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Category: Air Filter

Safety Guidelines When Using an Air Compressor

From industrial equipment, power tools at home, paint sprays and so much more, air compressors are now widely used. The range of compressors from Peerless Engineering include some of the most famous types in the market. Although air compressors can now easily be found in homes, the risks and dangers they pose should not be overlooked. If used safely, our air compressors can offer you a lot of benefits. Here are some precautions you can take when using them.

 

How to Prevent Bodily Harm

Compressed air can be dangerous, therefore it should never be directed at any person’s skin. An injury can occur even on a low pressure. It might be tempting to clean dirt from another person or yourself, but never do it. Compressed air is not intended for breathing or inhaling, unless it comes from a system that has been specifically designed for breathing, and has a proper air filter and regulator in place.

Always wear safety goggles or any suitable face shield while cleaning with an air compressor to prevent damage to your eyes. You should also wear ear protection, as using compressed air can be noisy.

 

How to Care for the Hoses

Pressurized hoses should always be treated with care. When under pressure, they should never be coupled, uncoupled, or crimped. Before you connect or disconnect hoses, make sure that all valves are bled down and all valves are switched off.

Before using air, always make it a point to check your hoses. Inspect them for damages before starting your task. When storing away your hoses, find a storage place that is away from direct sunlight  or any heat. If you can store it on a reel, damage is significantly minimized.

 

Safety While Using an Air Compressor

Follow the OSHA regulations for cleaning with compressed air. For safety reasons, The pressure should not go beyond 30PSIG. You must also inspect if you have used the correct clamps and fittings on your air hoses. Using the wrong ones can be very dangerous.

It is also important to make sure that the end of the hose, where the compressed air is coming out from, is securely held at all times. If they aren’t, the hose can be detached and can whip around. This can easily cause injuries.

A Word On Laboratory Air Compressor Systems

medical air compressor system does not necessarily make a good laboratory compressor system.  Medical air compressor systems are designed to deliver clean, 50 psi, breathing air as specified by a CSA Standard.  Laboratories may not be best served by a medical air compressor.  Here are some things to think about when procuring a laboratory compressor system

OIL-LESS VERSUS LUBRICATED

Oil-less air compressors are expensive relative to lubricated compressors.  Today’s tight budgeting has required the installation of lubricated compressors in laboratories where the low risk of compressor lubricant in the compressed air is acceptable.

PRESSURE

The 50 psi pressure supplied by a medical air compressor is often not enough for a laboratory.  Laboratory equipment may require 80 to 120 psi pressure.  Determine from the user what pressure is required.  A compressor running start/stop will need to shut off at a pressure 20 to 40 psi above the required pressure to allow for pressure switch  differential, purification pressure loss, pressure regulation and pipeline pressure drop.

CUBIC FEET FREE AIR PER MINUTE VS. CUBIC FEET COMPRESSED AIR PER MINUTE

Compressors are usually rated in CFM free air.  This should be the quantity of air delivered referenced to the compressor inlet conditions.  Cubic feet compressed air equates to free air as follows

Hence, at 80 PSIG, 35 CFM free air equals 5.4 CFM compressed air.

Years ago Peerless Engineering was requested by a consultant to supply a 10 HP, 35 cubic feet free air per minute compressor to a laboratory facility.  It was determined after installation that 35 cubic feet compressed air per minute was required.  To quote Homer Simpson “Do’h!”

The solution was to install a second 50 HP, 175 cubic feet free air per minute compressor.  However, the building was plumbed with only ½ inch compressed air lines.  To quote Homer Simpson again “Do’h!”.

DELIVERED CUBIC FEET VS. INLET CUBIC FEET

Some compressor manufacturers rate their compressor by inlet cubic feet per minute which equals delivered air divided by the volumetric efficiency.   Given that the volumetric efficiency of a compressor can be 70%, rating a compressor by inlet cubic feet per minute makes that compressor look much better to the naïve.

DEW POINT

Compressed air dried to a pressure dew point of -40°C by a desiccant air dryer costs more to make than compressed air dried to a pressure dew point of +4°C by a refrigerated air dryer.  Many laboratories only require compressed air with an acceptable relative humidity at maximum pipeline pressure and minimum pipeline temperature.  This can often be accomplished by a refrigerated air dryer at a lower cost.

Follow Ron Magnolo on Twitter @ronm_peerlesse.