Compressed air contains moisture, foreign particles and oil mist. These constituents of compressed air are harmful to the life of pneumatic components like valves or air cylinders. Hence this is extremely important to prepare the compressed air before using the same for various industrial applications. The preparation of compressed air is done by air preparation equipment.
Preparation of compressed air starts immediately after it is produced by the compressor by using aftercooler to reduce its temperature. Aftercooler can be either air cooled or water cooled. Important air preparation equipment is Air dryer. Air dryer removes the moisture from the compressed air. Air dryer can be either refrigerated or heatless. Refrigerated air dryer is widely used in the manufacturing industry. Air preparation equipment is water separator. Water separator removes moisture present in condensate form in compressed air. Some of other air preparation equipments are main line filter, mist separator, micro mist separator and odor removal filter.
For general purpose Air preparation equipment consisting of an air filter, a regulator and a lubricator. This is also commonly known as FRL unit. FRL is Filter + Regulator + Lubricator. Function of filter is to remove dust and moisture, function of regulator is to facilitate air pressure adjustment as per user requirement and lubricator supplies lubricating oil which gets mixed in the mist form and provides lubrication requirement in pneumatic components like air cylinder. Air preparation products (or FRL’S combination) are normally modular type and different combination can be made as per customer requirement. Pressure gauge is fitted on the pressure regulator to indicate the compressed air pressure in pneumatic pipeline. Air filter regulator is a popular air combination. Regulator is known as pressure control equipment due to its function and can be of different types. Precision regulators are regulators which can allow precise setting of air pressure with very low least count. Air filters are available with different filtration ratings like 5 micron, 20 micron, and 40 microns etc. Sometimes the user buys products like filter or complete FRL as per the connection size. They are available in M5, 1/8”, 1/4", 3/8”, 1/2", 3/4", 1” and 2”.
These Air preparation products ( or FRL’S combination) are manufactured by most of the pneumatic products manufacturers including SMC, FESTO, CKD, JANATICS, COMOZZI, PNEUMAX, PARKER, SPAC, NORGREN and others. Air preparation products are always recommended to periodically carry out maintenance activities of this equipment to get optimum result. Use of air preparation products is very important as it improves life of all the pneumatic components.
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