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Dessicant Air Dryers

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Ironken
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Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby Ironken » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:18 am

I read one of Jim Colt's posts regarding Dessicant dryers.....I am having a big issue with moist air and purchased this set up https://www.miltonindustries.com/1-2-ju ... dryer.html . Jim said (loosely quoted) that small fragments of the dessicant can make their way into the plasma system and cause grief. Has anybody experienced issue with dessicant dryers or have any ideas on how to ensure that the dessicant does not make its way into my Powermax 45xp?

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby robertspark » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:57 am

I don't use a dessicant dryer so have no experience to convey.

But a secondary filter will collect anything carried out of the dryer.

The thing to watch is pressure drop overall on the system. (Hence you need to make sure you have enough residual pressure after all your filtration items)

I use quite large filters with replaceable filter elements in a three stage arrangement down to i think 0.01 micron (but with a membrane dryer arrangement)

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby robertspark » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:03 am

Interesting the blue dessicant is band in the European union because it think the additive is cobalt (although that does not stop you buying it on eBay or China...

The only reason I'm telling you if if you sandblast or spray paint with your system and use some of the air for an air fed mask it's bad news if the air could contain cobalt as it's carsnogenic and i don't think a carbon filter will remove it....

http://www.cobaltchloride.net

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby acourtjester » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:50 am

Here is what I have been using for years and another was installed on a table I built and sold too. I know other here will poop poop it but I have had no problems with it of the desiccant I use. This is a water filter from Lowe's I modified I mounted it on the cart under my Hypertherm 65's .
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Whirlpool-Sing ... m/50412472
the desiccant is from Walmart in 4 pound bags and it looks like there are other brands of silica gel litter too.
kitty.jpg

air dryer (6).JPG

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby Brand X » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:05 am

I have used a Van-air system for about 20 years. Bought a box of Deliquescent Desiccant they had in stock at the time.Came from the local wood mill. Think I paid about $25.00 for the box. Half gone now.. Last a super long time, Just drain the liquid out the bottom, and add more every year or two. (point of use) I filter the air after my tower with a La-man filter like comes on Thermal Dynamic machines.. zero moving parts, and will flow plenty of air for 120 amp consumables.. Good enough for me.. Pretty much lifetime system,now that I have extra stuff for my La-mans filter.. Never had to service it, because the tower does all the work..Also Never had a air code from a Thermal dynamics/Esab, or Hypertherm plasma cutter..(Unless i forget to turn the compressor on) I run 110 min pressure to take care of any psi drop from the 25ft copper cooling air line.. simple is really good..

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby plasmanewbie » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:18 pm

I Use the Sharpe 3 stage filter dryer from this site http://www.plasmaspider.com/shop/dryer_sharpe6760.html It has a sintered bronze filter in the desiccant stage which eliminates the chance of desiccant fragments from entering your air stream. Works like a charm and my nozzles and electrodes burn nice and clean with no sign of moisture or crap burning in the nozzle. Major improvment in cut quality and consumable life.

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby djreiswig » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:24 pm

acourtjester--According to the manual for that filter, the max operating pressure is 100psi. Also, I'm not sure if you are aware, but some plastics are affected by oil from the compressed air as well as UV light. Over time it causes the plastic to degrade and at some point that filter housing may explode and send shards everywhere. It is a well known fact that plastic piping should not be used for compressed air piping. Not saying you will ever have any problems, but why take the chance?
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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby acourtjester » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:24 pm

thanks I know that and understand but its my way
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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby Ironken » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:25 pm

Gentlemen, thank you for all of your replies and experience. I think that after my desiccant dryer, I will run a particulate filter as was suggested above. Now the big question......Hypertherm states that some synthetic compressor oils can damage the on board dryer bowl. Anybody have any failures from using synthetics in their compressors? I have been using Amsoil up until now.

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby djreiswig » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:33 pm

We use synthetic oil in our GD compressor at work and have never had any problems with air filter bowls.
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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby robertspark » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:52 am

Guess you could install a deflector (simple metal plate) in front of the bowl or plastic filters if you go acourtjesters route... If something shatters the flying debris is contained

Explains why I've seen shrouds on these and never considered before
https://dccf75d8gej24.cloudfront.net/im ... -large.jpg

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby djreiswig » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:16 am

I always thought those were to protect them from getting hit, but I guess it would sort of contain an explosion.
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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby Ironken » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:00 pm

djreiswig wrote:We use synthetic oil in our GD compressor at work and have never had any problems with air filter bowls.


