The non-metal materials for compressed air piping
Non-metal pipes are also called plastic pipes and they have been used for many years in piping applications because they are lighter in weight than most metal and easier to handle. Plastics are generally corrosion resistant and installation does not require welding. Plastic is also is more cost effective than metal piping however, plastic has its drawbacks. Most plastics have a limited operating temperature at 140oF to 210oF. If the aftercooler fails, the normal operating temperatures can easily be exceeded. PVC can start to weaken at 70oF and it is not usually friendly with many compressor oils. Should a fire ensue at one of the plastic pipelines it can easily migrate to the rest of the piping and eventually to the plant.
Metal piping for the air compression system
There is a wide range of metal materials for Compressed air piping Toronto from black iron or steel pipe, stainless steel, copper or aluminum with different thermal and pressure characteristics.
- Black iron or steel pipes – are generally corrosive and since they will be exposed to condensate in the air compression system, they can be a major source of contamination to compressed air. The issue with corrosion is more significant when the system is oil-free. Black iron is also heavier and harder to work with if compared to other metal materials; however it is relatively less expensive.
- Stainless steel – is a good option especially when exposed to oil-free wet air. It has an extremely high acid level condensate before the dryers. Stainless steel is lighter in weight for the same pressure ratings and can be installed easily through welding. However its drawbacks include leaks on the threads that can be remedied with the use of ring seals. As piping material, stainless steel is also economical because of faster and easier installation.
- Copper pipes – is a typical option for sensitive air systems because it is more resistant to high temperatures. The working temperature limit of copper piping is about 400oF. Failure is usually predictable because the pipe ends will separate.
- Aluminum – is a very popular Compressed air piping Toronto because it has a smooth inner surface and offers enhanced flexibility to meet the distribution needs of the air compressed system. Aluminum piping also eliminates self contamination which is particularly desirable in the assembly areas of automobiles.
In the choice for Compressed air piping Toronto, it is also important to consider the ambient inlet air condition so that it will not create operational problems through self contamination on the inside. To help evaluation, take a look at inlet and discharge piping separately.