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Handling Machining Assembly Air preparation

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Pneumatics Electronics Mechanics Sensorics Software

Hesse Compressed Air as an Energy Carrier


Preparation and distribution

Chinese English French German Russian Spanish Blue Digest on Automation


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Hesse Compressed Air as an Energy Carrier

Air preparation Pneumatics

Stefan Hesse

Compressed Air as an Energy Carrier


Preparation and distribution

Blue Digest on Automation

Blue Digest on Automation 2002 by Festo AG & Co. Ruiter Strae 82 D-73734 Esslingen Tel. (0711) 347-0 Fax (0711) 347-2144 All texts, representations, illustrations and drawings included in this book are the intellectual property of Festo AG & Co., and are protected by copyright law. All rights reserved, including translation rights. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Festo AG & Co.

Preface

Today, there is hardly a factory that can function without the use of compressed air. Pneumatic components generate movement and are important elements of mechanization and automation systems. One traditional application of compressed air is the operation of hand-held power tools. These range from pneumatic hammers to nail guns and from compressed air guns to screwdrivers. There are other applications which make special demands on compressed air. In a paint shop or for laser cutting of optical systems, for example, the air must be clean, dry and oil-free. As compressed air is not dangerous when it leaks out from the supply network, many users do not take air economy seriously. But wasting compressed air is wasting money! There are therefore many reasons for addressing this problem, not only in the case of intelligent valves, fast cylinders and practical handling devices, but also with the preparation of compressed air in a pneumatic system. To this end, this book provides detailed knowhow on the subject and deals with the routing of compressed air including a number of physical fundamentals. The aim is to fill in any possible gabs regarding piping technology. Frank Schnabel and Dipl.-Ing. Ditmar Bruder (Festo) assisted in the preparation of this material with suggestions and knowledge. Stefan Hesse

Preface Contents 1 Compressed air in industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 2 Physical fundamentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 2.1 Fluid dynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 2.2 Pressure and pressure units . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 2.3 Air humidity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 3 Compressed air preparation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 3.1 Compressed air quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 3.2 Drying methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 3.3 Filtering. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 3.4 Compressed air lubricators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 3.5 Pressure regulators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 3.6 Service unit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 3.7 Pressure amplifiers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 4 Compressed air distribution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 4.1 Components of a compressed air line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 4.2 Sizing of line systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 4.3 Pipes and connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 4.4 Tubing and connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 4.4.1 Types and properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 4.4.2 Types of tubing connector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 4.4.3 Quick-coupling connectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 4.4.4 Safety shut-off valve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 4.4.5 Damage to tubing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 4.5 Reservoir. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 4.5.1 Design and application of reservoirs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 4.5.2 Sizing of reservoirs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 4.5.3 Safety guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 4.6 Threads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 5 Compressed air losses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 5.1 Leakage and pressure drop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 5.2 Locating and controlling leaks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 6 Tips and checks for savings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Standards and guide lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 Index of technical terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

1 Compressed air in industry

After electricity, compressed air is the most important energy carrier for industry, tradespeople and associated areas. Although the transmission of force was discovered in ancient times, it was not until the 19th century that the first functional pneumatic machines came on the market. A hundred years ago, one could read about The application of compressed air in American factories (1904) and the The compressed air system of the Imperial Shipyard in Kiel (1904). During this period, there were many designs for pneumatic hammers in which the percussion piston was self-controlling. Short-stroke devices reached a velocity of 10,000 to 15,000 strokes per minute. Devices that operated at under 2,000 strokes per minute (Figure 1-1) were used for chiseling and caulking.

Figure 1-1 100 years ago, the compressed air hammer was the most widely used pneumatic tool

h a b c k g e g

m i

k f

b f d

It was not until after 1950 that the development of what we now call industrial pneumatics started in the United States and Germany. The continued huge acceptance of pneumatic machines results from several essential benefits. These are: Compressed air can be generated anywhere in unlimited quantities High energy density, low weight and simple energy transmission Energy can be stored in containers and transported without difficulty Non-combustible and non-flammable no explosion hazard Low effort for planning, maintenance and care Infinite variability of power characteristics within the permissible range for pneumatics Those are impressive benefits. Today, most industrial companies have a compressed air system and use this to drive many devices and drives, whereby the pneumatic cylinder is the most popular actuator. But in order for air to expend energy, it must first be provided with energy. This is done by compressing the air using compressors. There is a broad range of systems for doing this: screw-type, piston-type, membrane, rotary, roots, spiral and turbo compressors, both oil-lubricated and dry-running, water-injected, air- or water-cooled. But that is only the first stage. Compressed air and suction air (the air drawn in to the system) can be seen as a constant cycle, as shown in Figure 1-2.

1 Compressed air in industry

Figure 1-2 Compressed air cycle in industrial application

Ejector

Vacuum consumer

Vacuum reservoir

Exhaust air P = 0

Compressed air user

Compressed air reservoir

Compressed air Atmospheric air

+P

Compressed air preparation

Compressed air distribution

Evacuated air

Vacuum preparation

Vacuum distribution

Energy

This book only covers compressed air more specifically, its preparation and distribution. These are precisely the areas to which particularly close attention must currently be paid, as they are the source of avoidable energy loss. The distribution network is a soft spot that can result in enormous cost, particularly when incorrectly designed and/or poorly maintained. The following aspects play a substantial role here: The condition of the distribution network: Even small leaks are very costly over time. The sizing of the network: Inadequate cross-sections can result in large pressure losses. Consumption characteristics change: This requires modification of the compressed air system to the new requirements. Condensate draining and treatment is obsolete and requires a state-of-the-art solution. Each bar increase in pressure costs around 6 to 10 percent more energy. A well maintained network should not have a leakage rate of more than 10 percent. In practice, however, leakage ranges of 20 to 25 percent are not uncommon.

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1 Compressed air in industry

2 Physical fundamentals

Compressed air is compressed atmospheric air made up of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% other gases (primarily argon). The pressure of atmospheric air depends on its geographical location. The following basic values are commonly used as reference variables for temperature and pressure of air: po = 1.013 bar and to = 20 C or po = 1.013 bar and to = 0 C

2.1 Fluid dynamics

The motion of liquids and gases is described as flow. The two types of media are different in that liquids are practically incompressible, whereas the volume of gas is a function of its pressure. For gas flows up to the speed of sound (340 m/s), volume changes only play a minor role. Up to this threshold, air can be regarded as having stable volume. In the temperature range between 0 and 200 C and at pressures up to 30 bar, air behaves as an ideal gas with the exception of the internal friction. This means that fundamental fluidic equations can be applied. The variables pressure (p), temperature (T) and volume (Vsp) are then proportional to each other. This applies for the general equation of gases: p Vsp = constant T

When compressed air flows through a tube, the secondary flow volume V (as shown in Figure 2-1) results: = A L in m3/s V
where A Inner tube diameter in m2; A = (D2 )/4 L Length of the secondary flow volume section in m/s
Figure 2-1 Friction-free flow a) Secondary flow b) Flow for changing cross-section

v1

v2

a)

A1 b)

A2

2 Physical fundamentals

11

If one assumes that the air is in a closed system, it must also pass a constricted section of tubing. The continuity equation (Figure 2-1b) applies to this situation:

A1 v1 = A2 v2 = V
v Velocity To put this in words: The velocity of flow is inversely proportional to the cross section for a constant flow volume.

represents the consumpIn compressed air systems, the volumetric flow rate V tion of pneumatic drives or devices. This is normally given in litres per unit time. The factors shown in Table 2-1 should be used for conversion. Normally, values are given in litres per minute or cubic litres per unit time. The volumetric flow rate is a characteristic value for the capacity or demand of a system. The following have to be differentiated: Volumetric flow rate of a compressor, measured on the suction or pressure side Volumetric flow rate of consuming devices, as an absolute value or as a requirement taking into consideration simultaneity factors.
If the volumetric flow rate is given in standard cubic metres per hour (N m3/h), this applies to a pressure of p = 1.013 bar and a temperature t of 0 C. In pipes that contain no obstructions, air flow is laminar, whereby the velocity of flow is slightly lower near the pipe walls than in the middle of the pipe (Figure 2-2). Bends in piping, branches, valves, fittings and measuring devices, however, cause turbulence. The boundary between laminar flow and turbulent flow is characterized by the Reynolds number (O. Reynolds, 1842 1912). This number represents the influence of such friction forces.
Figure 2-2 Types of flow a) Laminar flow b) Transition to turbulent flow after an obstruction.

a)

b)

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2 Physical fundamentals

Table 2-1 Conversion factors for flow rates

2 Physical fundamentals

Conversion to from M l/s l/min l/h m3/s m3/min m3/h ft3/min ft3/hour UK gal/min UK gal/hour US gal/min US gal/hour
M

Conversion factors UK l/s 1.0 0.016666 0.27810 3 1000.0 16.6666 0.277778 0.471947 0.007866 0.0757682 0.001263 0.063090 0.0010515 l/min 60.0 1.0 0.4610 5 60000.0 1000.0 16.6666 28.31682 0.471947 4.546092 0.075768 3.7854 0.06309 l/h 3600.0 60.0 1.0 3600000 60000.0 1000.0 1699.017 28.3168 272.766 4.54609 227.125 3.785411 m3/s 0.001 0.16610 4 0.277810 6 1.0 0.01667 0.000278 0.47210 3 0.7810 5 0.75810 4 0.1210 5 0.63110 4 0.110 5 m3/min 0.06 0.001 0.16610 4 60.0 1.0 0.01666 0.0283169 0.471910 3 0.004548 0.75710 4 0.0037854 0.6310 4 m3/h 3.6 0.06 0.001 3600.0 60.0 1.0 1.699017 0.028317 0.272766 0.004546 0.227125 0.003785 ft3/min 2.118882 0.0353147 0.58810 3 2118.88 35.31466 0.588578 1.0 0.016667 0.160544 0.002676 0.133681 0.002228 ft3/hour 127.133 2.118883 0.035315 127133.0 gal/min 13.19814 0.219969 0.003666 13198.1 UK gal/hour 791.8884 13.19814 0.219969 791889.0 13198.15 219.969 373.730 6.228833 60.0 1.0 49.96045 0.832674 US gal/min 15.85032 0.264172 0.004403 15850.3 264.17166 4.402863 7.480517 0.124675 1.20095 0.020016 1.0 0.016667 US gal/hour 951.019 15.850316 0.264172 951019.0 15850.316 264.1718 448.8310 7.480517 72.05700 1.20095 60.0 1.0

2118.8833 219.9683 35.3147 60.0 1.0 9.63262 0.160544 8.020832 0.133681 3.66615 6.228833 0.103814 1.0 0.016667 0.832674 0.013878

13

The type of flow can be seen by the value of the Reynolds number Re. If Re < 2320, the flow is laminar. If Re = 2320 to 3000, laminar or turbulent flow can occur. If Re > 3000, the flow is turbulent. Blood flowing through arteries of humans, for example, exhibits laminar flow. In pneumatic systems, the average flow velocity reaches values of 6 to 40 m/s. As a result, flow is generally turbulent. Turbulence causes resistance to flow and thus causes pressure loss in the system. Pressure loss is approximately proportional to the square of the flow velocity. For this reason, the aim is to achieve smooth internal walls of tubing and piping and to use fittings of optimum fluidic design. The average flow velocity vm is derived from:

vm =

m vspec (m/s) A

Mass flow per unit time (kg/s) m A Flow cross-section (m2) Vspec Specific volume (m3/kg)
The average flow velocity vm is then put into the Reynolds Number:

Re =

vm d

d Pipe diameter in m v Kinematic viscosity in m2/s

(m3/s) is calculated by multiplying the flow The volumetric flow rate V 2 cross-section A (m ) by the average flow velocity vm (m/s).
What is the relationship to temperature? The mutual dependencies of the status variables volume V (m3/kg), pressure p (N/m2) and temperature T (K) are defined by the general equation for the state of gases. This can be derived from Boyles Law (R. Boyle, 1627-1691) and Mariottes Law (E. Mariotte, 1620-1684) and Gay-Lussac (L. J. Gay-Lussac, 1778-1850).

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2 Physical fundamentals

Accordingly, the following applies if p, V and T change at the same time: Pressure change from p1 to p2 at constant temperature T1 (according to Boyle and Mariotte) V1 p2 = Vx p1

or rather Vx =

V1 p1 p2

Vx specific volume as an intermediate value (for derivation) Temperature change from T1 to T2 at constant pressure p2 (according to Gay-Lussac)

Vx T1 = V2 T2

or rather V2 =

V p T Vx T2 = 1 1 2 p2 T1 T1

This results in a general state change: p2 V2 p1 V1 = = constant = Ri T2 T1

The special gas constant for air is Ri = 287 J/kgK, whereby 1 J (Joule) = 1 Nm. Example: Given are 5 kg of air at an absolute pressure of 1.2 bar and a temperature of 20 C. What is the volume? The volume V of the air is determined by m Ri T . p

T = (t + 273.15)K = (20 + 273.15)K = 293.15 K p = 1.2 bar = 1.2 105 N/m2 V= m Ri T 5 kg 287 Nm/kgK 293.15 K = = 3.5 m3 p 1.2 105 N/m2

2.2 Pressure and pressure units

Pressure is normally understood to mean the force F acting on a surface A. Pressure is expressed as a quotient by p= F A

Gases which includes air have the property of expanding under molecular motion to uniformly fill the space available. This can be an enclosed container. In this case the molecules strike the wall of the container, momentarily applying a force. The sum of these motions results in a force that is detectable as the pressure of the gas on the inside walls of the container. At constant temperature, this pressure is proportional to the number of molecules present per unit volume.
2 Physical fundamentals

15

Different types of pressure are differentiated: Atmospheric pressure (barometric air pressure) Absolute pressure (pressure compared to an absolute vacuum as the zero value) Differential pressure (pressure that represents the difference between two absolute pressures) Pressure above atmospheric (pressure greater than atmospheric pressure and using atmospheric pressure as the zero value) Pressure below atmospheric (pressure below atmospheric pressure and using atmospheric pressure as the zero value) Flow pressure (pressure in a consuming device at the time of air consumption) Back pressure (pressure in an air supply line when not air is being consumed) These pressures are shown diagrammatically in Figure 2-3.
Figure 2-3 Diagrammatic representation of pressures

Pressure above atmospheric 1

Pressure above atmospheric 2

Absolute pressure

Pressure below atmospheric

Atmospheric pressure

100% vacuum

In 1978, the International Standards system (SI) defined the Pascal (Pa) as the unit of measure for pressure. 1 Pa = 1 N/m2 = 1 kg/ms2 105 Pa = 0.1 MPa = 1 bar Conversion factors are shown in Table 2-2.

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2 Physical fundamentals

Differential pressure

Table 2-2 Conversion factors for pressure rates

2 Physical fundamentals

Conversion to from M kp/cm2 (at) mm Hg (Torr) mm WS mbar bar MPa N/m2 (Pa) kp/cm2 (at) 1.0 1.3610 3 10 4 1.0210 3 1.0197 1.02 1.0210 5 1.000278 2.5410 3 3.45510 2 (psi) 7.03110 2 mm Hg (Torr) 736 1.0 7.3610 2 0.750062 750.06 7500 7.510 3 735.559 1.868 25.4 51.71 104 13.6 1.0 10.197 1.02104 1.02105 0.102 10002.78 25.4 345.4 703.1 980.665 1.33322 0.09807 1.0 103 104 10 2 980.665 2.49089 33.8639 68.9476 0.9807 mm WS mbar bar
M

Conversion factors MPa N/m2 (Pa) 9.80710 2 1.33310 4 9.8110 6 10 4 0.1 1.0 10 6 9.80710 2 2.4910 4 3.38710 3 6.89510 3 9.807104 133.3 9.81 100 105 106 1.0 98066.5 249 3387 6895 1.03322 0.0013591 0.99910 4 0.0010197 1.0197 10.1967 1.01910 5 1.0 0.00254 0.034532 0.070307 kgf/cm2 in water (in H2O) 393.7 0.535 3.93710 2 0.401463 401.6 4016 4.01610 3 393.700 1.0 13.6 27.68 28.94 3.93710 2 2.69510 3 0.02953 29.54 295.3 2.95310 4 28.959 7.3610 2 1.0 2.035 in Hg lbf/in2 (psi) 14.22 1.93410 2 1.42210 3 0.014504 14.50 145 1.4510 4 14.2233 3.61310 2 0.491 1.0

1.33310 3 9.8110 5 0.001 1.0 10 10 5 0.9807 2.4910 3 3.38710 2 6.89510 2

kgf/cm2 in water in Hg lbf/in2

17

In compressed air systems, compressed air is generated by different types of compressors. The following categories are differentiated: Rotary compressors (screw compressors, vane compressors, liquid ring compressor, roots compressor) Piston compressors (plunger compressor, crosshead compressor, free piston compressor, reciprocating piston compressor, diaphragm compressor) Turbo compressors (radial and axial compressors) One- and two-stage oil-lubricated piston compressors and single-stage oilinjection screw compressors are primarily used for the generation of compressed air in the low-pressure range (6 to 15 bar). Gas expands uniformly in all directions. If pressure gauges are attached to different locations of a pressurized container, they all show the same pressure. This is known as the law of pressure transmission. In the case of flowing air, two pressures are differentiated: static pressure pst and dynamic pressure pdyn The total pressure is ptot = pst + pdyn The pressure acts along the pipe axis in the opposite direction to the flow. The static pressure pst acts against the wall of the pipe. The dynamic pressure pdyn depends on the kinetic energy of the fluid. At v = 0, there is only static pressure. The sum of static and dynamic pressure is always equal to the static pressure of the fluid at rest. The dynamic pressure is the reference variable for all resistances acting on pure air flow. It can be measured with the Prandtl tube (pitostatic tube) (Figure 2-4). It is a double-walled pipe with a central opening for the dynamic pressure and an annular gap for the static pressure pst. Differential pressure can be measured, for example, via a manometer. The velocity of a flowing fluid can be calculated from the dynamic pressure (q):
2 q= v 2

in m/s

air density in kg m 3 v velocity of the fluid in m s 1

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2 Physical fundamentals

Figure 2-4 Measurement of pressures using a pitostatic tube (L. Prandtl; 1875-1953)

1
1 Pipe 2 Ptot-tube 3 U-tube manometer

2 v

ptot

Example: What is the air velocity v, if the level difference h of the water column in a manometer attached to a pitostatic tube is 13.3 mm and the water temperature in the manometer is 20 C? The value h represents the dynamic pressure, whereby 1mm water column corresponds to a pressure of 9.81 Pa(= 9.81 Nm 2, = 9.81 kgm/s2). This results in a differential pressure (dynamic pressure) of 9.81 N m 2 13.3 mmWS = 130.4 N m 2 mmWS between the total pressure ptot and the static pressure pstat. The air velocity v is calculated by: v = 2 1 q = 2 130.4 Nm 2 = 14.7 m/s 1.199 kgm 3

How can the pressure be measured? Possibilities for measuring pressure include a bourdon-tube pressure gauge (see Figure 3-27, page 53). In many cases, however, a pressure switch or a PE (pneumatic-electric) transducer is sufficient for pressure monitoring. In the latter case, a pneumatic pressure signal switches an electrical changeover switch. The switching force can be increased by an appropriately large diaphragm surface area. If the switching range is adjustable, one speaks of a pressure switch (Figure 2.5).
2 Physical fundamentals

pdyn

pstat

19

Figure 2.5 Pneumatic switching elements a) PE transducer b) Pressure switch

1 x 2 6 4 3 4 5 2

1 2 3 4 5 6

Contact Setting screw Plunger Compression spring Diaphragm Micro-stem pushbutton

x Pressure inlet

1 5 x a) b) x

There are also devices that combine the sensor and the switch in one. Use of such devices ensures safety in industrial compressed air networks. In the simplest case, a signal Pressure present: Yes/No is returned. This case is shown in Figure 2-6a. If a threshold is exceeded, a digital output switches. If the actual pressure fluctuates around the threshold value, fluttering of the switch signal results. For this reason, a switching hysteresis can be defined, and only when the pressure falls below this value does the switch signal result. A sensor for differential pressure is used to monitor filter condition. This compares the pressure upstream and downstream of the compressed air filter (Figure 2-6b). The result is only correct, however, if the flow rate is constant. If the flow rate increases, the differential pressure increases, although the filter has not necessarily become more contaminated.
Figure 2-6 How switch signals result a) Value exceeds or falls below threshold value b) Differential pressure is exceeded c) Pressure moves out of window H Hysteresis S Set switching point

Signal

1 H S

Signal 1 H 0 0 b) Differential pressure p Pressure p Signal 1 H 0 c) Pressure p

a)

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2 Physical fundamentals

In order to monitor the pressure in a network, the maximum and minimum pressures are monitored. If the pressure moves out of this window (window comparator) the pressure sensor responds. This function (Figure 2-6c) can be used both for absolute pressure and for differential pressure measurements. Example: The minimum pressure is set to 4 bar on the sensor switch. The maximum pressure is set to 7 bar. Pressures outside this range can, for example, lead to faulty operation of equipment or to endangering of personnel. Pressure only remains applied within this window. If the pressure moves out of this window, a switch-off signal is triggered.

