FAQ: Different Types of Compressor Air Dryers

If you use air operated tools and machinery, owning a compressed air dryer is a must. Compressed air dryers work to remove moisture from the air, protecting valuable tools and machinery, and your work, from water damage and rust.  When air is compressed, the moisture in that air remains and with an air dryer, this could result in big problems.  To get the compressed air dryer that will work best for you, take a look at the four different types available.

Refrigerated Dryers

These compressed air dryers work to remove moisture by cooling the air being used.  By cooling the temperature of the air down, the moisture is forced to condensate. The condensation is then collected and the air is reheated. These dryers are a great option for some people, but if your work is highly sensitive to water, this type of dryer is not recommended. It’s able to remove the majority of moisture from the compressed air, but not all.

Chemical Dryers

Chemical dryers use chemicals, usually lithium or calcium chloride to remove moisture.  Water vapor is attracted to these chemicals.  Once the material is saturated, it and the water collected is thrown out. When looking at purchasing a chemical dryer, note that a quality filter is needed to keep the inside of the unit dry.  If the chemicals are wet, the won’t attract as much moisture.

Desiccant Dryers

Desiccant dryers are able to achieve lower de poiParker-Airtek-TW-Dryernt levels with some models reaching temperatures as low as -40 degree Fahrenheit. These dryers use desiccant material to absorb the moisture from the air. With lower temperatures, more moisture is able to be collected, leaving you with dryer air than some other types of compressed air dryers.  Desiccant dryers do need more electricity to function.

Membrane Air Dryers

For this type of compressed air dryer, a special membrane is utilized. Water vapor is able to pass through this membrane when the air is passed through tubes inside the dryer.  On leaving the tube, the air is dry. Membrane dryers need no electricity to run and when operated, produce little noise. These dryers are also low maintenance, and require little care.

When deciding which air dryer is best for you and your needs, there is one key point to keep in mind; Don’t over or underestimate your needs. Come up with the exact specifications and choose the model that best meets those.  You know the conditions you need your dryer to perform in, and with a little research, you’ll find the one that’s a perfect fit.