Compression, as we’ve mentioned on these pages many times previously, means heat. As air molecules are squashed together the resulting friction causes warming – and temperatures in a typical screw compressor can come close to 100°C, easily enough to not only to create lots of water vapour, but also to cause problems for seals, lubrication and the tools downstream of the air output.
Then, just to compound problems, the condensing water vapour can cause rust, scaling and freezing issues if left within the system.
Since you can’t stop the creation of water within the system, what you really need from your air compressor is a way of reducing the temperature to the dew point (i.e. the point at which water-saturated air condenses) at a point in the system you control (so you can drain the water easily).
That’s what an aftercooler does, and it matters, because we’re not talking a small trickle of water. Without an aftercooler, an air compressor operating at 100 psig and 200 CFM compressor can ‘create’ up to 45 gallons of water each day. Left undrained, that’s a lot of water left to slosh around the system, typically in places where it’s difficult to remove, or where it can damage the air tool or the products/processes downstream.
How does an aftercooler work?
There are several types of aftercooler, the most common being air-cooled and water-cooled. They work in conjunction with your dryer, cooling the air right down to close to the temperature at which it entered the system. Cooling causes the moisture to condense, leaving the dryer to ‘mop up’ the resulting water.
Find the right aftercooled air compressor for you
Algar Air’s range of German engineered air compressors feature aftercoolers as standard, together with exceptional performance, reliability and value.
Then, for help in choosing the right compressor for you, talk to us on 0114 243 2347.