2.3 Air humidity

Humid air is a mixture of dry air and water vapour. Air has a limited capacity to absorb humidity. This limit depends on the barometric pressure and the air temperature. If, for example, air cools against a cold pane of glass, the water vapor condenses on the glass. Condensation has been known since ancient times, as demonstrated by air wells. These are large domed stone buildings which condense water in the cool of night. The limits at which condensation begins are called the dew point and the pressure dew point. Dew point The dew point is the point on the temperature scale (dew point temperature) at which air is saturated with water vapour. In other words, the humidity is 100%. As soon as the air temperature falls below this value, condensation occurs. Ice forms at temperatures below freezing. This can have a substantial impact on the flow characteristics and function of components in pneumatic circuits. The lower the dew point, the less water the air can hold. The dew point is defined by the variables relative humidity, temperature and pressure, whereby: The higher the temperature, the more water can be held. The higher the pressure, the lower the amount of water that can be held. Pressure dew point The pressure dew point is used, for example, to facilitate comparison of various air dryers. This is the dew point temperature to be applied to the appropriate operating pressure. If the pressure is relieved to atmospheric pressure, the air expands. For this reason, at a constant air temperature, the dew point for air at atmospheric pressure is lower than the pressure dew point. If, for example, the air has a pressure dew point of +5 C, water cannot condense as long if the ambient temperature is above +5 C. Condensation occurs if the temperature falls below this value.

2 Physical fundamentals

21

Air humidity The relative air humidity Wrel expresses the relationship between the actual humidity and the maximum possible humidity in the air (saturation). Absolute humidity (f ) 100 in per cent Saturation quantity (fmax)

Wrel =

Please note: Temperature changes lead to changes in relative humidity, even if the absolute humidity remains constant. Maximum humidity (fmax in g/m3) This is the maximum possible quantity of water vapour that can be held by a cubic meter of air at a certain temperature (saturation quantity). Absolute humidity (f in g/m3) This is the actual amount of water vapour in one cubic metre of air. How can the dew point be determined? This can be done using the Mollier diagram. The basic structure of this diagram is shown in Figure 2-7. The limit curve G separates the area of unsaturated humid air from the area of fluid, ice or mist. Before using the diagram, one has to know the water content of the air in grams per kilograms of air.
Figure 2-7 Basic structure of the Mollier diagram (developed by M. Zindl and T. Engelfried) 1 Unsaturated humid air 2 Mist 3 Frozen fog T Medium temperature X Water content per kg air G Limit curve

Temperature in C

G 1 20 2 0

p = 6 bar p = 1 bar G

Water content X in g/kg 3 20

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2 Physical fundamentals

The water content X can be calculated as follows: rel ps p rel ps

X = 0.622

103 in g/kg

p Total pressure absolute in bar rel Relative humidity ( = 0 to 1.0) ps Saturation vapour pressure in bar The pressure ps of the water vapour in the air is dependent only on the temperature. If the water content in the air is to be given in g/m3, the above equation has to be multiplied by the air density pN. At Festo, this has been defined as pN = 1.292 kg/m3. (Festo Info 980010. According to ISO, pN = 1.185 kg/m3). The water content X can then be applied in the Mollier diagram (Figure 2-8).
Figure 2-8 Mollier diagram (excerpt) T Dew point p Total absolute pressure in bar 20 18 16 14 T = 13 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 2

10

7 6 5

4 3 T
2

Dew point temperature in C

4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.5 4.0 4.5 X = 3.11 5 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0

Water content X in g/kg

Example: What is the dew point temperature if the relative humidity Wrel is 0.5 (= 50%), the pressure p is 3 bar and the temperature T is 24 C.

2 Physical fundamentals

23

The first step is to establish the saturation vapour pressure ps (24 C) at 24 C. This can be read from the following vapour table. Temperature ps T in C in mbar 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1.029 1.247 1.504 1.809 2.169 2.594 3.094 4.681 4.368 5.172 6.108 Temperature ps T in C in mbar +2 +4 +6 +8 + 10 + 12 + 14 + 16 + 18 + 20 + 22 7.055 8.129 9.345 10.70 12.70 14.01 15.97 18.17 20.62 23.37 26.42 Temperature ps T in C in mbar + 24 + 26 + 28 + 30 + 32 + 34 + 36 + 38 29.82 33.60 37.78 42.41 47.53 53.18 59.40 66.24

This results in ps (24 C) = 29.82 mbar = 0.2982 bar. The water content X is calculated as follows: X = 0.622 0.5 0.02982 103 = 3.11 g/kg 3 (0.5 0.02982

The dew point temperature of 13 C can now be read off in the Mollier diagram. It is the intersection of the saturation line with p = 3 bar and the line for X = 3.11. Although dry air is desirable, in practice air is seldom totally dry. Normally, relatively dry air is adequate. The dew point temperature is the measure. International quality standards differentiate 6 humidity quality classes for compressed air (see the compressed air quality table on page 31). Quality class 3, for example, is required for machine tools, packaging equipment, and textile machines. How much humidity remains as water vapour in air after compression? If, for example, 7 m3 of atmospheric air is compressed to 1 m3 at 6 bar, for a constant temperature of atmospheric and compressed air there are 6 parts of water vapour too many this condenses out. One cubic meter of compressed air cannot hold more water vapour than 1 cubic meter of air under atmospheric conditions. The amount of humidity actually remaining in the air depends on the air temperature and the pressure. The maximum quantity of humidity can be read off from the diagram in Figure 2-9. If the air cools during compression, its capacity to hold water decreases. Water condenses. The remaining humidity reaches all working elements of consuming devices. For this reason, water traps should be installed upstream of these.

24

2 Physical fundamentals

These can, for example, be cyclone-type filters. Here, air is set in rotation by baffles, leading to cooling of the air. The centrifugal effect and cooling leads to condensation.
Figure 2-9 Water content in compressed air as a function of air temperature and pressure.

50 40 30 Water vapor in saturated humid air in g/m3 + 110 + 100 + 90 + 80 10 7 5 4 0 3 5 2 1.5 10 + 30 15 + 25 + 20 20 25 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 15 + 15 20 + 45 + 40 + 35 + 70 + 10 +5 + 50 + 60 Temperature in C

20 15

1 0.8 0.6

Pressure in bar

An example for lowering of air temperature: One cubic metre of air at 6 bar and 40 C holds 7 g of water. If the temperature is lowered to 10 C, it can only hold 1.3 g of water. As a result, 7 1.3 = 5.7 g of water is condensed out.

2 Physical fundamentals

25

If the control elements and actuators supplied with compressed are at room temperature normally 20 C the remaining water content of 1.3 g does not condense, but returns to the atmosphere with the exhaust air. If, however, fittings and equipment are at a temperature of only 5 C for example in the open further condensation will take place. How can the dew point be measured? The dew point can be measured using the dew point mirror method. It is based on the physical relationship between the condensation temperature of the water vapour and the water vapour content of a gas mixture. A stainless steel mirror is cooled using a Peltier element to the point at which water vapour condenses. An optoelectronic closed-loop control circuit detects the formation of condensate through the reduction of the intensity of the light reflected by the mirror surface. The control electronics regulates the current flow dependent on the condensate formation. The dew point has been reached when condensation and evaporation are in balance. This temperature is then measured with a highly sensitive resistor, such as a Pt 100 sensor (platinum sensor with a resistance of 100 Ohm at 0 C). The basic structure of the dew point sensor is shown in Figure 2-10.
Figure 2-10 Dew point sensor 1 LED controller 2 Optical balance control for reference beam 3 Dew point mirror 4 Temperature sensor 5 Cooling element (Peltier element) 6 Air or gas mixture 7 Power supply

Control of thermoelectric cooling element

5 Dew point temperature

26

2 Physical fundamentals

More recently, further sensors have been developed for measuring humidity. They measure the cooled surface electrically rather than optically. Figure 2-11a shows the diagram of a polymer sensor. The mode of operation: water vapour penetrates a dielectric and thus changes its dielectric constant. At low humidity, the water evaporates from the dielectric layer. With the sensor shown in Figure 2-11b a capacitor is embedded in silizium. A force field is created if an alternating voltage is applied and the resulting lines of the force field emerge from the silizium. The water condensate therefore influences the frequency of the stray field. This results in a control signal for the Peltier-current and as such for the surface temperature. The water does not penetrate the sensor material as in the case of the polymer sensor, but adheres to the surface. This results in a drift and hysteresis-free characteristic curve.
Figure 2-11 Humidity sensors a) Polymer sensor b) Condensation sensor 1 2 3 4 5 Water vapour Dielectric Capacitor Leakage field Condensed water on the chip surface 6 Peltier element 7 Silicon chip with embedded capacitor

1 2 3 7 4 5

6 a) b)

2 Physical fundamentals

27

3 Compressed air preparation

Compressed air preparation entails the conditioning of compressed air supplied by the compressor station to the quality required by the compressed air consuming devices. Preparation can be divided into three areas: coarse filtering (straining), drying and fine filtering. Coarse filtering is carried out immediately after compression. Figure 3-1 shows the basic structure of a pneumatic system.

Figure 3-1 Basic structure of a pneumatic system K LF LOE LDF LR M Me Condensate Filter Oil atomizer Dryer Pressure reducing valve Motor Measuring device, pressure gauge PEV Pressure switch QH Shut-off valve V Compressor WA Water separator

1 to 2 degrees inclination V M PEV LF Reservoir LDF QH WA for larger systems QH K K QH K QH Machine K K WA Separation point for project planning QH LR LF WA l Me LR LOE

One basic principle of compressed air preparation is as much as necessary, as little as possible. The compressed air has to be as clean as necessary and no cleaner! The following points also have to be taken into account: If compressed air of different quality levels is required, all compressed air would have to be centrally prepared to the most stringent requirement. Economically, it makes more sense to prepare the better air at the appropriate consuming device (fine preparation). If compressed air is required at different pressures, it makes economic sense to consider a decentralised pressure amplifier (pressure booster) in order to avoid running the whole system at the higher pressure. The air drawn in by the compressor should be cool, dry and largely dust-free. Use of warm humid air results in greater condensation following compression. A small reservoir should be installed in the network upstream of the service unit if there are large pressure fluctuations within the system. Devices for removal and collection of condensate in lines should be provided at the lowest point in the network. Compressed air preparation should not only be considered from the production point-of-view. There are also health aspects: lubricated air is harmful both to the health of employees at the workplace and to the environment.

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3 Compressed air preparation

3.1 Compressed air quality

In order to make the energy carrier compressed air out of atmospheric air, it has to be compressed to a fraction of its original volume. What are the characteristics of the raw material air? Air has the following physical characteristics: Physical variable Density at 0 C at 15 C at 20 C Value 1.293 1.223 1.199 287 Unit kg/m3 kg/m3 kg/m3 J/kg K

Gas constant R Specific thermal capacity at 0 C; p = constant at 0 C; V = constant Adiabatic exponent Dynamic viscosity (normal pressure) at 20 C Kinematic viscosity (normal pressure) at 20 C (= viscosity/density ratio)

cp = 1.005 cV = 0.716 1.4

kJ/kg K kJ/kg K

18.13 10 6

Pa s

15.55

mm2/s

According to the ISO 6358 standard, air has a density of 1.185 kg/m3 under normal conditions. Compression of air is not without its problems. All airborne contamination such as dust, soot, dirt, unburnt hydrocarbons, germs, and water vapour are also compressed. These are joined by other particles from the compressor itself, such as abraded material, carbonised oil, and aerosols. For this reason, compressing atmospheric air to 8 bar increases the concentration of contaminants by a factor of 9. But that is not all. There are also residues and sealants from the pipe network such as rust, sinter, welding residues and sealants left over from the installation of valves and fittings. Figure 3-2 gives an overview of the particles that can be contained in compressed air and their size. City air has some 140 million dust particles per cubic metre, with 80% of the particles having a size of less than 5 m. Incidentally, a particle size of up to 0.01 m is permissible for clean breathing air.

3 Compressed air preparation

29

Figure 3-2 Types and sizes of typical air contaminants (1 m = 0.001 mm)

Vapour, mist, smoke submicroscopic Microfilter

Dust microscopic

Fog, mist Spray Rain visible Strainer (coarse filter) Fog Coal dust Road dust Cement dust Oil mist 5 10 40 Foundry sand Heavy industry smoke

Sulphur smoke Soot

Atmospheric dust Oil vapour Tobacco smoke 0.01 0.1 1.0 100 1000

Fine filter Metallurgical dust Spray paint mist

Particle size in m

So in its raw state, compressed air is by no means clean. Contaminants can cause problems in pneumatic consuming devices and lead to damage in the compressed air network. Contaminants can also have a mutual influence on each other. Dust particles can join with water or oil to form larger particles, and oil and water can combine to form an emulsion. There are different recommended quality classes for different types of device. The following table shows the required compressed air quality for each type of contaminant. The quality classes are recommended in DIN ISO 8573-1.

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3 Compressed air preparation

Applications

Suspended solids (m) 40 40 40 40 40 40 or 50 40 5 1 1 1 1 0.01

Water dew point (0 C) +10 +10 +3 +3 +3 +3 +3 +3 20 +3 20 or 40

Maximum oil content (mg/m3) 25 5 25 25 25 25 1 1 1 1 0.1 0.1

Recommended filter grade 40 m 40 m 40 m 40 m 40 m 40 or 50 m 5 m 1 m 5 m 1 m 5 m 1 m 5 m 1 m 5 m 1 m 5m 1 m 0.01 m

Mining Cleaning Welding machines Machine tools Compressed air cylinders Compressed air valves Packaging areas Precision pressure regulators Measuring air Warehouse air Spray painting air Sensors Pure breathing air

This regulation also divides compressed air quality into 7 quality classes. The following table shows the cubic metre specifications based on normal conditions in accordance with ISO 554.
Class Particle size max. in m 0.1 1 5 15 40 Particle density max. in mg/m3 0.1 1 5 8 10 Pressure dew point max. in C 70 40 20 +3 +7 +10 not defined Residual oil content max. in mg/m3 0.01 0.1 1.0 5 25

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

3.2 Drying methods

Air heats-up during compression and then cools immediately after the compressor. The heating results from the fact that the compressor drive energy for increasing the pressure from p1 to p2 is associated with a temperature increase from T1 to T2. This can be calculated as follows:

p1

p2

where k can be in the range 1.38 to 1.4.

3 Compressed air preparation

T2 = T1

(k 1) k

31

Air always contains some quantity of water vapour. It can only hold a limited amount of water vapor, however, namely up to the saturation level. It is desirable to condense out as much water as possible before the water reaches the consuming devices. If the air is lubricated, a compressed air/oil mixture results. This oil must be separated out of the compressed air in an oil separator and then recooled. In order to ensure that the pneumatic control elements and actuators do not become water hydraulic components, the air is dried. This drying is the most important part of compressed air preparation. Good air preparation prevents corrosion in the lines and pneumatic devices. The dew point temperature (see Section 2.3) is the measure for air drying. The higher the temperature of the compressed air, the greater the quantity of water that the air can hold (saturation quantity). This is shown in the following table:
Temperature in C Water vapour max. in g/m3 20 0.9 10 2.2 0 5 10 15 20 30 50 70 90 100

4.9 6.8 9.4 12.7 17.1 30.1 82.3 196.2 472 588

How can air be dried? There are various methods for drying air. Figure 3-3 shows a schematic overview.
Figure 3-3 Methods of drying air

Drying methods

Condensation

Absorbtion

Diffusion

Refrigeration dryer

Overcompression

Adsorption dryer (solid drying agent)

Absorption dryer

Membrane dryer

Unheated

Heated drying agent

Heating of regeneration air

Fluid drying agent

Dissolving drying agent

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3 Compressed air preparation

In many cases, refrigeration drying is sufficient. The compressed air is cooled by a cooling agent. Water vapour then condenses out. As Figure 3-4 shows, the air is cooled in reverse flow by a circulating cooling agent, normally in a multistage process (precooling stage: air-air; main cooling stage: air-cooling agent). The pressure dew point is around +1.5 C. If the operating temperature does not fall below 3 C, there is no water in the compressed air network. Refrigeration drying accounts for some 3% of the energy cost of the compressed air production. To increase savings, there are now also dryers with a speed-controlled cooling agent compressor. This adapts automatically to the quantity of air currently requiring cooling.
Figure 3-4 The principle of the refrigeration dryer 1 Compressed air entry at 25 C 2 Coolant return line 3 Heat exchanger 4 Coolant entry 5 Compressed air outlet at 15 C 6 Condensate separator 7 Water drain 8 Predryer

1 5 8

6 4 7

Another drying method is overcompression (high-pressure compression). In this method, the air is compressed to a much greater pressure than required by the consuming device. The air is cooled, causing condensation. The air is then allowed to expand again to the required pressure. This results in pressure dew points way below 60 C. This process is, however, very expensive. If ambient temperatures or applications make extremely low pressure dew points of 0 to 70 C necessary, adsorption dryers and membrane dryers are used. In this case, the proportion of the compressed air production cost attributable to drying increases to some 20%:

3 Compressed air preparation

33

In the absorption dryer, water vapour is chemically absorbed by an agent. This dissolves during drying. The chemical agent is a salt based on NaCl. The structure of the dryer is simple and is shown in Figure 3-5. The chemical agent is, however, consumed in the process. 1 kg of salt absorbs approx. 13 kg of water condensate. This means that salt has to be regularly replenished. The lowest pressure dew point achievable is 15 C. Other drying agents include glycerine, sulphuric acid, dehydrated chalk and superacidic magnesium salt. The operating costs are high, which means that application is limited in practice.
Figure 3-5 Principle of the absorption dryer

1
1 2 3 4 5 Dried compressed air Container Salt Condensate drain Air from compressor (humid) 6 Condensate trap

2 3

4 6 5

In the adsorption dryer gas or vapour molecules are attached by molecular forces. The drying agent is a gel, such as silica gel. This is also used up during the process, but can be regenerated. For this reason, two drying containers (chambers) are required, allowing drying (A) and regeneration (B) to take place simultaneously. Regeneration can be cold or hot. Cold regenerating dryers are cheaper to purchase, but more expensive to operate. Figure 3-6 shows a dryer with hot-air regeneration. The dryer is used in reciprocal flow mode. Depending on the drying agent used, pressure dew points as low as 70 C can be achieved. There are also adsorption dryers that use molecular sieves (crystalline metal aluminosilicates or zeolites in spherical or granulated form as a drying agent. Like all adsorptive agents, these have a large inner surface capillary action. Here, too, the molecular sieves laden with water molecules can be regenerated (desorption).

