Compressed air piping



Compressed air piping

Postby 2Loose » November 10th, 2014, 2:10 pm

Just read through Indycars 5 page thread that ran last year on compressor installation and piping, very interesting info and comments....

I have an older 220 v commercial air compressor, a V style two stage, that has given me superior performance, and keep intending to upgrade my distribution system. I have a 20 x 40 open shop, high pitched v open beam ceiling, and as 99% of my work is done near that compressor, I have always just used a hose directly off the tank. When I need dry air, I have a large container of silica gel pellets that does an excellent job of drying any moisture coming out of the tank. With extra bags of dry gel available, and with the ability to dry the gel overnite in the oven when it gets to the right point, it seems to fill the bill pretty well for what I am doing. For my air tools, I run air tool oil through them at the end of every day they get used, and I use them a lot. I really only need the gel with tig welding and painting, and I don't do that much painting.

I have a bunch of brass 3/4" pipe I salvaged on a teardown job a few years ago, and was thinking of just putting about 20 each 10' legs zig zagging across my ceiling, which has about a 45 deg pitch, with the air traveling cross ways from top to bottom, releasing moisture as it cooled, and with a air/water separator at the bottom. Then lay some more pipe with outlets at several key locations in the shop and outside.
After that I'd still use the gel when tig welding and painting, but I suspect that by that time the moisture would be pretty much gone, lightening up the load on the gel container.
Any comments on how well this might work?

One other thing, several of my friends have used pvc for their air distribution systems, and I know this is considered a "no-no", due to the explosive nature of plastic pipe and compressed air in a pipe rupture situation, and also the vulnerability of plastic pipe to fire. My buddies point to the pressure rating of schedule 80 1/2" pipe at 850 psi, with an ID of 0.526", and say that by keeping the tank outlet valve shut off at all times when not using, the fire problem is negligible to nothing. And none of them have ever ruptured or caused a problem in any way, so my arguments to them have fallen on deaf ears. When I managed a large shop in the mid 80's, we only used black iron for our air systems, and had to have OSHA approval ( or the Hawaii equivalent called HIOSH) when installing or modifying.

Any other points I can make as to why they should not use pvc for compressed air systems?
Aloha,
Willy
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Re: Compressed air piping

Postby grumpyvette » November 10th, 2014, 2:28 pm

Image

yes I know 3/4" sweated copper pipe is ideal, for air distribution piping, if its correctly laid out with drain points
and 3/4" black iron pipe is a good substitute, but 3/4" schedule 80 PVC IS easier to work with and a whole lot cheaper and lighter weight,and I know plenty of guys who have had it in use for over 10 years in their shops with out problems, I think the main concern is to keep it out of direct sun-light, away from any heat sources like lights or electrical, and to use SCHEDULE 80 no larger than 3/4", not schedule 40 which is more common and much weaker.
if you look at this OLD PICTURE,taken before I installed the small air conditioner condenser radiators,and franzinator condenser moisture collector pipe,that I later installed above the compressors you'll see I ran a 3/4" schedule 80 PVC up into the rafters (white vertical pipe)and over to several places where I have quick connect points for air hose connections
and yes the dual compressors put out a max of about 140psi and as its rated at easily 4.9 times that, at 690 psi and its only under pressure when in use, I can,t see it as being an issue.
I also built a heat exchanger with an aux fan that works to dissipate compressor heat and condense moisture before it gets to the holding tanks or enters the distribution piping.
understand 3/4" COPPER PIPE is the IDEAL PIPE, 3/4" black iron is great, and I don,t advise anyone use PVC .but yeah Ive been using it for about 8 years without any issues,
and yeah if I had access to 150-200 ft of 3/4" copper pipe, to re-due my shop, Id swap it out but I have yet to find any in a salvage yard at a decent price for obvious reasons


viewtopic.php?f=27&t=24

viewtopic.php?f=59&t=6246&hilit=franzinator

http://flexpvc.com/PVCPipeSize.shtml?gc ... MgodRzUAog
Image
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Re: Compressed air piping

Postby Indycars » November 11th, 2014, 3:28 pm

2Loose wrote:I have a bunch of brass 3/4" pipe I salvaged on a teardown job a few years ago, and was thinking of just putting about 20 each 10' legs zig zagging across my ceiling, which has about a 45 deg pitch, with the air traveling cross ways from top to bottom, releasing moisture as it cooled, and with a air/water separator at the bottom. Then lay some more pipe with outlets at several key locations in the shop and outside.
After that I'd still use the gel when tig welding and painting, but I suspect that by that time the moisture would be pretty much gone, lightening up the load on the gel container.
Any comments on how well this might work?

Aloha,
Willy


Do they really make Brass pipe or did you mean copper? I used copper for the
very reason that you stated above about condensing the water out of the air
by cooling.

Before I would run PVC, I would purchase a kit made for compressed air and
made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tubing with aluminum core stays
flexible and will not become brittle or lose strength over time. MaxLine meets
OSHA requirements.

With o-ring connections and you can bend it my hand, it just doesn't get much
easier to install than that.

If I was to do it again, I would seriously consider this product or something
similar. I very rarely get any water out of the receiver tank. I think it's because
of the inter-cooler and Franzinator. 98% of all the water is drained from the
Franzinator. Not even once have I gotten any water out of the first drop that
I installed between the bench and heater.

For $199.99, it's alot cheaper than copper.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200484023

AirPipingSystem.jpg


When you use desiccant, does that produce any dust in the system? Do you
need a particulate filter if using desiccant?

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- Need a Dynamic Compression Ratio Calculator: viewtopic.php?f=99&t=4458
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Re: Compressed air piping

Postby Indycars » November 13th, 2014, 12:36 pm


The piping system above is on sale now for $179.99, you save $20.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... L5B8v8Jd81

Rick
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- Check Out My Dart SHP Engine Project: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=3814
- Need a Dynamic Compression Ratio Calculator: viewtopic.php?f=99&t=4458
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