Are you thinking about buying an air treatment unit for your compressed air system? Not only will an air treatment unit keep your system clean and dry, but it can help reduce equipment wear and prolong tool life. But, what exactly should you think about when buying one? Keep reading and The Hosemaster team will tell you how to choose the correct air treatment unit for your compressed air system…
Do you really need to use an air treatment as part of your compressed air system?
You may be tempted to save on the cost, but in the long-run you’ll be worse off.
Because without an air treatment unit, your system will be running on unregulated, unlubricated, unfiltered pressurised air.
As we mentioned at the outset of this article, this will increase wear on your equipment, reducing the lifespan of your tools and ultimately leading to you having to shell out more money for tools and equipment.
Not using an air treatment unit is a false economy.
When it comes to selecting an air treatment unit for your compressed air system, you have a number of different types to choose from:
Depending on what you’ll be using your compressed air for, and how regularly you’ll be using it, will determine exactly what type of air treatment unit you should buy.
To help you select the right air treatment unit, we’ve provided more information about each type below.
As you’ve probably guessed by the name, an air filter unit is designed to filter out solid particles (such as dirt, dust and other detritus) from compressed air systems. Air filter units will also separate liquids (such as water and oil).
Air filter units considerably reduce wear and tear on your air compression system and tools.
An air regulator unit provides you with the ability to adjust the pressure or flow of air from your compressor.
This not only makes it easier to use compressed air for specific applications, but it also allows you to operate your pneumatic tools at the manufacturer’s recommended pressures, thus reducing wear and tear on your tools and prolonging their life.
It’s also possible to buy air regulator units which can be ‘locked’ once the pressure is set. These units are ideal for use with tools such as blowguns where the pressure must not exceed 2 bar.
Finally, you have air lubricator units. These are units which are designed to release small, controlled amounts of oil into your pressurised air system. This helps to reduce friction and wear and tear on your air tools and equipment.
Air lubricator units are normally fitted close to the point of use and after an air filter unit (if you’re using one).
At this point you might be wondering what type of air treatment unit is right for you. Do you just need a filter? Will a lubricator be necessary?
Below, we’ve provided the things you need to think about in order to buy the correct air treatment unit for your circumstances.
Do you use your compressed air system on a regular basis? If you use tools such as wrenches and impact wrenches, it’s highly recommended that you use an air lubricator unit on your system.
This will reduce the wear and tear on your tools and prolong their lifespan.
Having said that, some tools do not require lubricators. For example, tools such as digital tyre inflators and many types of spray equipment require little or no lubrication. When you do need to lubricate these types of tools, it’s much easier to do this manually using an air oil tool.
Whether you need to use an air filter unit or not is very much determined by the types of tools you’re working with.
Many tools have defined filtration requirements. Many industrial tools such as impact wrenches require 10-micron filtration, whereas more sensitive tools require a more stringent 5-micron filtration.
Whilst you may just think it’s easier to buy a filter unit with the highest level of filtration, you should avoid this. Don’t buy a finer filter than necessary. For example, don’t use a 5-micron filter with an impact wrench which only requires 10-micron filtration. Using a filter that’s too fine will not only increase energy consumption, but will increase wear on the tool.
Where will you be using your compressed air system? If you’re going to be using it in an environment where it will be subject to knocks and scuffs, or varying temperatures, then you need to make sure you buy an air treatment unit that is able to withstand it.
Here at The Hosemaster we sell a range of air treatment units that have robust designs manufactured from high-quality materials.
It’s important that you select an air treatment unit that is of the right size to match the airflow coming from your compressor and that is required by your tool. Failure to do so can result in the flow rate being affected and impaired performance.
We would suggest that you always refer to the tool manufacturer’s recommendations and buy an air treatment unit that has an air flow capacity that is greater than that which is required by the tool.
When browsing for air filter units you’ll find that many feature a manual or semi-automatic drain at the bottom of the filter bowl.
This feature is included so that you can release the accumulated particles and liquids from the filter. With a manual filter, you have to do this yourself by hand. With a semi-automatic filter, it will automatically drain when the system is depressurised (although it is also possible to manually operate these types of drains).
It is recommended that you use a filter with a semi-automatic drain if you’re going to be using your compressed air system on a regular basis throughout the day.
Here at The Hosemaster we stock a wide range of air treatment units including models that include filters, lubricators and regulators in one unit, as well as individual filters, regulators and more.
You’ll also find a range of supporting accessories for air treatment units such as filter elements, brackets and more.
Shop air treatment units at The Hosemaster now
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