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3 Compressed air preparation

Figure 3-6 Principle of the adsorption dryer 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Dried air Drying tower Heater Fan Hot air Humid air Valve

3 4 5

Membrane dryers consist of a bundle of hollow fibers that are permeable to vapour. Dried air flows around these fibers. Drying is driven by the partial pressure differential between the humid air inside the hollow fibres and the inverse flow of dry air (Figure 3-7). The system attempts to achieve equilibrium between the water vapour concentration on either side of the membrane.
Figure 3-7 Principle of a membrane dryer 1 2 3 4 Hollow fibre Scavenging air Humid air intake Membrane

4 3

3 Compressed air preparation

35

The hollow fibres consist of a silicone-free base material with a very thin coating of the actual membrane surface. There are porous and homogenous membranes. Homogenous membranes are only permeable to certain molecules, e.g. water vapour. The oxygen and oil content of the air is not changed. The required dry scavenging air is derived air that has already been treated. This constant consumption of scavenging air lowers the efficiency of the dryer. For this reason, there are many efforts to minimize this air consumption. The principle of operation means that this type of dryer is preferably used as a partial flow or pointof-consumption dryer (Figure 3-8). No external electrical or auxiliary energy source is required for control of scavenging air, allowing the dryer to be used in explosion-hazard areas. The membrane dryer should be upstream of any pressure regulator, as better drying efficiency is achieved at higher pressures. It is also recommended that a combination of prefilter and microfilter be fitted upstream of the membrane dryer, as this increases the service life of the hollow fibers. One of the main differences to other dryers is the following: Membrane dryers reduce the humidity by a certain proportion, while refrigeration and adsorption dryers lower the pressure dew point.
Figure 3-8 Applications of dryer types (based on Hoerbiger-Origa) 1 Adsorption dryer 2 Membrane dryer 3 Refrigeration dryer up to 1000 m3/h

30 20 Pressure dew point in C 10 0 10 2 20 30 40 50 1 60 70 80 0 50 100 150 200 Volumetric flow in m3 /h 3

36

3 Compressed air preparation

3.3 Filtering

The first air filters were built over a hundred years ago and their design has undergone substantial development since. Originally, the filter medium was woven. The selection of the correct filter has a decisive impact on compressed air quality. High-quality compressed air requires several filter stages. A fine filter alone is not a solution. Filters can be divided into the following stages: Filters: These capture particles greater than 40 m or 5 m depending on the grade of the filter cartridge selected. Fine filters: These capture particles larger than 0.1 m. Microfilters: These capture particles larger than 0.01 m. The air must, however, have previously been filtered with a 5 m filter. Active carbon microfilters: These capture particles larger than 0.003 m, such as flavouring materials and ordourous substances. Such filters are also called submicrofilters. In order to achieve better quality levels, suspended matter has to be filtered out in stages, for example by connecting fine filters and microfilters in series. What filter principles are used? Inertial force filter The air is set in rotation by a swirl vane, causing centrifugal forces to come into play. Because of the similarity to the tropical cyclone, this also called the cyclone filter (Figure 3-9).

Figure 3-9 Principle for the cyclone filter Air inlet Air outlet O-ring Container Cyclone insert Separating cap Securing screw Filter element Button for manual condensate drain 10 Condensate 11 Condensate drain 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

2 3 5 7 6 4 8

10

11

3 Compressed air preparation

37

Larger solid and, above all, liquid particles are thrown against the inside wall of the filter bowl by centrifugal force. Up to 90% of condensate is separated. The pre-cleaned air then passes through a filter insert with highly porous sinter material. Condensate and contaminants are collected in the filter bowl. The drain button has to be operated from time to time to drain the accumulated condensate. The filter insert has to be removed and cleaned at longer intervals. Surface filters These filters consists of a metal or plastic braiding with a pore size of 5 or 40 m. The braiding captures all contaminants larger than the defined pore size. The surface filter is usually used as a prefilter to a centrifugal (cyclone) filter as described in Figure 3-9 above. Deep-bed filter These are filters equipped with fine filters (1 m) or microfilters (0.01 m). The filter material is a microfilter of non-woven fabric. This is a jumble of superfine borosilicate fibres. The filter effect results from direct impact of the particles, by absorption, sieving, diffusion, electrostatic charging and capture by means of van der Waals force. Dust separation is shown in Figure 3-10. The particles become entangled in the fibres. Liquid particles coalesce (join together) to form larger drops, and can then be collected in the filter bowl.
Figure 3-10 Dust separation using a non-woven textile 1 Filter medium 2 Embedded dust layer 3 Surface dust layer, to be cleaned off 4 Air intake 5 Air outlet

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3 Compressed air preparation

Deep-bed filters remove the smallest oil and dust particles from compressed air. If active carbon filters are used, even undesirable oil vapours and odours are filtered out. This is a requirement in highly sensitive areas such as the food and packaging industry and pharmaceutical industry. The degree of filtering depends on requirements. Permissible particle sizes in compressed air are, for example: 40 m to 5 m for vane motors, working cylinders, open-loop controllers and percussion tools. Smaller than 5 m for closed-loop controls, valves, measuring instruments and spray guns. Smaller than 1 m for applications in food and packaging, pharmaceuticals and electrical and electronic engineering. Active carbon filters These contain a filter insert of largely amorphous carbon. It is porous. Active carbon has an unusually high internal surface of between 500 and 1500 m2/g. This results in great adsorption capacity for extremely small particles. The adsorption takes place as the particularly active areas of the surface, such as points, corners, edges and lattice imperfections. The service life of active carbon filters is always extended by an upstream prefilter and microfilter. Active carbon filter elements normally have to be changed after around 1000 hours of operation or when oil can be smelt. The residual oil content of air filtered in this way (with appropriate prefiltering) is only 0.003 ppm (parts per million). This is not an SI unit, but still valid. More easy to grasp is the expression as 0.003 mg/ m3). Such submicrofilters are primarily recommended for use in compressed air applications in the food, pharmaceutical and medical technology industries. Note: Filters are always installed upstream of pressure reducing valves as the pressure loss within these filters depends on the volumetric flow. Figure 3-11 shows the symbols used in circuit diagrams.
Figure 3-11 Symbols for filters and lubricators 1 Filter (removal of particles) 2 Water separator, manually operated 3 Water separator (automatic drain) 4 Filter with water separator (manually operated) 5 Filter with water separator (automatic drain) 6 Air dryer 7 Lubricator 8 Filter combination

3 Compressed air preparation

39

Some applications such as in the pharmaceutical and food industries require compressed air that is free of oil. The residual oil compressor oil remaining in the air has to be removed. Even air from non-lubricated compressors deliver air that is contaminated with oil aerosols from the intake air. This oil can clog sensitive components and wash out or damage basic lubrication of components. The Pneurop classification (Pneurop Guideline 6611) provides for classification according to the following standard values: Class 1 2 3 4 5 Oil content in mg/m3 0.01 0.1 1.0 5.0 25.0

In words, the oil content of compressed air can be expressed as follows: Low oil-volume air This is the normal case when air is passed through a 1 m to 20 m filter. This achieves the quality measuring air or normal breathing air, inasmuch as environmental considerations are taken into account. Technically oil-free air The residual oil content is in the range 0.3 to 0.01 mg/ m3 and does not cause problems in any technical application. This requires fine filters. Absolutely oil-free air During compressed air preparation, oil-free intake air has no contact with oil. The oil content is less than 0.003 mg/ m3. This level can only be achieved through active carbon filtering. Three methods can be used to achieve low oil content: Compressors for the production of oil-free air Refrigeration dryer with simultaneous oil separation to approx. 80% Oil separation filters A combination of several methods is also possible, as is the series connection of filters, for example two microfilters, whereby the second filter contains active carbon and uses adsorption filtering. This results in the retention of oil odours and other contaminants. By the way, most pneumatic actuators and control elements work fine with non-lubricated air, as they have already been provided with permanent lubrication in the factory. When using lubricated air, it must be taken into account that once oil is used, it should be used continuously,

40

3 Compressed air preparation

reverting back to unlubricated is impermissible. Whether it is better to produce oil-free compressed air with non-lubricated compressors or to filter the oil out after compression is still a matter of debate. Lubricated compressors are, however, less expensive. When compressed air is filtered, water is extracted. This is collected as condensate and has to be drained from time to time. If large amounts of condensate are frequently collected, automatic condensate draining should be provided. This simplifies monitoring and checking of the filter. There are various solutions for automatic draining: Ball-float condensate drain Drainage is controlled by the level of the condensate. A ball-float opens a cock (see Figure 3-12). The condensate is forced into the drain pipe by air pressure. Electronically controlled condensate drain A capacitive level control generates a signal when the condensate reaches maximum level. A diaphragm valve is opened electrically. The condensate is then forced into the drain pipe by air pressure. Time-controlled condensate drain with solenoid valve Experience shows how often condensate has to be drained off. A controller can be set to activate a solenoid valve at specific intervals, then close it again.
Figure 3-12 Ball-float condensate drain

1
1 2 3 4 5 6 Housing Float Manually operated valve Cock (conical seat valve) Condensate Drain pipe

3 2

6 4 5

3 Compressed air preparation

41

Figure 3-13: Electronically controlled condensate drain 1 2 3 4 5 6 Housing Level sensor Diaphragm valve Riser pipe Condensate Electronics

3 1

4 5

As the condensate consists not only of water, but also contains dirt and carbonated oil, gumming of the drain cock (valve) may result. The drain does not then open and close correctly, and compressed air is wasted. Solenoid valves do not always work reliably. And during the time the cock is open, compressed air is exhausted. Such losses are prevented by an electronically controlled condensate drain, as the diaphragm valve is only open as long as condensate is present. Figure 3-14 shows a number of filter variants with comments in the next table on page 43.
Figure 3-14 Selection of filter types 1 Recooler 2 Reservoir 3 Main line filter with automatic drain 4 Standard filter 5 Microfilter 6 Refrigeration dryer 7 Submicrofilter 8 Active carbon filter 9 Adsorption dryer

A 4 1 2 3 5 C 6 D 5 5 9 7 G 7 E 5 7 8 F B

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3 Compressed air preparation

Filter selection in Figure 3-14 dependent on application (based on Hofmann/Stein):


Filter type A Minor solid contaminants, humidity and oil are ok Application Operation of machine controls, clamping mechanisms; pneumatic hammers; blast air, workshop air Industrial equipment; pneumatic drives; metal seals; machine tools; motors Similar for A, made more difficult by large temperature gradient in line or in consuming device; sprayand painting applications Process engineering, measuring devices; high-quality paint systems; cooling of molds and plastic injection molding machines Pneumatic measuring devices; fluidics; electrostatic painting, cleaning and drying of electronic components Pharmaceutical industry, food industry, (packaging, drying, conveying, brewing); medical air treatments; sealing work Main function Removal of contaminants, dust over 5 m; liquid oil over 99%; supersaturated humidity under 99% Removal of contaminants, dust over 0.3 m; oil mist over 99.9%; supersaturated humidity over 99% Removal of humidity, dust over 5 m; liquid oil over 99%; atmospheric dew point below 17 C Removal of contaminants and humidity; dust over 0.3 m; oil mist over 99.9%; atmospheric dew point below 17 C Removal of contaminants and humidity, dust over 0.01 m; oil mist over 99.9999%, atmospheric dew point below 17 C Removal of all contaminants, odours, dust over 0.01 m; oil mist over 99.9999%; atmospheric dew point below 17 C, odour removal over 99.5% Removal of all contaminants, humidity and vapours; dust over 0.01 m; oil mist over 99.9999%; atmospheric dew point below 30 C

Primary concern is removal of dust and oil, small amount of humidity is ok (resulting from temperature gradient) Primary concern is removal of humidity, small amounts of dust and oil are ok Removal of humidity, dust and oil required

Pure air is required with almost total removal of humidity, dust and oil

Extremely pure air is required with almost total removal of humidity, dust, oil and odour

Primary concern is low dew point and practically no dust or oil

Drying (electronics, cargo tanks); pharmaceutical storage; marine measuring devices; conveying powder materials

Filter selection is carried out in the following steps: What degree of purity is required? What port size is required (dependent on pressure and flow rate)? Type of evacuation (manual or automatic)

3 Compressed air preparation

43

The table on page 31 can be used for establishing the degree of purity. The port size is selected so that the pressure loss is not greater than 3% of the absolute input pressure. At 6 bar working pressure, this is equivalent to p = 0.2 bar pressure loss (Fig. 3-15). Naturally, even the best filter causes pressure loss. Practical experience shows that filters should be selected such that the actual flow rate at the appropriate operating pressure is below the straight line shown in Figure 3-15. Example: At a pressure of 6.3 bar, a pressure loss of p = 0.2 bar results in a flow rate of 450 l/min. It is important to observe the limits for maximum and minimum flow rate. If the filters are operated at less than the minimum flow rate, the Waals forces are often not sufficient to capture the particles. They are then not retained. If the filter is operated at a flow rate greater than the maximum which occurs frequently in practice the differential pressure increases rapidly. This impairs efficiency and thus impacts economy. An even more dramatic effect is that captured particles can also be loosened and thrust through the filter. The operator is then surprised to find substantial quantities of particles in the application, despite filtration.
Figure 3-15 Pressure loss in the filter as a function of flow rate a) Recommended maximum flow rate b) Operating pressure in bar

0.7 0.6 Pressure loss in bar 0.5 0.4 a 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 Flow rate in l/min 3.2 6.3 10 b

44

3 Compressed air preparation

One more point about compressed air condensate: It is a mixture of solid particles, water and oil. The overall characteristics are aggressive. For this reason, disposal of condensate is a serious matter. Thermochemical condensate processors can turn condensate into water of drinking quality and filtered air into air of breathing quality. Such eco-friendly filtration techniques avoid the problem of disposal.

3.4 Compressed air lubricators

Lubricated oil is required when the air is not only used as an energy carrier, but also transports lubrication to moving parts of a system. The lubricator undertakes automatic injection of oil mist. Oil mist prevents dry friction of moving parts of pneumatic control elements and consumers or at least reduces wear. However, it is not possible to simply leave the oil mist from the compressor in the compressed air and regard it as a lubricant. The molecular structure of this oil has been largely destroyed by pressure and heat, resulting in a highly aggressive acidic medium. So compressor oil is entirely unsuitable for lubrication. The lubricator head of a standard lubricator contains a venturi nozzle through which compressed air flows. The constriction in the tube results in a vacuum at the suction opening. Oil is sucked out of the container via a riser pipe (Figure 3.16). The oil drips into the flowing air and is atomized. The number of oil drops entering the air flow can be set using a restrictor as a metering device.

Figure 3-16 Compressed air lubricator 1 2 3 4 5 6 Lubricator head Suction opening Riser pipe Container Oil dropler chamber Drain screw

5 1 2

3 4

3 Compressed air preparation

45

The venturi principle is shown in Figure 3-17. The constriction of the tube causes a pressure differential p, which draws out the oil.
Figure 3-17 Venturi principle

In the microlubricator, oil droplets are finely atomized (less than 2 m) by a baffle plate. Only some 5 to 10% of oil droplets enter the air flow. Light machine and hydraulic oils have proven suitable. The viscosity should be in the range 17 to 25 mm2/s at 20 C. The flow characteristic is decisive for the selection of a compressed air lubricator. The pressure loss should not exceed p 0.15 to 0.35 bar. Oil consumption depends on requirements and cannot be precisely specified.
Figure 3-18 Lubrication of the air flow 1 Standard lubricator 2 Proportional lubricator

Oil/air flow

Air flow

46

3 Compressed air preparation

A rule of thumb is a rate of 2 to 5 drops per m3. The lower figure applies to continual flow, the higher figure for intermittent flow. Microlubricators require approx. 10 to 20 times as many drops. Some 4 to 6 drops per 1000 litres or air is sufficient for the operation of compressed air motors, with one drop corresponding to approx. 15 m m3. The number of drops is set by means of an adjusting screw. During continuous and intermittent operation (running time longer than 1 minute), the oil is added to the compressed air by means of a lubricator. For intermittent operation with running time less than 1 minute, injection lubrication near the consuming device is recommended, in order to prevent inadequate lubrication resulting from loss of oil in the network. Cylinders with heat-resistant seals should not be operated with lubricated air, as the special grease can be washed out by the oil. Mist lubricators (figure 3-19) must be installed so that the air intake line points in the direction of flow.
Figure 3-19 Mist lubricator 1 2 3 4 5 Adjusting screw Direction of flow Drop dome Housing Bowl guard

4 2

Several lubricator installations are shown in Figure 3-20. The following table on page 48 gives selection guidelines for the types A to E.
Figure 3-20 Various lubricator applications 1 Recooler 2 Reservoir 3 Differential pressure lubricator 4 Standard lubricator 5 Multigrade lubricator 6 Pulse injection lubricator

2 A 3 4

D 6 7 E

Sequencer

5 C

3 Compressed air preparation

47

Application variants A-E

Filter type A When homogenous oil mist is required. For supply lines over 150 m long; lubrication of a large number of consuming devices without overlubrication For all standard applications without special requirements. Basically supply-lubrication of individual devices, small distances For applications with a broad range of volumetric flow rates, high responsiveness, extraction of non-lubricated air upstream of lubricator For single operation of a consuming device after long intervals, long distances between lubricators and devices, low flow rates Wherever fine, uniform oil mist is required in very small but well metered quantities

Applications (Examples) Compressed air power tools on assembly lines; pneumatic controls; transfer, welding and stamping lines and production units

Main function Supply of many consuming devices over large distances, oil mist over 2 m; good transportation characteristics over 150 m; installation above devices recommended; problem-free branching; continuous transport of 7 to 12 mg/m3 oil Supply-lubrication of individual devices, oil mist 4 to 10 m; satisfactory transportation up to 6 m; installation above consuming device required; oil transport 15 to 25 mm3/drop Low response threshold, large range of volumetric flow rates: oil mist over 10 m; transportcharacteristics satisfactory up to 6 m; installation above consuming device required; oil transport 15 to 25 mm3/drop Low lubrication at consumption site: oil drops 1 to 30 mm3; transport characteristics not applicable; installation at point of consumption; oil transport 1 to 30 mm3 per piston stroke Transport of fine oil mist for lubrication and cooling, oil mist less than 2 m, transport characteristics good over 30 m; Installation above consuming device recommended

Tools; pneumatic drives; controls

Tools with low air requirement, control of compressed air cylinders; controls for extraction of nonlubricated air. Short-stroke cylinders; small compressed air tools; cutting tools

High-speed bearings; grinding spindles; knitting machines; gearboxes

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3 Compressed air preparation

3.5 Pressure regulators

Pressure regulators have the role of providing a reliable constant pressure (secondary pressure) despite all pressure fluctuations in the main compressed air circuit (primary pressure). If such constant pressure is not ensured, unacceptable deviations in switching and motion times of control elements and actuators result. Excessively high pressure increases wear and leads to unfavorable energy efficiency. Excessively low pressure reduces efficiency and also may impair the serviceability of consuming devices. Generally, the compressed air network exhibits a pressure of 6 bar in the operating part and 4 bar in the control part. Figure 3-21 shows two principles for the function of pressure regulators.

