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What are Compressed Air Dryers?
20th April 2021

Compressed air dryers are specially designed to remove water from your compressed air system and pipework, improving performance whilst preventing moisture from interfering in sensitive industrial processes and corroding the infrastructure.

Whether you use an air compressor to power pneumatic tools, spray guns, shotblasting, production machinery or dust control, it’s essential to choose the correct dryer for your system; otherwise, excessive liquid and condensing water in the air stream can damage equipment, cause corrosion in the air receiver or pipework and dilute lubricating oils for valuable pneumatic components.

Rather than finding out the hard way, operators must decide on the correct setup for a high-quality drying process. In doing so, you’re better placed to maintain your compressor, minimising condensation and ensuring quality air production at all times.


What are the main types of dryers?

Compressed Air Dryers generally will fall into one of the following categories:

Refrigeration Dryers

These dryers remove moisture by cooling the compressed-air temperature, instigating condensation. An internal moisture separator collects the liquid water and sends it into a drain. By creating dry air with a dew point of around +3°C, refrigerated dryers are suitable for most general industrial applications.

Desiccant Dryers

Desiccant dryers absorb moisture from the air stream using desiccant material in a reversible process. They produce low dew points, so they are a good choice in low temperature or sensitive product contact conditions. Usually, the desiccant is contained in two separate towers:

  1. Compressed air to be dried flows through one tower.
  2. At the same time, the desiccant in the other is being regenerated.
  3. The process is then reversed on a fixed or variable controlled cycle


Membrane dryer technology has evolved considerably in recent years. These dryers are based on the principle of migration. The compressed air (to be dried) is passed over a membrane with a high affinity for water vapour. The vapour then builds on the membrane and migrates to the low-pressure side.


How do you choose the right compressed air dryer?

Your particular need for a refrigerated, desiccant or membrane dryer is entirely dependent on your specific air quality requirements for your application. If you’re not quite sure on the right compressed air dryer for your needs, we recommend you get in touch with our friendly team today as we’d be glad to assist. Remember, achieving clean and dry air will maximise uptime and prevent damage to your critical equipment, so it’s essential to choose the right model. We hold an unrivalled stock of new and reconditioned compressed air dryers, ensuring rapid response times. Since our story began in 1958, we’ve developed long-term partnerships with high-quality suppliers who support us in maintaining our high standards of service.

To learn more about us and how we can help you, please call us on 01933 222 000 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.


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