Modular Aluminum Compressed Air Piping
Modular Aluminum piping systems for compressed air networks offer many advantages including reduced installation and operating costs and long operating life. Until recently it has been common practice for engineers to design compressed air systems by selecting materials such as black iron pipe, galvanized steel, copper tubing, stainless steel and even plastic. Anodized aluminum piping has widely become the number one choice by many contractors, architects and engineering firms.
The Drawbacks of Black Iron Pipe
The majority of compressed air networks in use today have been designed using black iron pipe. The requirement of specialized installation equipment for threading and handling make black iron pipe the most labour intensive system out there today. Not the best option when the need for skilled and difficult to find personnel is costly. Compressed air needs to be clean so when moisture is present in the system, the inner diameter of black iron pipe will rust and corrode. Over time rust particles will clog filters prematurely and cause costly downtime and repairs when they find their way into sensitive air tools and machinery controls. For these reasons, the use black iron piping for compressed air is increasingly being replaced by lightweight aluminum, modular quick fitting piping systems.
Lightweight Anodized Aluminum Tubing
Aluminum compressed air tubing is very easy to handle because it weighs a tiny fraction of black iron pipe. The inner diameter is anodized which gives the tubing a smooth surface that reduces friction and air turbulence and provides an important anti corrosion feature. The outside surface is has an attractive blue electrostatic hard powder coat finish. Aluminum tubing is ASME B31.1 approved with an operating pressure rating of 200 PSI. The vast majority of compressed air for shops and garages operate under 150 PSI.
Industrial Polyamide Quick Compression Fittings
Polyamide is a high quality industrial grade polymer with a proven track record for durability and long life. The quick fit compression fitting is approved for use with compressed air systems and it cuts installation and assembly time down by 50% to 70% compared to black iron pipe. There is no threading, soldering or crimping required. There are no special assembly tools and equipment required and the fittings can be removed and reused.
Modular Means Easy
Once your compressed air system is installed and running you can easily make changes and modifications with a modular aluminum system unlike threaded, crimped or soldered systems. Polyamide fittings can be easily disassembled and re-installed by the handyman or the professional.
Keep Your System Leak Free By Minimizing Air Leaks
Compressed air the the most expensive form of energy there is and it accounts for 10% of the electricity consumed in North America and Europe. A 1/16” diameter air leak can cost $594.00 per year. Threaded, crimped or soldered connections will eventually leak and require repairs. Polyamide quick compression fittings use a high performance elastomer o-ring to permanently seal the connection reliably for the long term.
PVC and Stainless Steel Present Obstacles In Cost and Durability
Plastic piping for compressed air is not recommended. There have been industrial accidents that have caused injuries where plastic piping has cracked and burst. Larger diameter pipe systems can especially be very dangerous. We simply do not recommend it and it is illegal in some regions. Stainless steel and copper tubing is always a good alternative if the ambient environment is corrosive but stainless and copper prices can be a negative factor if extreme corrosion control is not required.