Figure 3-21 Principle of pressure regulators a) Regulator with exhaust hole b) Regulator without exhaust hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Housing Valve seat Valve disk Diaphragm with valve hole Diaphragm, permanently attached to valve piston Exhaust hole Pressure spring Adjusting screw for adjusting spring force Pressure gauge

2 p1

9 p2 6 p1

3 p2

4 7

8 a) b)

Mode of operation: If the primary pressure p1 is present, the valve disk (3) is raised from the valve seat (2) against the spring force (7). An output pressure p2 results. This pressure acts via an opening on the diaphragm (4) or (5). In the case of a regulator with an exhaust hole (Figure 3-21a), the valve hole in the diaphragm is released from a certain pressure, so that compressed air can escape via the diaphragm (4) and the exhaust hole (6) to the environment (= intrinsic consumption). The constant change in the cross-sectional area at the valve seat (annular gap) and release of the valve hole in the diaphragm adjusts the pressure on the secondary side to the current situation, for example when there is a change in the load of a working cylinder. The secondary pressure is held almost constant. In the case of a regulator without an exhaust hole (Figure 3-21b), the valve disk and the diaphragm (5) act together as a twin-piston system. If the secondary pressure p2 is too high, the pressure on the valve seat increases and presses the diaphragm against the compression spring. This reduces the cross-sectional

3 Compressed air preparation

49

area for flow, possibly to zero. The air flow is then reduced or blocked. Only when the operating pressure p2 again falls below the primary pressure can compressed air flow again. Figure 3-22 shows a commonly used pressure regulator with an exhaust hole.
Figure 3-22 Structure of a pressure regulator 1 Unregulated compressed air 2 Regulated compressed air 3 Pin 4 Annular gap 5 Valve disk 6 Compression spring 7 Exhaust hole 8 Diaphragm 9 Relief hole 10 Spring disk 11 Adjusting screw

5 4 1

6 3 2

8 7

9 6

10 11

3.6 Service unit

Service units are compact combinations of devices located at the point of consumption. They allow fine preparation of compressed air and normally consist of an on-off valve, filter, pressure regular and lubricator. The components also have to be installed in this order. The direction of flow as marked on the outside of every device must be taken into account. Safety and monitoring elements may also be integrated. In the case of larger machines, service units are also integrated into the machine frame for basic supply of compressed air. The space below the service unit must be large enough to allow the insertion of a condensate collection vessel. A pressure regulator should keep the secondary pressure as constant as possible even with fluctuating air consumption, ensuring that the desired operating pressure is maintained. The operating pressure is set on the pressure regulator. Figure 3.23 shows the structure of a modular service unit.

50

3 Compressed air preparation

Figure 3-23 Main components of a modular service unit (example) 1 Pipe connector 2 Manual on/off valve 3 Filter and pressure regulator 4 Filter 5 Condensate drain 6 Branching module 7 Lubricator 8 Pressure regulator 9 Soft-start valve 10 Branching module 11 Pressure gauge 12 Pressure switch

9 6 7 8 10

11

12

4 5

Service units not only ensure optimum preparation of air, but also smooth pressure fluctuations that can occur as a result of the compressor switching on and off. Secondary and primary sides (network) are thus decoupled. Branch modules allow air of varying qualities to be tapped, for example tapping nonlubricated air upstream of the lubricator. Service units can also be configured for several independent pressure zones. The same can be achieved for different levels of air quality by using modular filter combinations. Figure 3-24 shows the diagram of a pressure regulator battery with several pressure zones and through-connected primary pressure.
Figure 3-24 Pressure regulator battery with a service unit 1 Main on/off valve 2 Filter and pressure regulator 3 Branching module 4 Filter and pressure regulator for battery installation

p1 1 2

p1

5 bar

7 bar

4 bar

3 Compressed air preparation

51

A soft-start valve can be installed upstream. This is a safety start-up valve and ensures a gradual build-up of pressure in pneumatic systems when energy is turned on. Downstream cylinders and operating elements then move slowly rather than suddenly into their initial positions. Once 50% of the input pressure has been reached, the danger of collision is past and the valve opens fully (Figure 3-25).
Figure 3-25 Pressure curve for a soft-start valve

Pressure

p2

p1

50% p1

Time t

In practice, several combinations typically occur. They are shown in Figure 3-26. They can be combined as appropriate. There are already preassembled combinations for the most common applications. They are differentiated (from top to bottom) by the following characteristics: Lubricated and non-lubricated oil is required. Non-lubricated oil is branched off upstream of the lubricator. To ensure that compressed air from the lubricated line cannot flow back, the manifold is equipped with a non-return valve. The oil mist can be metered. The beginning of the service line must ensure higher flow rates than sublines this has to be taken into account during design. Compressed air of different levels of quality is required. For example, multiple filter stages allow air of different qualities to be tapped. The final stage guarantees microfiltered compressed air (guaranteed oil- and dust-free). Such microfiltering is required, for example, for low-pressure controllers. For reasons of economy, filtration is only undertaken to the degree necessary, as each filter causes a pressure loss. The service combination can also start with a start-up valve. This shut-off allows pressurization and depressurization of pneumatic systems. The lever can, by the way, be locked with a standard padlock.

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3 Compressed air preparation

Figure 3-26 Practice-proven combinations of service units FRM Branching module HE Manual on/off valve LFR Filter and regulator valve integrated into one unit LFMA Microfilter LFMB Fine filter LOE Compressed air lubricator P Compressed air source

Pressure source P

Basic filtering LFR

Improving quality LOE 1 2

Commentary lubricated air (1) for fast power components and compressed air tools, non-lubricated air (2) for normal applications microfiltered air (3) (oil- and dust-free) through multistage filtration

FRM-H

40 or 5 m

automatic draining of water separator


HE

FRM-... LFMB FRM 1 m

LFMA 3 0.01 m

P FRM-...

LOE 1 2

Switch-off and exhaust by means of upstream main on/off valve, also lockable

Pressure regulators have a pressure gauge to indicate pressure. Mechanical pressure gauges have the advantage that they do not require an auxiliary energy source. They use elastic deformation under pressure for measurement (Bourdon tube pressure gauge, diaphragm pressure gauge, or capsule element pressure gauge). Figure 3-27 shows two typical designs.
Figure 3-27 Analog pressure gauges a) Diaphragm pressure gauge b) Bourdon tube pressure gauge 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pressure chamber Diaphragm Toothed quadrant Bourdon tube Housing Reversing lever Connector M20 x 1.5 Scale Connecting rod

8 3 2 3 1 0 6 9 2 7

4 5

a)

b)

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53

In the case of the Bourdon tube pressure gauge, the elastic measuring element is in the form of a tubular spring closed at the top. When it bends up under pressure, this motion is translated into motion of the pointer by a the toothed quadrant. In the diaphragm pressure gauge, a pressure-proof diaphragm with a pressure connection on one side is used as a measuring element. As a result of their shape and mounting, diaphragm elements have greater mechanical stability and are insensitive to vibration. The pressure set at the pressure regulator is indicated. The selection of a pressure regulator is determined by the following characteristics: Control characteristic (how does the secondary pressure vary as a function of the primary pressure) with the parameter volumetric flow rate. Flow rate characteristic (how does the secondary pressure vary as a function of the flow rate). For reasons of economy, a suitable nominal flow rate must be selected. Figure 3-28 shows some different variants for pressure regulators. In the case of Application B, possible overpressure on the secondary side is not vented to the atmosphere but fed back. The applications for variants A to E can be seen in the following table:
Figure 3-28 Types of pressure regulator

1
1 After cooler 2 Reservoir 3 Main line pressure regulator 4 Standard pressure regulator 5 Pressure and non-return flow control valve 6 Fine pressure regulator 7 Fine pressure regulator with large secondary ventilation 8 Consuming device

4 A

B 5 6 C

6 E

8 D

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3 Compressed air preparation

Application variants A-E

Application A Applications with little dependence on admission pressure, volumetric flow rates with secondary venting-

Applications (Examples) Compressed air controls; sand blasters; spray guns; compressed air motors

Main function Control of volumetric flow rate with little dependence on admission pressure, pressure regulation to 0.5 to 16 bar; volumetric flow rate up to 15,000 l/min; hysteresis within 0.05 bar; repetition accuracy within 0.2 bar; pressure relief on secondary side, pressure and quantity compensated Pressure regulation by means of one-way flow control valve: pressure regulation from 2 to 5 bar; repetition accuracy within 0.5 bar, volumetric flow up to 5,000 l/min rate V High control precision at volumetric flow rate, pressure regulation 0.05 to 5.5 bar, repetition accuracy 0.005 bar, threshold value 0.001 bar, volumetric flow rate V up to 250 l/min High control precision at high volumetric flow rate, also via secondary ventilation; pressure regulation 0 to 7 bar; repetition accuracy 0.005 bar; threshold value 0.001 bar, up to 500 l/min V High control precision for high input pressure; pressure regulation 0.05 to 5.5 bar; repetition accuracy 0.005 bar; threshold value 0.001 bar; up to 250 l/min V

For double-acting cylinders, above all to save compressed air without particularly high control accuracy, but with extremely high switching frequency When constant pressure is required for low volumetric flow rate, high control precision, hardly detectable fluctuations in input pressure When even the tiniest pressure fluctuations have to be compensated on the secondary side, in both flow directions without pressure threshold, large flow capacity Applications that do not permit a high input pressure to be reduced to a low pressure by a single-stage pressure regulator

Consumption optimization of double-acting cylinders; clamping cylinders; compressed air motors

Pneumatic measuring devices ; measuring and control engineering; fluidics

Control of compensating roller; pressure equalization for silo filling; plastic blow-molding machines; air supply to test beds High-pressure networks to low pressure; single-stage control accuracy low

3 Compressed air preparation

55

The characteristic variables for selection are always pressure, flow rate, humidity, oil content and quantity and size of airborne particles. There are also numerous individual tips for selection: The service unit is always calculated one size bigger than required for the maximum flow rate. Undersizing leads to pressure fluctuations in the regulator and insufficient service life. Service units are mounted at the coolest place in the system for example, near a building wall rather than near a heat source from a machine. The service unit should not be more than 5 metres from the last consuming device, otherwise in the case of lubricated air the oil mist will precipitate before reaching the device. Water separators remove oil droplets occurring in the network and even the biggest water separator becomes full one day. So: either carry out maintenance strictly according to plan or provide for an automatic water separator at the project planning stage. Filter bowls should be cleaned with water only, not with solvents. In harsh environments, a metal bowl guard should be fitted. Solid particle filters should be oversized. The direction of flow must be taken into account when installing. Filter cartridges are to be replaced not cleaned. If an adsorption dryer is used, a prefilter (grade of filtration 1 m) should be installed upstream to extend the service life of the intake filter. Oil considerably reduces the life of the drying agent. Also, the intake air temperature should be below 35 C. A lockable regulator head should be selected to protect the pressure setting on the pressure regulator from unauthorised setting. Compressed air lubricators may only be filled with the low-viscosity mineral oil approved by the manufacturer. If working cylinders (with a piston diameter greater than 100 mm) are operated with lubricated air, a filter silencer should be attached to the exhaust port. This attenuates the exhaust noise and separates particles via a fine filter insert. Service units must also be maintained as otherwise they fail, causing faults and downtime.

3.7 Pressure amplifiers

Pressure amplifiers (pressure boosters) are devices that can supply individual consumers with an operating pressure that is higher than the pressure in the network. They therefore have the opposite effect of pressure reducers (pressure regulating valves). Pressure amplification can be achieved in a number of ways. One elegant solution is the principle of the dual-piston pressure intensifier, as shown in Figure 3-29. Apart from compressed air, no energy source is required. Depending on the type, pressure can be amplified up to double the input pressure, to a maximum of 10 or 16 bar.

56

3 Compressed air preparation

Figure 3-29 Air-to-air pressure booster (Festo) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Amplification chamber B Drive chamber A Drive chamber B Amplification chamber A Directional control valve Control line Piston rod Flow control valve Reservoir

P2 9 2 A 4 1 B 3

p1 Input pressure 2 to 8 or 10 bar p2 Output pressure 2.5 to 10 or 16 bar

7 6

5 P1

Mode of operation: The directional control valve (5) ventilates the chambers (3) and (4) and chamber (2). The piston and piston rod (7) move to the left, compressing the air in the amplification chamber (1). Once the end position is reached, the compressed air flows out of the chamber (1) through the groove in the piston rod (7), which has the function of a directional control valve. The air flows via the rod seal and control line (6) to the directional control valve (5), switching the valve. At this point, chambers (1) and (2) are ventilated and chamber (3) is exhausted. The pistons move to the right. The piston rod (7) seals the seal again. The control line is now exhausted via the flow control valve. This sequence repeats continuously, with the motion reversing at the end of each cylinder stroke. The flow rate is dependent on the input pressure p1 and the output pressure p2. The diagram in Figure 3.30 shows the flow rate in standard litres per minute as a function of input and output pressure.

3 Compressed air preparation

57

Flow rate at output in standard litres/min

Figure 3-30 Volumetric flow rate for pressure booster DPA-100-16 (Festo) p1 Input pressure

3000 2500 2000 1500 4 1000 500 6 0 5 10 7 15 20 Output pressure in bar 3 9 8 5 10 DPA-100-16 p1 in bar

This design results in a pulsating output pressure, for which reason a downstream reservoir is recommended to smooth the pressure and accommodate peaks in consumption. It should also be borne in mind that the air-to-air pressure amplifiers own consumption increases with the level of pressure amplification. It is at least 20% of the secondary volumetric flow rate. Amplifiers are subject to special regulations and standards such as the European standard safety regulations EN 1012, Part 1. These require measures to be taken to ensure that the pressure on the output side cannot exceed a certain level, for example by means of a downstream safety valve that cannot be prevented from operating. Valves and fittings used in the high-pressure zone must be designed for the appropriate high pressure. Incidentally, the pressure amplifier does not have to work constantly. If the consumption situation allows and a compressed air reservoir is fitted, the amplifier can be operated intermittently. Mobile types such as shown in Figure 3-31 are also available. This is a combination of pressure booster and reservoir. This allows compressed air with a pressure of 10 bar to be made available in test centres and laboratories or on building sites. The mobile unit only requires the standard compressed air supply, which is connected to the booster input.

58

3 Compressed air preparation

Figure 3-31 Mobile pressure amplifier (Festo) 1 2 3 4 5 Pressure booster Reservoir Frame Handle Adjusting knob for high pressure output 6 Pressure gauge

4 1 5 6

3 Compressed air preparation

59

4 Compressed air distribution

Compressed air has to be transported from the compressor to the consumer (machine or tool etc.). This is done by the compressed air distribution network in a system that has pipes and fittings that are as efficient as possible. The air has to be made available to consumers in the right quantity at the right pressure and in the right quality. Normally, the network is designed such that the required minimum pressure is available at the air intake of the most remote consuming device.

4.1 Components of a compressed air line

The main parts of the compressed air network are: Main line This transports the compressed air from the compressor to the workshop in which it is required. Distributor line This is often a ring circuit. It distributes the compressed air in the workshop to the various workplaces. Connecting line This is the last part of the permanent distribution network, often consisting of a hose. Branch line This a line from the distributor line to a certain place. It ends in a dead end. It has the benefit that it requires less piping that a ring circuit. Ring circuit In this type of line, the piping forms a closed ring. It has the benefit that individual sections of the pipe can be blocked while still allowing supply of compressed air to the other areas. Only a small nominal diameter is required. A further benefit is that when compressed air is consumed simultaneously at adjacent locations, for example location A, there is still sufficient pressure at other locations (location B) (see Figure 4-2). If several ring circuits are connected together, this is called an interconnected network. This allows the network to be divided into several sections that can be individually controlled. Figure 4-1 shows a schematic of an interconnected network.