If you have had no problems, then good enough for me! Thank you.

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby biggator850 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:35 pm

I live in Florida a few miles from the Gulf Coast. We have almost 100% humidity daily most of the year. I had major problems with moisture in my air supply, and have seen 60-80 gallon air tanks almost completely full of water in no time. My shop got so bad the air lines would fill with water. I was burning up consumables like crazy, and getting cut faults that I couldn't understand. Added a refrigerated air dryer and the problems were solved! If you live in a humid climate, you can add all the filters you want, but nothing is going to keep the moisture out!

Many years ago a very good professor taught me a basic understanding of "Enthalpy"! Essentially it is the science of how air obtains, carries, and disburses moisture at varying temperatures, pressures, relative humidities, etc. At high humidity, the pressure your air supply is under changes its ability to hold moisture. When under pressure most of the water will drop out in the tank, however if the temperature is high the compressed air will carry much more moisture than it would at near freezing. The only way to completely rid the system of water is to cool the temperature well below the dew point so all the moisture condenses and falls out.

The air dryer I am running is about 4 years old, and has probably paid for itself twice just in consumable cost! The first installation was with hose clamped connections over barb fitings. That DID NOT work out! I ended up having hydralic lines built with NPT fittings to connect the compressor to the dryer, and from the dryer to my air piping. This eliminated vibration issues, and solved the problems with overloading the barb fittings.

My shop's air system is plumbed with PVC pipe. I have learned that it is not the best for air lines! While PVC meets the pressure ratings, it is important to remember that pressure ratings are "maximum", not everyday use ratings! Most water systems run about 40-50 psi, but air lines run 100-125 psi. Plus water systems do not experience very many "hammers", but air systems get a hammer every time the main valve is opened jumping the system from 0-120 psi. I have blown out several PVC lines, but just keep fixing them because of the expense of replacing. If I was building my shop again, I would probably go with PEX air lines. Anyone else had similar issues?

Just my $.02! Wish you the best of luck!

BC

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby Ironken » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:38 pm

Thank you for the great explanation. In the midwest, we get humid but not like where you're at. I now have a Milton set up and it seems to be keeping the moisture out so far....at least none is getting to my filter on my Hypertherm. Refrigerated is my next step though.

I still have no idea how to post pics or I would post one up of my setup.

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby acourtjester » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:25 am

to attach an image or file click on "Full Editor & Preview" below this box.
this will bring up the "attachment" function then then "Add Files" then follow as shown
attachments.JPG

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby acourtjester » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:26 am

double post sorry
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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby Ironken » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:28 am

Thank you Jester! Here's my setup. Probably not far enough from the compressor but, I'm not getting moisture down line at my Hypertherm. That was just mocked up. The finished part has a support at the far end and has been painted.

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby Ryan » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:18 pm

I live in the Appalachian "plateau" in East Kentucky. It is VERY HUMID here year round. I do not keep my shop at a controlled temp. I chose to use a desiccant system. It works when refrigerated dryer does not. It has no moving parts and is easily maintained.

I bought the ATD 5 stage 1 gallon desiccant air filter system from Amazon. It has been totally awesome. I ONLY use it for my plasma cutter and have ZERO issues EVER. I use the orange "Dry and Dry" brand dessicant. It came with blue and when the blue became saturated from HOURS of die grinder use, i replaced with the orange. It can be microwaved on defrost in small quantities to "reactivate". It is good for a couple reuses Ive found.

This was the simplest and most affordable option I could find with the largest desiccant capacity I could find. Hope this helps!

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby Ironken » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:27 pm

I had reservations putting the blue desiccant in the oven to re activate because of the cobalt. I was looking at the orange stuff. Does the orange seem to work as well?

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby Ryan » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:23 am

Yes it works just the same. Still silica beads. The coloring was changed to a non-toxic version. Goes green when saturated.

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby Ironken » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:28 pm

Ryan wrote:Yes it works just the same. Still silica beads. The coloring was changed to a non-toxic version. Goes green when saturated.


Great, thank you.

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby BAR M » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:26 pm

Howdy Ryan,

Thanks for the tip. What is a source for the "orange" ?

Thank you, Bob

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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby Ironken » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:09 pm

BAR M wrote:Howdy Ryan,

Thanks for the tip. What is a source for the "orange" ?

Thank you, Bob


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Re: Dessicant Air Dryers

Postby BAR M » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:55 pm

Howdy Ironken,

Thanks again. I have 2 gals. on order.

Bob


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