Why do compressed air and gas need drying?

Being the fourth utility of a production facility (the other three being electricity, water and gas) compressed air is a very important resource that should be carefully treated in any manufacturing plant. It should be carefully examined in a periodical manner. The moisture present in the air should be removed and also the contaminants should be eliminated. This will result in the efficient working of the whole system. Improved performance and reduced operational costs are two major perks of having efficient air and gas drying systems. 

Air drying is one of the most significant processes carried out in most large industries. In this technique, the moisture from coatings and surfaces are removed by using hot, dry or forced air. Moisture present in the air can affect colour, coatings etc., and also lead to damage and corrosion. But air-drying is employed to prevent all those problems. 

Significance of compressed air and gas drying

Regular atmospheric air and compressed air all contain some amount of water vapour. This water vapour will cause problems in future because of an increase in water concentration in the system. Therefore, to prevent problems in the future, wet air must be controlled. Drying equipment can be used for the same purpose. 

There is moisture present in the irregular atmospheric air that will have moisture content. When the air or gas crosses the saturation point, this vapour will condense and reach the liquid state. This process happens at a certain temperature and this temperature is known as the dew point. 

  • Moisture leads to damages and problems

When the compressed air employed in the manufacturing plant contains moisture, it will damage various valves, pneumatic air systems, air motors, different passages etc. They will cause damages, wear and tear, impact lubrication, corrosion, causes the valves and passages to be plugged and clogged and also affects the overall functioning of the system. Further, the moisture harms the adherence, colour and finish of paint etc. Hence, they- lead to malfunctioning, false readings in the instruments, faulty operations, and even cause the total system to shut down. 

Compressed air and gas drying becomes necessary to obtain perfectly finished products, for the smooth flow of uninterrupted production, improved performance of the whole system and reduced operating costs. 


  • Clean and dry air, as well as gas, is necessary for various applications

Air is required in most manufacturing facilities or plants. Most of these plants need dry and clean compressed air for the smooth flow of their operations. Water molecules, dirt or any other contaminants will be deposited inside the pieces of equipment that can even lead to a drop in the pressure of the system. This drop indicates low efficiency in the overall performance of the system. 

  • Instrument air used in transmitters, converters, gauges etc., need to be dry

In these pieces of equipment, dry and moisture-free air is needed, as even a little amount of moisture or water vapour can produce significant issues. This may plug the air passages and block them. Further, they can lead to instrument damage. Pneumatic thermostats that are used in the air conditioning and heating cycles of buildings is another instrument that needs dry air.

These types of instruments used in sewage treatment units, manufacturing plants, textile manufacturing units, petrochemical plants are all examples of facilities that need dry air for their smooth flow and efficient operation.

  • Valves, as well as cylinders, need moisture free air for their smooth functioning

The slime or sludge that is formed by the dirt and contaminants or oil in the air causes blockages in valves and acts as drags in the cylinders. This causes damages and results in frequent maintenance. There will be a lag in operations, this slowdown of operations will gradually lead to the shutting down of the system. The efficiency will be very low and there will be an increase in costs too.

These are the main reasons why compressed air and gas need drying. Air-gas drying can be achieved through various techniques. Use of air dryers is one popular technique used nowadays and among them, use of desiccant air dryers is the one with most demand as it employs a heatless method. 

The regenerative desiccant air dryers use a desiccant. Activated alumina balls are used mainly in these systems nowadays. These desiccants absorb all moisture content from the air. They have the maximum water adsorption capacity than other adsorbents including silica gel and molecular sieves. Activated alumina balls are exceptional adsorbents of water vapour and moisture. They are highly porous non-toxic substances with high surface area. Sorbead India is one of the most reliable suppliers of high-quality activated alumina balls in India. They provide activated alumina balls of different sizes and types for different types of air dryers.