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4 Compressed air distribution

Figure 4-1 Schematic of a possible interconnected network

Figure 4-2 Elements of a compressed air network 1 Main line 2 Distribution line (here: a ring circuit) 3 Connecting line (attached at top of pipe) 4 Compressor station 5 90-degree pipe elbow 6 Wall bracket 7 Pipe 8 Ball valve 9 Angle piece (90 degree) 10 Wall fitting 11 Transition piece with internal thread 12 Filter 13 Lubricator 14 Consuming device 15 Condensate 16 Pipe 17 Branch line 18 Shut-off cock

2 A 18 1 1...2% 15 B

17

3 2 5 3 6 7 8

4 9 13 16 14 15 11 10 12 8

4 Compressed air distribution

61

Fittings and accessories This, of course, covers the elements of the system that are used for controlling the flow of compressed air and for the assembly of components. Figure 4-2 shows an example system with the most important components. As one can see, the connecting lines should be connected at the top the distribution line because of condensate. This is the so-called swan neck. Branches for condensate are mounted on the bottom of the pipe at the lowest part of the network. If the condensate drain is connected directly to the pipe, it must be ensured that condensate is not blown along by the flow of compressed air. Figure 4-3 shows an example installation.
Figure 4-3 Condensate drain 1 Pipe network 2 Ball cock 3 Condensate drain

2 3

The pressure at the end of a line is not always satisfactory. If the pressure supplied to the consuming device is too low, this could be for one of the following reasons: Incorrectly designed distribution network or undersized compressor Tool piping too thin and or too long Poor condition of distribution network with constant high leakage level Inadequate maintenance, such as congested filters Couplings and connection fittings for tubing too small Too many elbows (increased pressure loss)

62

4 Compressed air distribution

For this reason, one cannot simply keep adding connecting lines (tubes) to the distribution line. The following table shows how many lines can be connected to lines of a certain diameter. Distributor line Inches 1/2 3/4 1 1 1/2 2 3 mm 13 19 25 38 51 76 Number of branches inner diameter in mm 3 20 40 6 4 10 18 10 2 4 6 16 13 1 2 4 8 16 19 1 2 4 8 16 25 1 2 4 8 38 1 2 4 51 1 2 76 1

Example: How many connection lines can a distribution line of diameter 51 mm inner diameter supply: 16 connections with a diameter of 13 mm 8 connections with a diameter of 19 mm 4 connections with a diameter of 25 mm 2 connections with a diameter of 28 mm 1 connection with a diameter of 51 mm In diagrams, compressed air network components are generally shown using symbols. These are listed in Figure 4.4.
Figure 4-4 Symbols for compressed air network components 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Compressor Shut-off valve Flexible tubing Exhaust port Energy tapping point (with blanking plug) Energy tapping point (with connecting line) Quick coupling (without mechanically opening non-return valve) Quick coupling (with mechanically opening non-return valves) Quick coupling (with safety shut-off ) Quick coupling (with shut-off on one side) Outlet without provision for connection Outlet with connection thread Pressure gauge Service unit, simplified Reservoir Rotatable connection for a line

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

4 Compressed air distribution

63

4.2 Sizing of line systems

Correct sizing of the lines is of great importance when a compressed air network is being newly established. The following steps have to be taken: Define the locations of consuming devices Determine the number of devices by the type, quantity, and quality of compressed air they require List the compressed air demand per device Determine the average demand for compressed air, taking the duty cycle, simultaneity and reserves for future system expansion into account Design the network by length, valve and fittings required (branches, elbows, adapters) Convert components that cause resistance to flow into equivalent pipe lengths Calculate the permissible pressure drop Calculate the nominal pipe length for determination of diameter Calculate or graphically determine the pipe diameter Define the materials for the pipes These steps are described in greater detail in the following. When selecting the installation site, care must be taken to ensure that connection lines are as short as possible. Preference should be given to ring circuits, as half the volumetric flow rate and half the nominal length can be used during sizing. The average compressed air consumption of some machines and tools are shown in the following table, whereby utilization is not taken into account.
Type of consumer Drill Drill Drill Drill Grinder Grinder 0.75 kW 1.00 kW 1.50 kW 2.00 kW 0.75 kW 1.00 kW Air consumption in l/s 13 18 27 35 17 22 28 5 22 Type of consuming device Compressed air motor 1.4 kW Compressed air motor 2.4 kW Compressed air motor 3.5 kW Blow gun general Hoist up to 500 kg Chisel hammer Thrust cylinder Impact screwdriver Spray gun Thread cutter Air consumption in l/s 36 60 84 8 33 8 16 15 to 30 10 16

Grinder 1.50 kW Compressed air screwdriver 0.30 kW Circular saw for soft materials

For detailed specification, always refer to the manufacturers data. The air rate required as stated in brochures and technical data is normally given as the consumption at nominal output and refers to the volumetric flow rate under non-pressurized (atmospheric) conditions. It also refers to a duty cycle of 100%.

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4 Compressed air distribution

How is the required volumetric flow rate V calculated? The volumetric flow rate is a function of the following: Number of consuming devices and their required air consumption Degree of simultaneous consumption, as not all devices consume at the same time Losses through wear and leakage in consuming devices and the network Duty cycle of consuming devices The duty cycle (DC) is given as a percentage or a factor. It takes into account the fact that most devices are not in constant operation, but only periodically. The following table shows typical values for selected consumers: Consuming device Drill Grinder Hammer chisel Stamper Molding machine Blasting gun Inserter Duty Cycle 30% 40% 30% 15% 20% 10% 80%

The level of simultaneous operation is also a value derived from experience. Several devices that are not in operation continuously are generally operated independently of each other and do not always run simultaneously. The following simultaneity factors can be expected: Number of consuming devices 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Simultaneity factor 1 0.94 0.89 0.86 0.83 0.80 0.77 0.75 Number of consuming devices 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 100 Simultaneity factor 0.73 0.71 0.69 0.68 0.67 0.66 0.65 0.20

4 Compressed air distribution

65

m (l/s) can be calculated using the following The average air consumption V formula: m = (A V V i i
i=1 n

CDi SFi) 100

i n A V CD SF

Operating variable Number of different consuming devices Quantity in units Air consumption per user in l/s Duty cycle in percent Simultaneity factor

m is then corrected once again: This value V


m Er + V m Er Le 2 = V m + V V 100 100 100 Er Reserve for later system expansion, e.g. 35% Le Allowance for leakage e.g. 10%

m balances out peak loads that are Doubling (x2) the volumetric flow rate V above the average air consumption. Experience shows that the average air consumption is between 20 and 60% of maximum air consumption.
As compressed air networks are used for up to 50 years, later addition of compressed air devices have to be taken into account by making provision for a reserve. This was taken account in the above formula with the factor Er Many machine configurations often have numerous pneumatic cylinders for which the required air rate is not readily visible. For this reason, establishing the required air rate is described in the following. The specific air consumption mL* of a working cylinder is the air mass to be supplied per millimetre of piston stroke. It is dependent on the operating pressure and the cylinder diameter and can be read off from the diagram in Figure 4-5 (T = 20 C = constant). The specific air mass mL* is shown as the function of operating pressure and piston diameter d. The following applies for a double stroke: mL = 2 H mL* in kg H Stroke in mm mL* specific air consumption in kg/mm stroke

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4 Compressed air distribution

Figure 4-5 Diagram for establishing the air consumption of pneumatic cylinders

mL*

Specific air consumption in kg/mm stroke

Operating pressure in bar

Once the air mass has been established, the standard volume VN can be calculated. Air density of = 1.2 kg/m3 is assumed. The standard volume for a double stroke is thus:

Vn =

2 H m L* = 1.66 HmL* in m3/DH

This value allows the air consumption per unit time to be calculated. Example: How much air does a working cylinder with a piston diameter of 40 mm and a stroke of H = 500 mm require at an operating pressure of 5 bar? The motion time for the working stroke is t = 2 s within a cycle frequency of 10 s.

4 Compressed air distribution

Piston diameter in mm

67

The specific air consumption can be established using the diagram in Figure 4-5: mL* = 9 10 6 kg/mmstroke. The air consumption per double stroke is calculated by: mL = 2 H mL* = 2 500 9 10 6 = 9 10 3 kg and the standard volume per double stroke by VN = 1.66 H mL* = 1.66 500 9 10 6 = 7.5 10 3 m3/DH The standard volume of a double stroke is to be halved to calculate the working stroke. This volume of 3.75 10 3 m3/stroke has to be made available by the compressed air network in a time of t = 2 s. This results in a required flow rate of

= 3600 VN/t = 3.6 103 3.75 10 3 1/2 = 6.75 m3/h V


How much pressure loss must be expected in the network? The network plan shows the pipe lengths and the type and number of fittings. The longer the pipe, the greater the pressure loss before the point of consumption. This is caused primarily by roughness of pipe walls and flow velocity. The nomogram in Figure 4-6 shows the pressure loss as a function of pipe diameter and pipe length. Connecting lines often have a diameter of 25 mm. The following pressure losses can then be expected, (based on the volumetric flow rate and a nominal length of 10 m): Volumetric flow rate in l/s 10 20 30 Differential pressure in bar 0.005 0.02 0.04

Example: What pressure loss results when compressed air passes through a 200 m pipe with an estimated inner diameter of 40 mm: = 6 l/s and the operating pressure 7 bar. Let the volumetric flow rate be V If the input values are entered in sequence to , then represents the pressure loss p = 0.0034 bar.

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4 Compressed air distribution

Figure 4-6 Nomogram for establishing the pressure loss in pipes (pressure = operating pressure) 3.2

Nominal length of the pipe in m


1 2 3 4 5 6 10 20 50 100 200 600 2000 500 1000

5 5

6.3

10 12.5 4 3 20 25 6

1 1.5 2 2.5 3 4 5 2 10 15 7

16

40 50 8 60 0.002 0.006 0.02 0.005 0.01 0.06 0.05 0.1 0.2 0.6 0.5 1.0 2 3 4 6 10 15 5 7 1

40 50

100

Pressure in bar

Pressure drop in pipe in bar

Naturally, valves, fittings, elbows etc. have a detrimental effect on flow resistance. In order to take these elements into account, this effect is expressed as an equivalent pipe length, which is then added to the real pipe length before establishing the required pipe diameter d by calculation or graphic means. These equivalent pipe lengths are shown in Figure 4-7.

4 Compressed air distribution

Volumetric flow rate in l/s

32

Inner diameter in mm

20 25 30

69

Figure 4-7 The flow resistance of various fittings expressed as equivalent lengths (in metres)

Equivalent length in metres Designation Fitting Pipe diameter in millimetres 9 12 14 18 23 40 50 80 100 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.6 1.0 1.3

Ball cock

Elbow

0.6 0.7 1.0 1.3 1.5 2.5 3.5 4.5 6.5

Tee

0.7 0.85 1.0 1.5 2.0 3.0 4.0 7.0 10

Reducer 2d to d

0.3 0.4 0.45 0.5 0.6 0.9 1.0 2.0 2.5

Example: The following fittings are to be installed in a compressed air line with an inner diameter of 23 mm: 2 ball cocks, 4 elbows, 1 reducer and 2 tees. What equivalent length of piping has to be added in order to arrive at the correct effective pipe length? Lquiv = 2 0.3 + 4 1.5 + 1 0.6 + 2 2.0 = 11.2 m This gives the final pipe length to be used in calculation Ltotal = LL + Lquiv
i=1 n

n Number of fittings taken into account. Calculation can be considerably simplified by using a rule of thumb. An approximate value is obtained by: Ltotal = 1.6 LL It is then no longer necessary to count and add up each individual component. As already mentioned, the total length can be halved for a ring circuit resulting in halving of the flow rate. The required inner diameter of the pipe can now be determined. This can be achieved using the nomogram in Figure 4-8. Steps to have to be undertaken. The intersection of the scale D shows the inner diameter. The nomogram in Figure 4-6 can also be used.

70

4 Compressed air distribution

Figure 4-8 Nomogram for determining the pipe diameter for compressed air (1 m3/h = 0.2778 10 3 m3/s; 1 l/h = 0.2778 10 6 m3/s)

Pipe length (m)

Axis 1 Clear pipe diameter (mm)

Axis 2 Pressure loss (barabs) 0.03 System pressure (bar) 0.04 0.05 0.07 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.7 1.0 1.5

Intake quantity (m3/h)

There is also the following approximation formula which gives the pipe inner diameter d:
5

d=

Ltotal 1.6 103 V 1.85 p p

d p1 p Ltotal V

Pipe inner diameter in m Operating pressure in bar Pressure loss in Pa (should not be greater than 0.1 bar) Nominal length of the pipe in m (corrected) Volumetric flow in m3/s

Example: The inner pipe diameter d is to be calculated for a 300 m section is 21 m3/min (0.350 m3/s) and the of straight pipe. The volumetric flow rate V operating pressure is 7 bar (= 700,000 Pa). 1.6 103 0.351.85 300 = 0.099 m 100 mm is selected 10,000 700,000

d=5

4 Compressed air distribution

71

An approximation of the pipe outer diameter can be undertaken for polyamide pipes (diameters in mm) using the following table (based on table by J Guest GmbH). Volumetric flow rate in l/min Pipe length in m 25 200 400 500 750 1000 1500 2000 3000 4000 12 12 15 15 15 18 18 22 28 50 12 12 15 15 15 18 18 22 28 100 12 15 15 18 18 18 22 28 28 150 15 15 18 18 18 22 22 28 28 200 15 15 18 18 22 22 22 28 28 250 15 18 18 22 22 22 28 28 28 300 18 18 18 22 22 22 28 28 28

Example: 2 m3/min is to be transported in a ring circuit with an effective length of 300 m. The pressure is 7 bar. What pipe diameter should be used? Half the length and half the volumetric flow rate can be used for a ring circuit (= 150 m). The volumetric flow rate is 50% of 2 m3/min (=200 l/min), that is 1000 l/min. The table shows an outer pipe diameter of 18 mm. The final step is now to define the material for the pipe. The various possibilities are shown in the following section.

4.3 Pipes and connections

The following factors play a role in the selection of materials for a compressed air network: Compressed air quality (non-corroding pipes, connections without material deposits) Pipe sizes Pressure (low pressure loss, maximum 0.1 bar), minimum leakage Environmental conditions (stability in sunlight, bacterial attack, tropical temperatures) Installation effort (simple laying and pipe connections; tools, materials and special knowledge required). Material costs (high-grade sturdy fittings at favorable prices) Coefficient of expansion of the material Personal experience and knowledge of processing technologies

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4 Compressed air distribution

Various materials can be used within one network. The installation costs also have to be borne in mind. Plastic pipes can be glued so that they form a perfectly tight seal, but this requires experience with the technique used. Metal pipes are normally cheaper, but have to be soldered, welded or fitted with threaded collars. This can result in residue in the pipe. Roughness of the inside of the pipe causes pressure loss. The following table provides an initial overview. Material Copper pipe Plastic pipe Steel pipe, extruded Steep pipe, welded Steep pipe, galvanized Roughness in m less than 1.5 less than 1.5 10 to 50 50 to 100 120 to 150

Pipe sizes are normally in nominal diameter. The nominal diameter has no units and approximates to the inner pipe diameter. Nominal diameter is also used for all other valves and fittings, adapters and connectors, ensuring that they match. Important nominal diameters for compressed air networks are: Nominal diameter 20 25 32 40 50 65 Nominal diameter 80 100 125 150 200 250 Nominal diameter 300 350 400 450 500 600

Pipe systems can be built with metal and/or plastic pipes. Table 4-1 on pages 74 and 75 compares and contrasts the technical properties of metal and plastic compressed air pipes.

4 Compressed air distribution

73

74
4 Compressed air distribution

Table 4-1 Technical properties of compressed air pipes

Seamless steel pipes Type Black or galvanized

Threaded pipes Medium, heavy, black or galvanized

Stainless steel pipes Seamless or welded

Copper pipes Soft in coils, hard in straight sections

Aluminum pipes Uncoated or coated

Plastic pipes Soft, in rolls. up to 100 m, Hard lengths, in pieces of 3 m Polyamide (PA, PUR, PE) 12 to 63 mm

Material

e.g. St 35

Seamless St 00, Welded St 33 1/8 to 6

e.g. WST 4301, 4541, 4571 6 to 273 mm

Copper

Aluminium, e.g. seawater resistant 12 to 40 mm

Sizes

10.2 to 558.8 mm

6 to 22 mm soft 6 to 54 mm hard 54 to 131 mm hard depending on type, 16 to 140 bar Smooth

Pressures

12.5 to 25 bar

10 to 80 bar

up to 80 bar and in some cases higher Smooth

14 bar (at 30 C to +30 C) Smooth

14 bar (at 25 C to +30 C) Smooth

Pipe ends

Smooth

Conical, smooth or threaded Threaded connector, Welding

Pipe connection

Welding

Welded (inert-gas shielded arc welding)

Threaded, soldered (fittings) or welded

Reusable plug-in connectors

Reusable plug-in connectors

Table 4-1 Technical properties of compressed air pipes

4 Compressed air distribution

Seamless steel pipes Advantages Leakproof pipe connectors, bendable

Threaded pipes Many shaped parts available (for connectors), bendable

Stainless steel pipes Leakproof pipe connectors, no corrosion, bendable, for highest quality compressed air, e.g. medical applications Installation only by experience fitters, limited range of shaped parts, expensive

Copper pipes No corrosion, smooth internal walls, bendable

Aluminum pipes Break-proof, no corrosion, light, smooth internal wall

Plastic pipes No corrosion, bendable, light, impact resistant, maintenance-free, low installation effort, easy transition to hoses Smaller range of sizes, shorter clear span than steel pipe, pressure capacity decreases as temperature rises, static charging possible, large coefficient of expansion (0.2 mm/C m)

Disadvantages

Corrosion (for black pipes), requires laying by experience fitters, very heavy compared to plastic and aluminum

Corrosion sometimes even when galvanized, high flow resistance and friction, leakage after long period of operation, time-consuming installation due to thread-cutting or welding, experienced fitters required

Laying requires expert knowledge, formation of copper sulphate possible

Shorter clear span than steel pipe

75

The user is particularly interested in the difference between metal and plastic pipes. Table 4-2 provides a general overview of the characteristics, but does not specify the optimum pipe material. This always depends on specific requirements.
Table 4-2 Comparison of compressed air pipes Full symbol = very good Half symbol = adequate Quarter symbol = with limitations

Material Pressure range over 12 bar Corrosion, air quality Temperature up to 20 C Temperature up to 50 C Flow characteristics Installation effort Mass per unit length Maintenance effort Diameter over 100 mm Range of shaped pieces

Steel

Copper

Stainless steel

Plastic

There are aluminum pipes that are specially designed for compressed air applications. They are corrosion-resistant and because of their low weight easy to lay. But they cannot be bent or welded. Also, the influence of temperature has to be taken into account. The high coefficient of expansion is particularly noticeable for long straight stretches of pipe. If these changes in length L are not accommodated by changes in direction of the pipe, then provision has to be made for expansion, for example by expansion bends. Figure 4-9 shows some examples. Expansion compensation has to be provided for aluminum profile pipes on machine frames from a length of 6 metres upwards. The change in length L for aluminum pipes is given by: Pipe diameter 25 mm: Pipe diameter 40 mm: L = (0.2 L) + (0.024 L T) L = (0.4 L) + (0.024 L T)

T Temperature change between installation temperature and operating temperature in C L Change in length in mm L Pipe length on installation in m

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4 Compressed air distribution

Figure 4-9 Examples for expansion compensation a) Expansion bend b) Compensation by angled connection c) Compensation using expansion joint 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pipe Hose Elbow piece Suspension hook Aluminum profile pipe Seal Expansion joint Compressed air duct

4 2

1 1 3 1 L

a)

b)

L 7

c)

The coefficient of longitudinal expansion for 1 m of pipe at 1 C temperature change is: Steel 0.0012 to 0.0014 mm Copper 0.0019 mm Aluminum 0.024 mm Plastic 0.08 to 0.2 mm (polyamide: 0.2 mm) Another type of compressed air supply in close proximity to the machine is the use of individual chambers of the aluminum profiles mentioned above. Increasingly, such profiles are being used in various cross-sections for frame structures. Their separate chambers offer good possibilities for creating an integrated compressed air line. If several chambers are available, the compressed air can also be supplied, for example, at three different pressure levels. Figure 4-10 shows an example. The main connection is via the central chamber (I). The lateral chambers (II and III) are used via appropriate consumer connections. These are connected to the profile slots using slot bolts. This requires the chambers to be drilled. The ends of the profile sections are either sealed (in the case of branch lines) or connected to the next profile section.

