First of all, why do you need an air dryer? Almost all compressed air applications require some air drying system. The air dryer ensures that consistent dry air is provided for your application.
The air dryer removes moisture from the air discharged from the compressor. There is water vapor in the atmosphere-local meteorologists call it humidity. The amount of water that air can hold depends on temperature and pressure. When air is compressed, the higher pressure will cause excess water to fall off the air and become liquid condensate at the outlet of the air compressor. The extra moisture is retained in the air stream in water vapor.
Moisture in compressed air can cause problems in compressed air systems, pneumatic equipment, and manufacturing processes.
When compressed air passes through the piping system and cools down, the liquid falls out of the compressed air. Condensation in tight air pipes and pneumatic tools can cause corrosion and scale problems or lubrication washout problems in production equipment. If the pipeline is exposed to cold temperatures, the water in the control pipeline may freeze, causing blockage or damage to the channel.
The water vapor remaining in the compressed air is a problem for many manufacturing processes. For example, excessive moisture in a pneumatic paint production line can adversely affect color, adhesion, drying time, and finish. In food processing or pharmaceutical applications, moisture in compressed air can cause deterioration.
Air dryers remove excess moisture from the air and lower the dew point or temperature during condensation. Dew point is usually used to measure the moisture content of compressed air; the lower the dew point, the drier the air.