the pressure drop in transporting air, the lower the system’s energy input.

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Installation Costs

Transair compressed air pipe systems are quick to install and ready for immediate pressurization. No particular preparation (cutting, deburring, chamfering, etc.) is required. Transair aluminum pipe is calibrated and fits perfectly with all Transair components. Each connection is automatically secured and the seal is optimized. Components are removable and interchangeable and allow immediate and easy layout modifications. All components incorporate quick assembly connection that enables Transair systems to be assembled much more quickly than galvanized steel or copper system.

Example:

  • Galvanized installation: 6 feet per hour
  • Copper installation: 8 feet per hour
  • Transair installation: 45 feet per hour

All modifications add extensions to Transair systems can be done extremely quickly and will meet your production requirements.

Example:

  • Lateral dismantling of pipe: 1 minutes 30 seconds
  • Drilling of pipe: 2 minutes 30 seconds
  • Mounting Brackets: 45 seconds
  • Remounting of pipe to the system: 1 minute 30 seconds

Installation Instructions

General

Prior to the installation of a Transair compressed air distribution system, the installer should ensure that the installation area complies with any regulations applicable to areas exposed to explosive hazards (in particular the effect of static electricity in a silo area). Transair should be installed downstream of the compressed air receiver, or after the dryer. Flexible Transair hose can be installed at the start of the system in order to eliminate any sources of vibration and to facilitate maintenance operations. When maintaining or modifying a Transair system, the relevant section should be vented prior to the commencement of any work. Installers should use only Transair components and accessories, in particular Transair pipe clips and fixture clamps. The technical properties of the Transair components, as described in the Transair catalog, must be respected.

Commissioning the Installation

Once the Transair installation has been installed and prior to pressurizing, the installer should complete all tests, inspections and compliance checks as stated in any contract and according to sound engineering practice and current local regulations.

Transair Pipe and Hoses

Transair pipe should be protected from mechanical impact, particularly if exposed to collision with fork-lift trucks or when sited in an environment with moving overhead loads. Similarly, rotation of the pipe and pipe supports should be avoided.Transair pipe must not be welded. Flexible Transair hoses should be used in accordance with the recommendations of the installation guidelines. Note: In certain situations, Transair aluminium pipe may be formed with a bend – please contact us for further information.

Expansion / Contraction

Expansion and contraction of the system should be calculated prior to installation. The system designer and installer should calculate the elongation or retraction of each Transair line according to the recommendations in this installation guide.

Component Assembly

Transair components are provided with assembly instructions for their correct use – simply follow the methods and recommendations stated in this document.

Situations to Avoid:

  • Installation within a solid mass (concrete, foam, etc.)
  • The hanging of any external equipment to Transair pipe
  • The use of Transair for earthing, or as a support for electrical equipment
  • Exposure to chemicals that are incompatible with Transair components (please contact us for further details)

 

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Variables to consider

Successful operations need to be able to take advantage of new equipment options and automation techniques without incurring lengthy downtime and expense. Consequently, the ability to reconfigure production layouts or implement process changes quickly is critical. Transair makes reconfiguration practical and efficient. Because Transair’s fittings are not soldered or glued, the components are reusable and can be removed and reinstalled. The modular design and handling ease enable plant personnel to implement many layout changes within minutes, not hours. This minimizes downtime and increases plant productivity. Furthermore, the flexible hose used in a Transair pipe system eliminates many of the layout constraints encountered with rigid piping systems such as physical obstacles.

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Energy savings

Energy costs associated with a compressed air system are significant. For example, when analyzed over a ten-year period, the cost of energy consumed by an average compressed air system exceeded other costs, including the initial cost of equipment and installation. The cost of electric may exceed the cost of the capital equipment, each year! System pressure drops are one cause of inefficient energy use. A 14.5 psi pressure drop uses 10 percent additional energy. These drops can result from a number of sources, including poor system configuration, interior pipe surface corrosion, and compressed air contamination.

System configuration

Poor system configuration can lead to improper airflow. The flexible hose used in Transair aluminum piping system eliminates many of the layout constraints encountered with rigid piping systems. It accommodates physical obstacles and provides a link between the compressor and piping.

Corrosion

Interior pipe corrosion is a common cause of pressure drops and higher maintenance costs. Smooth bore piping, such as plastic and aluminum, resist corrosion. Galvanized and black iron pipe decreases in opening over time. Galvanized and black iron fittings are crudely designed with restrictions to air flow internally. Brass and copper fittings and valves typically have smaller bores than the associated pipe size. Transair pipe will not corrode and the fittings are ALL designed for compressed air flow with full bore construction.

Durability of equipment

Transair enables elimination of the problem of rust, usually associated with steel air pipe systems. It guarantees the complete absence of corrosion (self protection by formation of aluminum oxide). The inner surface of aluminum pipe ensures good and constant quality clean air continuously.

Transair also protects industrial equipment against water deterioration thanks to its quick assembly brackets with integral upward loop.

Compressing ambient air to the discharge pressure introduces moisture into supplied air. Unfortunately, aftercoolers, filters, and dryers do not completely eliminate moisture and its destructive results. As a result, steel pipe systems will begin to rust and corrode, thereby inhibiting smooth airflow and reducing system pressure.

Pipe corrosion also increases compressed air system maintenance. Steel pipe systems need to be dismantled and inspected to monitor corrosion build up. Not only does replacing corroded pipe interfere with production, it causes rust, corrosion and other particles to be released into the air system, thereby causing instrument, valve, tool and machine operation problems or damage with the resultant downtime.

Air contamination

Air cleanliness is another factor that affects consistent airflow. Dirt and dust particles passing through the piping system are gradually deposited on the interior surface of piping. As these deposits accumulate, friction increases and system pressure decreases. Black iron and galvanized steel piping systems are more prone to build-up than stainless steel. Meanwhile, smooth bore piping materials, such as Transair aluminum pipe, offer more resistance to deposit build-ups.

Air leaks

Inherent in threaded steel piping systems, non productive leaks also waste compressed air, thus electrical energy and your dollars. Difficult to trace and repair, they can have a huge impact on operating budgets. A typical threaded compressed air system leaks 35% of its volume, that’s one third of the electrical bill associated with compressed air! With its bubble-tight seals, pipe and push to connect fittings will eliminate compressed air leaks and lower your electrical costs associated with the production of compressed air.

Improving productivity while reducing operating costs is a goal shared by nearly every manufacturing plant. You cannot buy compressed air, you must produce it. The initial capital cost of a compressed air system is minor compared to the operational cost. A Transair aluminum and stainless steel pipe system will significantly reduce your operational cost! Transair aluminum piping system offers virtually leak-free performance. Transair guarantees the Transair pipe system to be free of leaks for two (2) years. The Transair aluminum pipe and push to connect fittings will eliminate compressed air leaks and lower your electrical costs associated with the production of compressed air.

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