4 Compressed air distribution

77

Figure 4-10 The use of system profiles for the distribution of compressed air (DEMAG) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Compressed air Single-screw connector System profile Central chamber Lower chamber Lateral chamber Slot bolt Mounting plate Upper chamber Seal

10

3 7 8

9 10

Figure 4-11 shows a 2-chamber aluminum profile in which the compressed air can be tapped from the top and the bottom via a barbed fitting. Air is transported at two different pressure levels in the two chambers.
Figure 4-11 Pipe connection via barbed fitting in a multi-chamber profile pipe

2.5 bar

6.3 bar

If the location of the compressed air consuming device is subject to change, the last part of a connecting line can be tubing. The aluminum profile is both a compressed air distribution system and a support system for machines and assemblies. If the profile needs to be extended, an extension kit is used. 78
4 Compressed air distribution

In order to ensure that the joint is tight, a flange seal is used (Figure 4.12). The pressure chamber of the profile is normally supplied from a service unit via a connection piece mounted on the end of the profile. The installation example in Figure 4-12 shows a pressure switch that can be set to the desired pressure limit of between 0.5 and 10 bar. If the pressure falls below this level, an alarm signal is generated.
Figure 4-12 Connection of compressed air fittings to a compressed air profile made of aluminum (Mannesmann/Dematic) 1 Kit for extension of profile including flange seal 2 Consumer connection G 1/2 3 Consumer connection G 1/4 4 Pipe coupling 5 Aluminum system profile 6 Pressure switch coupling G 1/2

5 1 3 4

2 6

Sometimes, for example with handling machines, it is necessary to transport compressed air between machine parts that move in opposite directions along the same axis. This can be achieved with telescopic pipes and expansion joints.
Figure 4-13 Transport of compressed air via moving pipes

p 4 2 6 3 1 p

a) Expansion joint b) Telescopic pipe 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Expansion joint Supply pipe Seal Connection Connector Flange Locking nut

a) 1

5 7 3

p Compressed air

b)

4 Compressed air distribution

79

In the case of telescopic pipes, like telescopic cylinders a small pipe is inserted into a pipe of larger diameter. Sealing is achieved by groove or O rings. Packing glands with a soft fill are also possible. Telescopic pipes are subject to pressure along their axes, that is, they attempt to extend like working cylinders. Expansion joints do not have this disadvantage. They are pressure-relieved in the axial direction. The connection consist of a fixed supply pipe and a sliding valve over the top of this. The longitudinal extension of the extending part is about half the length of the supply pipe. Compressed air pipes, fittings and shaped parts made of plastic are made using impact-resistant materials that are not subject to brittle fracture. They are specially designed for use in compressed air applications. The pipes do not corrode inside or out and are therefore easy to maintain and have a positive effect on air quality. They are also up to 80% lighter than metal pipes. During laying, however, the clear spans are shorter than for metal pipes (Figure 4-14). The use of plastic pipes requires careful examination of suitability, as various combinations of materials naturally also result in different properties. In particular, the pressure capacity (maximum pressure) at different temperatures must be taken into account, as well as flammability, electrostatic charging, the influence of UV radiation, suitability for welding or gluing, longitudinal expansion (normally in the range of 0.1 to 0.2 mm per C/per metre pipe) and the danger of fracture or embrittlement.
Figure 4-14 Maximum clear span for the laying of pipes 1 Steel pipe, normal wall thickness 2 Plastic pipe (ABS at 20 C)

12 11 Span in metres 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300 Pipe outer diameter in metres 2 1

80

4 Compressed air distribution

Some materials for plastic pipes are described in greater detail in the following. ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) Pipes and shaped parts are connected by gluing. The bond is very strong stronger than the pipe or the fittings. The surface needs to be prepared prior to gluing and bonds chemically with the bonded part. Threaded connections are also possible, whereby Teflon tape is used for sealing the threads. Diameter range 12 to 110 mm, operating pressure at 20 C up to 12.5 bar. PE (polyethylene) Pipes are generally connected using socket welding. Electrowelding fittings can be used for this purpose. In this case, the welding heat is provided by electrically heated coils that are applied to the surfaces to be welded. Diameter range 10 to 450 mm, operating pressure up to 10 bar. PA (polyamide) Pipes are connected by metal or plastic connectors and shaped parts. Diameter range 4 to 40 mm, operating pressure up to 100 bar, depending on type of material. How can pipes be connected together? Normally, screwed pipe joints are used a few examples are shown in Figure 4-15. These are suitable for seamless steep pipes and seamless precision steel pipes. Screwed pipe joints should not be subjected to strong tensile forces, as otherwise material fatigue can result. The three basic forms of screwed pipe joint are: Straight Angle Tee
Figure 4-15 Screwed pipe joints for steel pipes

2
a) b) c) d) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Cutting ring type Cutting ring butt type Spherical nipple type Locking ring type Cutting ring Locking nut Screw socket Sealing edge Spherical nipple Pipe Sealing disk Locking ring

1 a) 3 b) 3 7

1 2

c)

5 6

d)

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81

Function of a cutting-ring type pipe joint While the locking nut is being tightened, the pipe is pressed against the stop in the screw socket. Tightening of the locking nut also presses the sealing ring against the inner screw socket. At the same time, the cutting-edge of the sealing ring is forced into the pipe. The collar cut in this way holds the pipe in the screw socket and seals it. The seal is retained if the pipe joint is detached, as long as the locking nut is tightened sufficiently when refitting. The following faults can occur during installation: Insufficient tightening of locking nut Pipe does not abut against stop Sealing ring inserted wrong way round The cutting-ring type pipe joint is used where radial installation or removal of the pipe or equipment is required. Function of the spherical nipple joint A spherical nipple is an element that is welded onto the pipe (welded spherical nipple). Before welding, the pipe must be inserted into the locking nut. When the locking nut is tightened, the spherical surface is pushed against the taper bore of the screw socket. Theoretically, the sealing edge is a circular line. In practice, there is always a certain ellipse. The two parts have to be pressed against each other with great force in order to achieve a sufficiently tight joint. Flanged joint Figure 4-16 shows a flanged joint for steel pipes. The flanges are welded on. Flanges are categorized by nominal bore and nominal pressure. The flanges to be joined must have the same nominal bore and nominal pressure. Figure 4-17 shows a joint between a steel pipe and a plastic pipe with the aid of a loose flange.
Figure 4-16 Positive centering flanged joint for steel pipes in accordance with DIN 2448

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4 Compressed air distribution

Figure 4-17 Flanged joint between a metal pipe with a plastic pipe

1
1 2 3 4 5 Steel or copper pipe Loose flange with collar Seal Plastic pipe Welded flange

5 3

2 4

Welding and gluing Normally, steel pipes are welded. Up to 5 mm wall thickness, a butt weld with an I-seam is used. For greater wall thicknesses a V seam is preferred. The pipe ends have to be chamfered first. After-treatment of the weld is particularly important. Welding beads and slag have to be removed by knocking the pipe and blowing it through. Stainless steel pipes require an inert gas shield, while copper pipes are brazed or welded. Plastic pipes can be welded or glued, depending on the material. Figure 4-18 shows a few types. Normally, such joints require specialist training. Such training is not required if screw connections are used.
Figure 4-18 Permanent joints between plastic pipes a) Butt weld with shrink-on sleeve b) Butt weld with V seam c) Glued joint with push-in sleeve

a)

30

30

0.5 to 1 mm b)

c)

4 Compressed air distribution

83

Figure 4-19 shows several examples of screw joints between plastic pipes. The screw connectors in Figures 4-19b and c are designed so that they can be exchanged for cutting-ring elements for normal and butt joints for installation of metal pipes.
Figure 4-19 Pipe connectors for plastic pipes a) Screw-in connector with reinforcing ring b) Clamping ring connector with extended locking nut c) Collet connector d) Sealing lip connector for polyamide pipes

3 a)

2 b)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Steel or copper pipe Plastic pipe Locking nut Collet Clamping ring Reinforcing ring Sealing disk Upset lip

7 1

4 2

c)

d)

Collet connector This is designed for radial mounting. Longer locking nuts are designed to prevent vibration fractures at the connector outlet. The connector elements can be made of plastic. Figure 4-20 shows an example. There are many designs that can be used for control circuits. They are normally also suitable for high-pressure pneumatics.
Figure 4-20 Plastic connectors 1 2 3 4 T connector Tubing Screw-in connector Conical clamping nut

84

4 Compressed air distribution

Quick coupling There are also systems that allow compressed air to be tapped at any point in a pipe with the aid of a special coupling. As Figure 4-21 shows, a hole is drilled in the pipe (aluminum) and then deburred. The flange housing is then secured by clamps. The arrangement corresponds to the swan-neck principle, causing any condensate to remain in the pipe. Such connections are particularly advantageous when the compressed air network has to be established without knowing exactly where consuming devices are going to be located.
Figure 4-21 Quick coupling (Legris) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Clamping screw Clamping arm Compressed air pipe Compressed air outlet Swan neck Seal Flange housing

1 5 2 6 7 3

Outlets can be retro-fitted at any time. This type of coupling can be used for pressures up to 13 bar and at operating temperatures from 20 to +60 C.

4 Compressed air distribution

85

Figure 4-22 shows a coupling for aluminum and plastic pipes that secures the coupling simply by insertion, but also allows later dismantling. The end of the pipe has to be chamfered, and must be deburred. Tools are not required for the joint.
Figure 4-22 Push-in connectors for pipes a) Quick push-fit connector (Festo) b) Push-in connector (Schneider) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Thread seal O-ring, oil-resistant Holding lug Pipe Housing with screw-in thread Disconnecting ring Compact metal body Spacer Stainless steel holding claw Pipe stop Support sleeve Holding element made of POM with stainless steel holding teeth

1 3 10 4

a) 11 6 2 8

12 7 9 4

b)

10

Push-in connector systems with their accessories are normally more expensive than welded or glued joints, but they have significant benefits: Quick assembly: This often compensates for the more expensive parts No special training or experience required Parts can be re-used without loss System expansion and rearrangement are no problem Incorrect assembly is easy to rectify

4.4 Tubing and connections

While pipes are used for connecting permanently installed pneumatic devices, tubing has to be used as a flexible transport element for mobile devices. Tubing remains a more or less flexible element, in contrast to pipes, which retain their rigid form. The flexibility and length of tubing changes according to the material, load and temperature. Owing to the load imposed on them, their service life is shorter than for pipes. For this reason, tubing is only used when absolutely necessary. Because of its flexibility and compactness, tubing is however vital for connections between pneumatic valves and cylinders and a distributed

86

4 Compressed air distribution

compressed air supply. Tubing also has the advantage that it can be installed quickly. With modern plastics it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between tubing and piping.

4.4.1 Types and properties

There is a whole range of tube types. Helical (spiral) tubing is favorable for mobile components such as robot arms, slides and suspended compressed air screwdrivers. Metal-armoring which is pulled over the normal plastic tubing protects tubing from damage, for example from sparks during welding. Figure 4-23 shows various types of tubing. Figure 4-24 shows the structures of various types of tubing.

Figure 4-23 Types of tubing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Single tube Duo-tube Multi-tube Coaxial tubing (tube in tube ) Fabric-reinforced tubing Multi-tube Hybrid system (electrical, vacuum and compressed air combined) Extruded multi-tube Sheathed tube Helical (spiral) tubing Corrugated protective tubing Vacuum tubing with steel helix insert Metal-armored tubing

8 9 10 11 12 13

10

11

12

13

Helical (spiral) steel tubing is used as a protective sheath. It is formed by rolling a sheet-metal band in a helix. The bending radius is relatively large. The sheath can be earthed, ensuring that any electrostatic charge is discharged. Helical (spiral) plastic tubing has an intrinsic helix made of hard PVC (or spring steel wire) to ensure the stability of the circular cross-section. This tubing tends to attract an electrostatic charge. Some types have a stranded conductor around them. Helical (spiral) rubber tubing has a copper stranded conductor vulcanized into it in a helix, ensuring that electrostatic charges are better dissipated.

4 Compressed air distribution

87

Figure 4-24 Structure of tubing

1 2
a) Helical (spiral) steel tubing b) Helical (spiral) plastic tubing c) Helical (spiral) rubber tubing 1 Folded and helically wrapped sheet-metal band 2 Seal 3 Soft PVC tubing 4 Hard PVC helix 5 Inner rubber coating 6 Steel helix 7 Bonding layer 8 External fabric layer

a)

b)

c)

Various materials are used for plastic tubing. Their technical properties and suitability has been improved substantially in recent years. This makes the selection of the correct material for the application at hand even more critical. Table 4-3 shows the most important properties with a basic evaluation. These properties can largely be applied to plastic connectors and other components. There is also textile-armored tubing and non-armored rubber tubing (NBR, acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber). The following criteria can be used for the selection of tubing: Flexibility, minimum bending radius Mechanical strength, impact resistance, resistance to wear Resistance to aging, UV radiation and weathering Dielectrical/electrostatic properties Flammability, combustibility Internal pressure load capacity Temperature stability Chemical stability, resistance to mineral oil Inner and outer diameter tolerance Smoothness (internal walls) Permeability to gas Weldability and gluing Fatigue resistance (vibration and constant tension) Long-term restoration force (for helical tubing) Cross-sectional dimensional stability Suitability for chain-link trunking Approval for use in food and pharmaceutical industries Colour coding Hydrolysis and microbe resistance

88

4 Compressed air distribution

Table 4-3 Technical properties of plastic pressure tubing (Festo products and Festo nomenclature) a) For quick push-in connector such as QuickStar b) Use black version c) For nipple fittings CM Electrically conducting DUO Tube pair H Hydrolysis resistant N Externally calibrated to CETOP RP54P PA Polyamide PE Polyethylene PFA Perfluoroalkoxy copolymer PU Polyurethane PL Fabric-reinforced PVC S Helical (spiral) tubing VO Flame-retardant Full symbol = good, resistant Half symbol = conditional suitability Empty symbol = not suitable Dash = not applicable

Technical properties

PU

PE

PVC PFA

PUN- PUN PUN PUN PUPAN PAN PUN PU PL PLN PAN PP PPS PL DUO -L -VO DUO -H -VO -CM

PFAN

External diameter (CETOP RP 54) (a) Resistance to chemicals Resistance to microbes Resistance to UV radiation Resistance to hydrolysis Resistance to stress cracking Flame protection Approval for food use Antistatic, electrically conducting Halogen-free Data and specs for Festo types TV certified Free of paint wetting impairment substances Suitable for chain-link trunking Recommended for water contact (no drinking water) Wear resistance Kink resistance Resistance to cleaning agents and coolants Suitability for vacuum High thermal and mechanical strength Low weight Internally calibrated diameter (c) High flexibility in cold High pressure capacity

4 Compressed air distribution

89

The length of the tubing for hand-held pneumatic tools that use lubricated compressed air should not be greater than 3 to 5 metres (distance between tool and service unit with lubricator). This is not always achievable. A common error when using tubing is to use tubing of different diameters in a single line. This reduces the flow pressure. Often, tubing is too long. Also, helical tubing incurs a greater pressure loss than normal straight tubing. Figure 4-25 shows the pressure drop with increasing length using the example of a decreasing volumetric flow rate. The diagram is based on an output pressure of 7 bar effective and a pressure drop of 0.2 bar. The diagram also assumes PVC tubing with a sleeve and a connector on each end.
Figure 4-25 Reduction of volumetric flow rate in tubing

Volumetric flow rate in l/s

Tubing diameter in m

If Festo plug-in systems are used, there are no restrictions to the cross-sectional area, which has a positive effect on pressure loss.

4.4.2 Types of tubing connector

There are various possibilities for connecting tubing with each other or with installed valves and fittings either permanently or with a relatively quick release. Figure 2-46 shows an overview of the technical possibilities. There is a whole range of variations and combinations with functional elements for each of the connector types shown.

90

4 Compressed air distribution

Inner tubing diameter in mm

Figure 4-26 Small selection of possible tubing connectors 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tubing Release ring Nipple Locking nut Fine thread Seal Securing bolt Clamping shell with pressure rings

Push-in connector Self-securing after assembly, seals around external circumference of tubing

Push-in fitting Combination of screw-in thread and push-in connector for the tubing end Nipple connector Connection nipples accommodate tubing, sealing it around internal diameter of tubing, securing with tubing straps Threaded nipple fitting Combination of nipple and threaded fitting, seals at thread and on internal circumference of tubing Quick connector Tubing is pressed over cone and secured with locking nut, seal on internal circumference of tubing

Quick connector fitting Screw-in fitting with a cone seal that is inserted into tubing and secured by a conical clamping nut

Tubing retainer After placing over the tubing, the two halves are pressed against the tubing and secured with a bolt; suitable for electrically conducting tubing

The barbed fittings are a technically very simple solution. They are available as T, V and Y connectors or in combination with connectors and function elements. In particularly dynamic applications, tubing should be secured using tubing straps. Figure 4-27 shows several tubing connectors. The relatively thick-walled tubing used in the solution in Figure 4-27a is equipped with fabric reinforcement. The quick connector in Figure 4-27b is available in various materials and in many different combinations, for example as a branch T with three connectors or as a swivel elbow connector.

4 Compressed air distribution

91

Figure 4-27 Threaded tubing connectors a) Connector with internal sleeve b) Quick connector 1 Neck 2 Locking nut 3 Screwed internal sleeve with spherical nipple 4 Serrated external sleeve 5 Rubber tubing with fabric reinforcement 6 Sealing ring 7 Plastic tubing

a)

b)

Figure 4-28 shows the structure of a push-in connector or fitting connector. These are equally suitable for vacuum and compressed air. Steel claw elements secure the tubing without damaging its surface. Vibration and pressure surges are absorbed. The tubing is released by pressing in the releasing ring. This lifts the claws off the tubing. The push-and-clamp function is used in many types of fixtures.
Figure 4-28 Push-in connectors for tubing a) Principle of a push-in connector (Festo, QS, QS-VO, CRQS, QS-CM) b) Quick push-in fitting (Festo, QS-F) 1 2 3 4 5 6 Plastic tubing Release ring Impact-resistant housing Stainless steel claw Elastic sealing sleeve Stainless steel clamping jaws 7 Brass housing 8 O-ring seal

3 1

5 1

2 a) b)

Figure 4-29 gives an overview of the broad range of commercially available components for compressed air distribution. It also shows the components in various sizes and materials. The table on page 94 shows an overview of the variation of materials dependent on the important application requirements, based on the example of types in use at Festo.

92

4 Compressed air distribution

Figure 4-29 Push-in fittings and connectors

4 Compressed air distribution

93

Components of the push-in connector Release ring

Mini and standard version Polycarbonate

Metal version

Flameretardant version

Corrosion- Anti-static and acid- version resistant Stainless steel POM

NickelPBT plated brass, (flame chromeretardant) plated Viton NBR

Elastic sealing sleeve Housing type

NBR Steel, PBT, nickelplated brass, anodized aluminum Brass/ stainless steel Nickelplated brass, Teflonsealant PAN, PUN PUN-H PLN

Viton Stainless steel

NBR PBT electrically conducting

NickelPBT plated brass, (flame chrome retardant) plated Brass/ stainless steel Nickelplated brass, chrome plated PAN, PFAN, PUN, PUN-H, PLN Brass/ stainless steel

Tubingclamp mechanism Threaded piece

Stainless steel

Brass/ stainless steel Nickelplated brass, Teflonsealant PUN-CM

NickelStainless plated brass, steel Teflonsealant PAN-VO PUN-VO PFAN PFAN PUN-H PLN

Overall toleranced standard tubing

If compressed air is required at points that are mobile, for example on machine slides or manually controlled manipulators, the tubing length must be variable. This is achieved by using a drum, suspended tubing or chain-link trunking as shown in Figure 4-30. In the case of mobile suspended tubing, an unusable section results where the carriers all bunch together. The suspended tubing loops can also be problematic as they snag on equipment, protective barriers etc. Chain-link trunking in which all required cables and tubing are embedded are primarily used in machine building. They also allow movement in multiple axes. The compressed air tubing must be suitable for chain-link trunking, that is, they must have a high reverse bending strength (resistance to fatigue). In the area of hoists, there are solutions that dispense with the whole mess of tubing by having a miniature compressor mounted on the gantry. This requires electrical energy, normally supplied via collectors connecting with busbars in the gantry beam.

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Figure 4-30 Compressed air supply to traversing equipment a) Drum b) Mobile suspended tubing c) Chain-link trunking

a)

b)

c)

4.4.3 Quick-coupling connectors


Figure 4-31 Quick-coupling connectors 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Sealing ring Coupling plug Coupling socket Armored rubber tubing Coupling plate Push-in connector Screw-in thread Tubing nipple

Quick-coupling connectors are used at places within a pneumatic network where equipment has to be connected or disconnected as required. Figure 4-31 shows the most important types of coupling.

Quick-coupling connector Simple connection when coupling, connector socket is self-sealing on disconnection Safety coupling 7 Tubing coupling with or without pressure indicator and venting function via a release collar; self-sealing; ensures hazard-free disconnection Claw coupling 1 4 Coupling and release by means of mutually engaging claws; often used for hand-held pneumatic tools; with tubing sleeve or other connections Multicoupling Coupling of control lines using a plate design or round plug design; secured with screws, hooks or screw rings; tubing connection by sleeve or push-in connection

2 3

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95

Quick-coupling connectors are designed so that when disconnected compressed air is prevented from escaping by a shut-off valve. When coupled, air can flow in either direction. Figure 4-32 shows the internal structure of such a coupling. The plug and socket are locked by means of a ball retainer. The ball retainer can be disengaged by pulling back the release collar. When connecting, the sealing insert is pressed inwards, opening the channel for flow.
Figure 4-32 Quick-coupling connector with ball retainer 1 2 3 4 5 Tubing sleeve Retainer ball Release collar Sealing insert Screw-in thread

2 1

Quick-coupling connectors can prevent the escape of air on both sides when disconnected (single and double seal). When changing pneumatically operated tools, the quick-coupling connectors self-sealing property make it unnecessary to have and operate a shut-off valve. Other types of coupling are shown in Figure 4-33.
Figure 4-33 Quick-coupling connectors a) Plug-in quick-coupling connector with pin lock b) Quick-coupling connector with a double-line seal and screw connection c) Quick-coupling connector with a single-line seal and locking nut 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Coupling plug Coupling socket Seal Sealing piston Locking pin Locking nut Sealing element

3 4

6 1

a)

5 7

b)

c)

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4 Compressed air distribution

Not all designs are favorable to flow. This is not, however, the case for the quick-coupling connector shown in Figure 4-34. Coupling can be undertaken with one hand and with little force. When coupling, one is not pressing against the pressure of the compressed air. The coupling plug is inserted into the seal seat a spherical hole and rotated. To decouple, the plug is tilted 75 and withdrawn without resistance. When rotating the plug, the spherical surface forms a seal, blocking off airflow.
Figure 4-34 Easy flow tubing coupling (Atlas Copco) a) Coupling sequence b) Decoupling sequence 1 Coupling socket 2 Coupling plug 3 Airflow channel

2 75

a)

b)

Safety couplings are differentiated from simple self-sealing tubing connectors in that they offer enhanced safety during coupling. When decoupling, a release collar is pulled back, exhausting the system air. When the release collar is pulled back a second time, decoupling can be done without any danger. An operating pressure greater than 1 bar is shown by an optical indicator. Claw couplings are often used for pneumatic tools. Because the couplings are always open, care is needed with decoupling. The ball valve must always be closed first. The tool must then be switched on to vent the tubing. Only then can the coupling be opened. Opening of the ball valve after coupling should be done slowly (over 5 seconds) and carefully. Multi-couplings consist of multiplugs and multisockets. They are usually used as control cabinet fittings and allow the coupling of many control lines with plastic tubing with nominal diameters ranging from 2 to 6. When arranged in a circle, the coupling is also termed a multipin coupling. The multicoupling is keyed in the same way as electrical connectors to prevent incorrect insertion.

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97

4.4.4 Safety shut-off valve

Tubing under pressure can suddenly detach or be severed. In this case, compressed air escapes unhindered, with the end of the tubing flailing around wildly. This whiplash can result in damage and injury. If such events are expected in a harsh shopfloor environment, a safety shutoff valve can be fitted. This is a flow valve that closes with a spring-loaded sealing piston if there is a sudden change in pressure and flow rate between the consuming device and the safety shutoff valve (Figure 4-35). Such devices are recommended above all when using claw couplings, as the whiplash risk is particularly high when disconnecting such couplings.

Figure 4-35 Safety shut-off valve (Atlas Copco)

There are also similar flow valves for vacuum lines. They prevent the loss of vacuum if a suction port is left open in an uncontrolled manner. Safety shut-off valves should be selected with a 50% higher flow rate, as otherwise the normal air supply flow could be interrupted.

4.4.5 Damage to tubing

Compressed air tubing must be carefully selected according to requirements. If the application conditions are not properly taken into account, early failure may result. The following types of damage occur in practice: Mechanical overload Tubing must be connected in such a way as to avoid sharp bends (kinks) at connectors. Kinking leads to failure. Figure 4-36 shows several examples of correct and incorrect installation. Some tubing has a (wire) helix which acts as kink protection while retaining flexibility. Examples 1 to 5 show connections which are always affected via a vertical motion. This applies analogously to example 6. A negative bend as shown in Example 13 should be avoided. Examples 6, 14 and 15 show how to avoid drooping of tubing. Tubing should never be laid taut, as the length can change by up to 5% as the result of changes in temperature, humidity etc.

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Figure 4-36 Correct and incorrect connection of tubing

incorrect

correct

incorrect

correct

9 2

10

3 4 11

12 13

5 6 14 15

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99

The following should be taken into account when using a chain-link trunking: Adhere to minimum bending radii Do not exceed maximum capacity of trunking Ensure strain relief of tubing connection Mechanical overload can result in cracks and these are encouraged by reversed bending and constant pressure change. The cause is over extension of the outer fibre area of the tubing. If cleaning agents or disinfectants also seep through, this results in additional internal stress cracks. These are purely physical processes. There can also be chemical reactions. Decomposition of molecular chains The tubing polymers can be broken down by chemical reactions via a medium in the environment (alkalis or acids) or by high-energy radiation (UV, gamma). The tubing hardens, forms fine cracks and looses its elasticity. Finally, the tubing bursts under pressure. In many polymer materials, breakdown of molecular chains can result simply from hydrolysis (reaction with water). Breakdown can be highly localized and is dependent on the duration of exposure. Microbe attack can also cause destructive processes. These are normally triggered by products (enzymes) of the metabolic processes of fungi. Inappropriate tubing material Many cases of damage result from the selection of inappropriate tubing material. For applications in the vicinity of welding equipment, for example, the expected sparks mean that a flame-retardant or flame resistant tubing material has to be selected (PUN VO or PAN VO), thus ensuring flame protection in accordance with UL 94 VO (UL 94V-0, 94V-1, 94V-2, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. USA, combustibility test). If this is not sufficient, an additional protective metal sheath must be provided.

4.5 Reservoir

Equipment driven by compressed air needs a smooth supply for correct operation. For this reason, reservoirs are installed immediately downstream of compressors or in areas with high demand for compressed air. Reservoirs fulfill the following functions: Compensation for fluctuations in air supply Compensation for variable consumption and of short-term consumption peaks Emergency supply in the event of power failure Energy saving through fewer starts of compressors and boosters

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4.5.1 Design and application of reservoirs

In the simplest case, the cavities within aluminium profiles can be used as small reservoirs. In vacuum hoists, the load rail which is made of profile pipes is used as a vacuum reservoir. In this case, the guide and storage media become one. Reservoirs cause cooling of the compressed air, so a condensate drain must be provided. Figure 4-37 shows an example. The reservoir must meet certain specifications with regard to weld seams, deformation, sensitivity to aging, and corrosion protection. Standard capacities are 0.1, 0.4, 0.5, 2.5, 10 and 20 litres. The reservoirs in compressor stations, of course, are normally substantially bigger, for example 4000 litres. Many users, however, only require 20 litres. As a guideline, the reservoir should be able to store approx. 1/8 to 1/10 of the volumetric flow rate in m3/min. This applies for a piston compressor with a normal working pressure of 10 bar without automatic start/stop control. If starting and stopping of the compressor is automatically controlled, the reservoir must be larger in order to prevent very short cycles.

Figure 4-37 Reservoirs (Festo)

If an extruded aluminum profile (Figure 4-38) is used as a compressed air guide, this also has an internal volume that can also be used as a reservoir.
Figure 4-38 Aluminum profile used for transportation and storage of compressed air (Air Concept)

D A d Internal volume B mm mm mm mm l/m 25 d 32 50 63 80 A 28 36 60 68 85 49 50 60 74 85 18 20 20 30 42 0.5 0.8 2.0 3.1 5.0

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Application example A conveyor belt which for technical reasons tends to move jerkily has to be kept constantly taut. This is done using a pneumatic cylinder. An attempt was made to use a quick-exhaust valve, as it should allow for a sudden increase in piston speed. But this resulted in constant pressure fluctuations dependent on the degree to which the quick-exhaust valve was open. For this reason, a reservoir was used with much greater success (Figure 4-39). The pressure surges could then be cushioned much more effectively.
Figure 4-39 Compensation of pressure surges in a conveyor belt system 1 2 3 4 5 Conveyor belt Tensioning roller Reservoir Pneumatic cylinder Pressure regulating valve

2 1

4.5.2 Sizing of reservoirs

The size of a reservoir depends on the design and output of the compressor (for example, a pressure booster), the operating pressure, pressure fluctuations caused by the consuming devive, and the closed-loop control system. A control system is required if the compressor or pressure booster is only to operate from time to time. Large fluctuations in consumption occur particularly when a compressed air network supplies only a few devices, with these having a high level of consumption. When there are many devices, demand tends to even out, resulting in a relatively smooth overall consumption.

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Reservoir design for irregular consumption Consumption is characterized by irregular or regularly changing demand peaks and troughs (or zero demand). The reservoir volume is calculated by VRes = tConsumpt ) (VConsumpt V eff p Duration of peak consumption in minutes Permissible pressure drop in reservoir in bar Peak demand in m3/in (as at intake) Effective delivery in m3/min (to ISO 1217)

tConsumpt p VConsumpt V eff

It must also be examined whether the consumption breaks are long enough to refill the reservoir to the initial level. The time for refilling is calculated by tfill = VRes.vol. p eff V

Example: A reservoir is to be installed in the high-pressure circuit of a pressure booster. What volume must the reservoir have if a consuming device using 850 l/min is switched on for 30 seconds? The permissible pressure drop p is eff = 600 l/min (=0.6 m3/min) . 1 bar and the effective delivery rate is V 0.5 (0.850 0.6) = 0.125 m3 = 125 l 1

VRes.vol. =

Refilling is completed in: tfill = 0.125 = 0.2 min = 12 s 0.6

Theoretically, then, the consuming device could be switched on every 12 s. Sizing the reservoir based on switching frequency If the compressor is not in constant operation but only switched on when the pressure in the reservoir falls below a certain level, the number of times the drive motor is switched on and off must be taken into account. For reasons of wear, the number of times the motor is switched on should be limited, depending on motor size, to 6 to 10 times per hour. For compressors operating intermittently, the required reservoir volume VRes in m3 is calculated by: VRes.vol. = p1 Zs p

eff p1 15 V Zs p
Ambient temperature in bar Switching frequency per hr Switching differential pressure in bar

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103

The higher the number of switching cycles permitted per unit time, the smaller the required reservoir volume.

4.5.3 Safety guidelines

Like other pressure vessels, reservoirs are subject to the applicable safety regulations. Most reservoirs in the Festo range belong to the category Simple pressure vessels in accordance to the standard. They are approved for compressed air and oxygen. Containers where the product of pressure in bar x litres capacity is greater than 50 have to meet special requirements with regard to weldability, capacity for distortion and sensitivity to aging. Example: A 20-litre reservoir is operated in conjunction with a pressure booster that generates a maximum working pressure of 16 bar. This results in 20 litres x 16 bar = 320. As a result, the reservoir is subject to EG design approval. Festo reservoirs are standard-compliant (EG standard 286.2) and tested (EG Directive 87/404). They can be used without further testing. Reservoirs made of stainless steel (X5CrNi 1810) are supplied with a Manufacturers Declaration and a TV report. The compressed air circuit should include a safety valve to ensure, in the example, that the pressure cannot rise above 16 bar under any circumstances. For reservoirs where the product of capacity in litres x pressure in bar exceeds 3000, more stringent regulations apply. This applies, for example, to SCUBA diving bottles. Also, a rating plate must indicated the permissible conditions of use and the required inspection intervals.

4.6 Threads

In pneumatics, threads are primarily used as the sealing method for inlets and outlets. A thread is defined by its profile, the pitch, number of threads, and thread direction. The following threads are used: Designation Metric ISO course-pitch thread Metric ISO fine-pitch thread Whitworth pipe thread (G) Whitworth pipe thread (R) NPT thread Steel conduit pitch thread Abbreviation M M G R NPT PG Example M 10 M 16 x 1.5 G 1/8 R 1/8 NPT 1/2 PG 21 Standard DIN 13; ISO 1502 DIN 13 DIN ISO 228 DIN 2999 US standard EN 50626 (DIN 40431)

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Metric ISO course-pitch thread is used for all types of securing screws and nuts. It is known as a standard thread (in German) because it is for general use. The thread angle is 60. There is also a draft standard (09/001) ISO/FDIS 16030 for screw holes and screwed plugs in pneumatics. Metric ISO fine-pitch thread is used as a securing and sealing thread. The pitch is less than for the course-pitch thread, so there are more threads per unit length. Whitworth pipe thread (G) has a thread angle of 55 and is used for joints that are not sealed in the thread. The thread is parallel. The designation is based on the nominal bore (inner diameter) of the pipe on which the thread is applied externally. Whitworth pipe thread (R) is a tabered sealing pipe thread with a taber of 1:16. It is used for screwed pipe joints and fittings. The diameters can be converted using the following table:
Thread size in inches, outer diameter Nominal diameter in mm to DIN 2440 Thread outer diameter in mm Usable thread length in mm R 1/8 R 1/4 R 3/8 R 1/2 R 3/4 R 1 R 1 1/4 R 1 1/2 R 2

6 9.7 6.5

8 13.2 9.7

10 16.7 10.1

15 21.0 13.2

20 26.4 14.5

25

32

30 47.8 19.1

50 59.6 23.4

33.3 41.9 16.8 19.1

NPT thread (National Pipe Thread) is a national (US) tabered pipe thread used in machine building and automotive engineering. Steel conduit thread is used for thin-walled pipes used as conduits, particularly for electrical installations. Threads can be sealed by the following measures: Sealing with sealing ring or Teflon tape Application of sealing adhesive or special sealants Teflon-coated thread (Figure 4-40)

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105

As Figure 4-40 shows, only part (a) of the thread is coated. This prevents excess sealant from being pressed out and contaminating the inside of the pipe. For this reason, the specified torques must be adhered to. If the thread does not seal after frequent use (more than 5 times), Teflon sealing tape should be used.
Figure 4-40 Tabered thread with Teflon coating a) Coated area b) Uncoated area c) Coating thickness

Figure 4-41 shows other methods for sealing a thread. These include synthetic or metal seals which require appropriate thread countersinking, surfaces or sealing grooves in the fitting into which they are inserted.
Figure 4-41 Various thread sealing techniques a) Use of sealing tape b) O-ring seal in sealing groove c) Sealing in a 45 countersink d) Sealing with a flat sealing ring 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 External thread Internal thread Teflon sealing tape O-ring 45 metal sealing ring Flat sealing ring Tabered external R thread Parallel internal G thread

c 4 2

5 2

6 8

1 a) b)

1 c)

1 d)

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4 Compressed air distribution

5. Compressed air losses

Compressed air systems should be as tight as possible, as compressed air exhausted needlessly into the environment is a waste of energy. Also, this wasted air has to be produced and treated, which can lead to unnecessary oversizing of compressors and other components. Technically airtight is defined as a leakage rate of 10-10 mbar litre/s. This is not required in practice, however. Leakage rates of between 10-2 and 10-5 mbar litre/s are adequate. A pressure loss of 0.6 bar is an acceptable value for a system with an operating pressure of 7 bar at the point of consumption.

5.1 Leakage and pressure drop

Leakage is defined as the loss of compressed air caused by a leak. Air escapes at high velocity. The energy loss over a year can reach substantial proportions, as shown in the table. Heavy leakage makes compressed air a very expensive choice of medium. Also, small leaks often quickly grow into larger ones. Leakage hole diameter in mm 1 3 5 Air loss at 6 bar in l/s 1.3 11.1 31.0 Energy loss in kW 0.3 3.1 8.3

As in contrast to electrical or oil leakage compressed air leaks are harmless to the environment, their elimination is often not taken seriously. Leakage can be measured by observing the discharge of the reservoir. For example, one can measure the time taken for the pressure to drop 1 bar. During this time, no consuming devices may be switched on and no air may be supplied to the reservoir. The leakage quantity is calculated as follows: VB (pA pE) t

VL = VL VB pA pE t

Leakage quantity in l/min Reservoir capacity in l Initial pressure in reservoir in bar Final pressure in reservoir in bar Time in min

Example: A drop in pressure of pA from 9 bar to pE 7 bar is measured for a reservoir with a capacity of VB = 500 l over a period of t = 30 minutes. What is the leakage rate of the system? 500 (9 7) = 33.3 l/min 30

VL =

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107

Another possibility is to measure how much compressed air the compressor has to pump into the system in order to maintain the normal working pressure. Here, too, the compressed air consuming devices are connected but not switched on. Once the working pressure has been reached, the compressor switches off or to idle. Leakage now occurs. After a certain time t2 the compressor switches back on as the result of the pressure drop. The time for refilling the system t1 is measured with a stopwatch. The percentage leakage loss, based on the output of the compressor, is calculated as follows: LV = t1 100 in percent t2 + t1

LV Leakage loss in percent t1 Refilling time t2 Compressor off time Leakage rates exceeding 10% of the compressor volume are no longer acceptable and should be treated as an alarm signal. Example: The refilling time t1 is 1 minute. After 10 minutes, the compressor switches back on. The leakage rate is 1 100 = 9.1% 10 + 1

LV =

Leakage rates can be established more accurately if several compressor refilling cycles are taken into account (Figure 5-1). The leakage is then calculated by: VK ti VL = VK ti n T
i=1 n

Volumetric flow rate of compressor in m3/min Refill duration of the ith refilling cycle in min Number of refilling cycles Total measurement time

Example: The volumetric flow rate VK of the compressor is 3 m3/min and n = 5 cycles are measured over a total period of T = 10 min. The sum of all refill times is measured as 2 minutes. This results in the following leakage rate: 32 = 0.6 m3/min 10

VL =

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5 Compressed air losses

This represents 20% of the volumetric flow rate of the compressor. The compressor has to work despite the fact that consuming devices are switched off. That is a warning signal as Leakage is needless consumption!
Figure 5-1 Compressor switching cycle for measurement of leakage (pressure holding method) 1 Refilling process 2 Discharging through leakage

1 Pressure in bar

8 7 6 5 t1 4 Monitoring time in min t2 t3 t4 t5

A flow rate measurement can also be used to measure the mass flow wasted due to leakage. Classical measurement methods such as an orifice (differential pressure method) are unsuitable, as energy losses are treated as secondary effect. Thermal flow rate meters such as a hot-film anemometer are better suited for this type of measurement. Figure 5-2 shows this type of sensor. Platinum resistance foils are installed in the flow channel. The resistor (4) is heated, passing some of its heat to the air flow. The regulator (5) ensures that the temperature of the foil remains constant nonetheless. As a result, the heating current is increased if the flow velocity increases. The resistor (2) returns a reference value for the air temperature, allowing exact readjustment of the temperature difference.
Figure 5-2 Principle of the hot-film anemometer

3
1 Flow channel 2 Thin-film resistor for fluid temperature 3 Electrical heating current 4 Thin-film resistor, heated 5 Regulator 6 Air flow

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109

The process delivers the value of the mass flow in kg/h or the equivalent standard volumetric flow in N m3/h. This type of flow rate measurement is also ideal for measuring the consumption of particular pneumatic devices or for assigning compressed air costs to various areas of production. Even small flow rates are measured precisely. The previously presented methods for leakage measurement were based on all consuming devices being switched off. Leakage during production can be measured using the method of least pressure drop. Figure 5-3 shows a schematic of the measurement setup.
Figure 5-3 Measuring setup for determining pressure in relation to time in a compressed air network (ITS Nord KG, Gasex)

Reservoir Pressure sensor Distribution system Signal conversion data logger

Pressure

Compressor Time Data evaluation

The method uses high sensing rates for measurement of the pressure. The relationship between pressure differential and time is calculated from this and the time. If the compressor is not currently operating, the smallest value of various pressure levels is measured while there is no useful load. The evaluation shows the values for the useful part and the leakage part of the compressed air supply. The evaluation of many hundred thousand measured values cannot, however, be carried out manually and requires appropriate software.

5.2 Locating and controlling leaks

Leaks have to be located before they can be eliminated. A standard method for locating leaks is painting suspect areas with soap solution. If bubbles form, the leak is located. There are also measuring instruments for this purpose The causes of leaks are shown in the pie chart in Figure 5-4.

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5 Compressed air losses

Figure 5-4 Distribution of causes of leaks

Pneumatic tools 10% Directional control valves 12%

Pipes 8%

Actuators 1%

Equipment in network 18%

Other 25%

Fittings 26

Localization using ultrasonics Air escapes from leaks at very high velocity, emitting an inaudible ultrasound. Sensors can detect this ultrasound and convert it into audible sound. An operator can then detect the leak by wearing a headset. This method uses peoples natural senses. The information can also be displayed digitally. Defective flange connections, leaky pipe joints, worn valves and corroded pipes can be found immediately using this method.

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111

6 Tips and checks for savings

Compressed air is a form of energy that must be used as rationally as possible. Often, systems have modern compressors but an old and poorly maintained compressed air network. Frequently, up to 50% of the electrical energy used is wasted. For this reason, compressed air systems represent an attractive source of savings. The aim is to locate leaks, seal them, and minimize pressure loss in the network. The following pressure losses can be expected on the way to consuming devices: Main line 0.03 bar Distributor line 0.03 bar Connecting line 0.04 bar Dryer 0.30 bar Compressed air filter 0.40 bar Service unit and tubing 0.60 bar Total pressure drop 1.40 bar Compressed air networks should be regularly inspected to detect faults, corrosion, loose fittings and leaks. The following schedules are recommended: Daily: Drain condensate from filter or use automatic condensate drain. Check lubricator and refill in necessary. Weekly: Check tubing for porosity. Remove metal cuttings. Check for kinks. Check gauge of pressure reduction valve (close regulator, then set to 6.3 bar). Check lubricator function. Monthly: Check all connections. Repair damage to pipes and tubing. Check float valve or automatic condensate drain. Tighten or reseal loose connections to cylinders. Clean filters. Rinse or replace filter cartridges. Check valves for leakage loss and check exhaust ports are clear. Quarterly: Check all connections and valves for leakage. Clean, purge or replace filter cartridges. Half-yearly: Check piston rod guides on cylinders for wear. Check components for leakage. Replace contaminated silencers. General savings hints and notes The network should be as short as possible and the diameter as small as possible. For supply lines to directional control valves, however, it should be noted that the pressure loss is lowest, the larger the pipe diameter. Installed pipes should come from the compressed air source and not from a branch line. Controllers should be distributed. Pneumatic circuits should be located close to consuming devices. Use cylinders with a low residual volume. Cylinders with pneumatic cushioning require a larger pressure chamber. Use an appropriate diameter and stroke for cylinders and do not enlarge these unnecessarily to be on the safe side. It is more economical to work at the lowest possible pressure. Pressure reduction results in the following approximate savings:

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6 Tips and checks for savings

Pressure in bar from 6 to 5 from 6 to 4 from 6 to 3

Saving in percent 17 33 50

Change the low-pressure value to use the lowest possible pressure. Use a systematic inspection plan to find leaks. Only use pneumatic logic if safety, simplicity and speed make this appropriate. Use single-acting rather than double-acting cylinders, as these only need compressed air in one stroke direction. Blow guns for cleaning, purging, etc. use a lot of air. Use a pressure of 2 bar instead of the usual 6 bar from the network to save 50% compressed air. Long-stroke cylinders with a stroke or more than 100 mm cannot be operated as single-acting cylinders with return spring. The pneumatic spring method can be used, however, that is with a permanent pressure of approx. 2 bar in front of the piston using an X regulator. Branch tees cause considerable pressure losses as a result of air turbulence. This has to be compensated by higher system pressure. A better solution is the use of manifolds/collectors with access lines. The manifold should have large outlets (Figure 6.1).
Figure 6-1 Energy-saving circuit for the avoidance of branch Tee pieces a) Conventional circuit b) Circuit with manifold/collector

a)

b)

6 Tips and checks for savings

113

Single-material sealing rings contract on screw joints after several weeks leading to audible leaks. For this reason, two-material sealing rings (elastomer-thermoplastic combination, Festo) should be used. These prevent such leakage. Valves should be located as close as possible to the consuming devices, as this avoids the unnecessary filling of lines to the working cylinder. Cylinder/valve combinations are particularly economical for this reason. They do, however, require the necessary free space and a suitable working environment (dust). If the full force of a double-acting cylinder is not required for the return stroke and the motion is not time-critical, a reduced pressure can be used (for example 3 bar instead of 6 bar). Excessive guidance of the piston rods of cylinders can lead to excessive wear of the piston rod seal. This leads to leaks that are also difficult to detect.

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6 Tips and checks for savings

Glossary

Absorption Process in which a material is taken up by another, for example, of air by water. Adsorption Process in which a material is taken up externally by another. Collection of a dissolved substance e.g. water vapor on the surface of a solid. The collection can be physical (van der Waals force) or chemical (bonds) Aerosol Gas such as air in which solid or liquid materials are finely distributed. Booster Another term for pressure amplifier. A device that converts the input pressure to an output pressure that is twice as high. Branch line A compressed air line that is goes straight to a defined point, in contrast to a ring circuit. Compressed air index Variable that indicates economy. Compressor manufacturers give this figure in Euro per 1000 m3 compressed air. Connecting line The line from the distribution line to a consuming device. Sometimes termed branch line. Tubing is often used for connecting lines. Data logger A device for automatic recording and management of large amounts of measured data. Delivery rate The effective quantity of compressed air (l/min, m3/min) that a compressor can deliver, stated as intake air. Dew point When air cools, the relative humidity increases. The temperature at which the relative humidity is 100% is called the dew point or more accurately the dew point temperature. If the temperature falls below this value, condensate forms. Diffusion Spontaneous mixing of the particles of two or more substances as the result of random thermal motion.

Glossary

115

Distributing line Also called a supply line. A line that transports air in a room such as a work shop to the consumer (machine, workplace). It normally takes the form of a ring circuit. Duty cycle Period for which a pneumatic consuming device is switched on. In automatic systems, for example, pneumatic cylinders are only active for a certain percentage of their operating cycle. Fine preparation Final preparation of compressed air directly upstream of the consuming device. Fitting Generally a means of connecting pipes, also a distributor element. Fittings Components of pneumatic systems including operating components and pressure gauges. Fluid Generic term for all gaseous, liquid and other flowing materials that are suitable for the transmission of energy or information. Fluid engineering covers the areas of pneumatics and hydraulics. Intake air Normal atmospheric air at ambient temperature and humidity. Kinetic pressure Also called back pressure. It is that part of the total pressure of a fluid that is dependent on the square of the velocity v. Kinetic pressure is exerted in the direction of flow. Leakage Loss of compressed air through leaks in the compressed air network or through worn sealing elements on pneumatic devices. Main pipe The pipe from the compressor to the distribution line. Also called main line. Usually, each workshop has a separate main pipe.

116

Glossary

Mass flow The designation for flow rate per unit time, for example in kg/s. Normal pressure pneumatics Area of industrial pneumatics operating in the range of approx. 3 to 10 bar for control and operating pressure. Partial pressure The pressure of a single gas component in a mixture of gases and/or vapours. The sum of all partial pressures equals the total pressure. Pneumatics The applied mechanics of gases, primarily air, when used as a means of transporting energy or information. Normal pressure Pressure based on atmospheric pressure at sea level (0m ASL) at 15 C. It has been defined as 1.01325 bar. Pressure dew point Designation for the dew point at operating pressure. Pressure drop Unwanted drop in pressure on the way from the compressor to a consuming device as the result of all types of resistance to flow (pipes, valves, fittings etc.) Reynolds number Dimensionless number used in the modeling of any system in which the effect of viscosity is important: density of the fluid times its velocity, times a characteristic length divided by the fluids viscosity. Ring circuit Compressed air line that forms a closed circuit. One or more branch lines can be installed. Saturation quantity The quantity of water that one cubic metre of air can absorb at a given temperature. Simultaneity factor A value gained by experience that indicates how many compressed air consuming devices in a network are likely to be switched on at the same time.

Glossary

117

Tubing Flexible normally plastic pipe for the transport of gases and fluids. Pressure tubing often has a reinforcing layer on the outside. Vacuum tubing often has an internal reinforcement to prevent collapse. van der Waals force A weak intermolecular attraction arising from the interaction of dipoles induced in neighbouring atoms or molecules. Volumetric flow The designation for the flow rate per unit time, for example in m3/h or l/s.

118

Glossary

Standards and guidelines

Air dryers, technical requirements, testing DIN ISO 7183 Air purity classes, contamination DIN ISO 8573-1 Approval for use in food industry FN 942010 Bending radii for seamless and welded pipes DIN 2916 Breathing equipment, breathing air, limit values DIN EN 12021 Circuit symbols DIN ISO 1219 Clean-room technology: Fundamentals, definitions, categories VDI 2083 Compressed air preparation, contamination, quality classes DIN ISO 8573-1 Compressed air, general use PNEUROP 6611 Compressors, acceptance and performance tests VDI 2045 Condensate drains DIN 3548 DIN EN 26554, 26704, 26948, 26841, 27842 DIN ISO 6553, ISO 6552, 6554, 6704, 6948, 7841, 7842 Copper pipes DIN 1754 Cutting-ring fitting DIN 2353, DIN 3859 Cylindrical quick coupling ISO 6150 Degrees of protection (IP) DIN 40050 Delivery rate, displacement compressor, acceptance tests ISO 1217 Designation of pipes DIN 2403 Diameters of pipes and tubing CETOP RP 37 P Dryer types, compressed air dryers, requirements, tests DIN ISO 7183 Establishing volumetric flow rates, displacement compressors, acceptance DIN 1945 External diameter for pipes in fluid engineering CETOP RP 76 P, CEPTO TP 54 P Flame protection UL 94 Flanges, connection dimensions DIN 2501 Shapes on sealing surfaces DIN 2526 Flanges, smooth, for soldering or welding, nominal pressure 10 DIN 2576 Welding neck flange, nominal pressure 10 DIN 2632 R-threads DIN 2999-1 and ISO 7-1 G-threads DIN ISO 2298-1 Threaded plugs, holes for screwed pipe connectors DIN 3852 Screw-in threads CETOP RP 6 P Assignment of threaded connection to pipe and tubing diameter CETOP RP 38 P Threaded pipe, galvanized, medium weight DIN 2240 Flow characteristic vales of compressed air devices CETOP RP 50 P, CETOP RP 84 P

Standards and guidelines

119

Metal clamp connectors for PE pipes DIN 8076 Oils (for compressed air lubrication) DIN 51524-HLP 32 Pipe joints and pipe parts for compressed air pipes made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) DIN 16963 Pipes, nominal bores DIN EN 764-1 Codes, pipe classes DIN 2406 Threaded pipe joints DIN 2353, Overview DIN 3850 Pipes made of hard PVC DIN 8061 to 8063 Pipes made of polyamide DIN 16982, DIN 73378 Pipes made of hard polyethylene DIN 8074 to 8075 Pipes made of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) DIN 16890, 16891 Symbols for pipe systems DIN 2429 Pneumatic fluid power: general rules relating to system ISO 4414 Polyamide pipes, characteristic values CETOP RP 54 P, DIN 16982 Pressure vessel directive EN 286 T1 and EG 87/404 Pressure, standard pressure values and terms in fluid engineering DIN 24312 Safety standard DIN EN 983 Steel pipes, medium-weight threaded pipes DIN 2440 Tolerances CETOP RP 54 P Tubing DIN 2825 Tubing fittings DIN 817 Viscosity of oils ISO 3448

Key CETOP DIN EN ISO PNEUROP UL VDI Comite Europeen des Transmisions Oleohydraulique et Pneumatiques Deutsche Industrienorm Europanorm International Organization for Standardization European Comitee of Manufacturers of Compressors, Vacuum Pumps and Pneumatic Tools Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (USA) Verein Deutscher Ingenieure

120

Standards and guidelines

Bronner, M.: Compressed Air Maintenance Service, Festo, Esslingen 2001 Literature Croser, P.; Ebel, F.: Pneumatik, Springer Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg 1989 Deppert, W.; Stoll, K.: Pneumatik-Anwendungen, Vogel Buchverlag, Wrzburg, 1990 Feldmann, K.-H.; Mohrig, W.; Stapel, A.G.: Druckluftverteilung in der Praxis, Resch Verlag, Grfelfing 1985 Hoffmann, E.; Stein, R.: Pneumatik in der Konstruktion, Vogel Buchverlag, Wrzburg, 1987 Mark, G.: Service und Wartung pneumatischer Anlagen, Festo, Esslingen 1987 Prede, G.; Scholz, D.: Elektropneumatik, Springer Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg 1998 Rothe, M.: Drucklufterzeugung und -aufbereitung, mi Verlag, Landsberg/Lech 1993 Ruppelt, E.; Bahr, M.; Taschenbuch Drucklufttechnik, Vulkan Verlag, Essen 2000 Vogel, G.; Mhlberger, E.: Faszination Pneumatik, Vogel Buchverlag, Wrzburg, 2001

Literature

121

A Index of technical terms

Absolute pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Absorption dryer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Active carbon filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Active carbon microfilter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Air contaminant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Air filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Air humidity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Air-to-air pressure booster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Aluminum pipe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Back pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Ball retainer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Ball-float condensate drain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Ball-type nipple joint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Barbed fitting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Bourdon tube pressure gauge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Branch line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Claw coupling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Clear span . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Coefficient of longitudinal expansion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Collet connector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Compressed air distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Compressed air hammer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Compressed air in industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Compressed air lubricator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Compressed air preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Compressed air profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Compressed air quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Condensate drain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41, 62 Condensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Condensation sensor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Connecting line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Cutting-ring type pipe joint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Cyclone filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Deep-bed filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Determining the pipe diameter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Dew point sensor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Dew point . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Diaphragm pressure gauge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Differential pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Distributor line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Drying agents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Duty cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Expansion bend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Expansion joint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

122

Index of technical terms

Filter types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Filters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Fine filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Flanged joint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Flow pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Flow resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Flow volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 General equation the state of gases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Helical (spiral) plastic tubing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Helical (spiral) rubber tubing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Helical (spiral) steel tubing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Hot-film anemometer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Hydrolysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Inertial filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Interconnected network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Leak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Leakage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 Main line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Membrane dryer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Methods of drying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Microfilter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37, 39 Microlubricator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Mollier diagram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Multi-coupling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Multipin coupling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Oil content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Overcompression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 PE transducer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Pitostatic tube . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Pneumatic system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Polyamide pipe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Polymer sensor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Pressure above atmospheric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Pressure amplifier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Pressure below atmospheric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Pressure booster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Pressure dew point . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Pressure gauge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Pressure regulator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

G H

Index of technical terms

123

Pressure switch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Pressurizing valve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Profile pipe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Push-in connector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 PVC tubing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Q Quick coupling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Quick-coupling connector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Refrigeration drying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Reservoir design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Reservoir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Reynolds number . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Ring circuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Safety coupling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Safety regulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Safety shutoff valve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 Safety start-up valve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Scavenging air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Screwed pipe joint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Sealing thread . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Service unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Simultaneity factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Sizing of lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Spring-tube manometer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Standard lubricator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Static pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Surface filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Swan neck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Switch signal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 System profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Telescopic pipe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Thread . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Tubing connectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Types of flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Types of tubing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Venturi principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Volumetric flow rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Waals force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Water content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

124

Index of technical terms