The Cost of Compressed Air Leaks — And a Proactive Approach to Address It

Leaks in compressed air systems are a significant source of energy waste. It takes a lot of time and resources to locate and repair them, especially if the facility has no effective leak management program. The solutions are often reactive. But what if we take a proactive approach to address these costly leaks?

The real cost of compressed air leaks

Air may be free, but the energy required to compress it is not. Compressors are one of the most power-hungry pieces of equipment in a plant, so even a small leak can equate to considerable loss of resources.

In a report, the Air and Mine Equipment Institute Australia calculated the annual cost of leaks. Left unfixed, a single 6.4-diameter leak can cost $3,404 while a 12.7-diameter leak can blow up the loss to $13,619. These numbers can be higher depending on the operation hours and the energy cost per KWH in your location. (these figures are at 1994 pricing  -25 years ago – my table is more up to date) (one hole 12.7 diameter is totally unrealistic, but multiple small holes could add up to this – better to explain this)

Of course, hardly any plant would operate with a 12.7mm hole in their pipework, but multiple small leaks throughout a reasonable size plant could quickly add up to create bleeding compressed air and energy bills.

Compressed air leaks also cause a pressure drop in the system. This decreases the efficiency of the tools that use the air which in turn translates to less production or lower quality of work.

With leaks, compressors tend to cycle more frequently as well. This may shorten the life of almost all equipment in the system, including the compressor unit itself. This leads to an increase in unscheduled downtime and additional repair and maintenance costs for the entire system.

As they cause costly energy waste during production, leaks should be addressed at the front end, either when installing a new compressed air system, rerouting an existing one or upgrading an entire system.

Designing leak solutions on the front end

Leaks can occur at any point along a compressed air line, but they mostly arise in joints and connections. These include pipe joints, valves and even air hose fittings. Before, threaded piping was the only option to join air systems. But this type of connection is slow and tends to leak during operations, especially if poorly installed. Poor thread cuts, uncleaned threads and improperly applied thread sealant can lead to leaks.

If you can assure flawless installation, then threaded piping is still an option to connect pipes. But in recent years, many engineers have begun to recommend press-to-connect or press-fit systems instead.

In press-fit systems, a pipe is cut to size, deburred and marked to specify insertion depth before it is inserted into a coupling, valve or fitting. The pipe will then be pressed using a handheld pressing tool to create a mechanical interlock that ensures a rigid, permanent joint that prevents leakage.

Press-fit systems offer additional benefits, including safe, flame-free installation. Since pipes are pressed onto joints, they also do a better job of standing up to the rigours of plant operations than threaded piping. The thinner wall piping increases flow rates and the smoother bore decreases pressure losses.

Solutions for compressed air leakage shouldn’t be reactive. If you have the chance to address the issue with intelligent design and reliable equipment during installation or rerouting phase, take it. With no or reduced leak issues, you can save energy and keep operational costs down all year round.

If you want to know more about press-fit connections and systems, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

filtersCompressed air systems are unrivalled for powering pneumatic tools, machinery and processes in various industries. But they’re only as good as the quality of the air within their system.

Moisture and particulates can reduce the efficiency of a compressed air system. Contaminants can even make the compressed air system unusable in certain applications. For instance, dirty air can affect food manufacturing or harm employees using it as a source of breathing air and wearing out bearings and seals of pneumatic tools and other equipment in an industrial setting.

This is where proper filters come in. The filters help extend the equipment’s lifespan, lower energy costs and protect employees from contaminants.

But how clean does your compressed air need to be?

Not all applications that use compressed air require the same level of filtration. Some can be supported by a standard dry particulate filter. Others require special types, such as activated carbon filters.

To ensure you get the right filter for your air compressor, (this is different to the topic-should be right filtration for your compressed air line) here are the main contaminants and the filtration types that are best used to eliminate them:


Particulates are small pieces of solid or dry material such as dust, dirt and other debris. Loose metal particles from pipe corrosion are considered particulates as well.

Depending on the application, a compressed air unit with unfiltered particulates can be damaging to the user and end product. It can cause delays in production and even result in costly repairs and quality control issues.

How to filter particulates?

You need dry particulate filters to eliminate solid particles with sizes down to 0.01 micron. Generally a 0.1 prefilter is best practice so that the delicate filter fabric for a 0.01 final filter is not compromised.  But the efficiency of filtration depends whether your filters can do the following processes with precision:

  1. Inertial impaction

This process traps particles that are too heavy to flow with the compressed air stream. It makes separating large particles from the smaller ones much easier.

  1. Interception

The next wall of defence of a good dry particulate filter is its ability to catch smaller particles with diameters larger than the filter media.

  1. Diffusion

Diffusion occurs when the smallest particles move erratically, instead of following the air stream. Since they become independent of the air stream, such particles become easier to intercept and remove from the system.

Vapours and Aerosols

Aerosols consist of small droplets often found within oil-injected compressors. If not filtered properly, aerosols can be harmful to users and products alike.

Vapours, on the other hand, consist of lubricants or any other liquid that is converted to gas. You’ll need special filters to eliminate such vapours from a compressed air system.

How to filter vapours and aerosols?

You have two options to remove aerosols and vapours: coalescing filters and activated carbon filters.

Coalescing filters

The coalescing process involves collecting small droplets of liquid to form large droplets. With a larger size, droplets fall from the coalescing filter into the unit’s moisture trap. Coalescing filters can trap aerosols and dry particulates, but they are not deemed effective in vapour removal.

Activated carbon filters

These filters stimulate the process of vapours bonding with the adsorbent or surface of the filter media, which is activated charcoal. Over time, the oil vapour covers the surface of the activated charcoal and require regular replacement.

Change the adsorbent regularly to remove vapours completely from the compressed air stream. It is recommended to install a dust filter on top of after the activated charcoal filter to ensure microscopic particles won’t enter the air stream if they break out from the bond.

Filtration is crucial to keeping a compressed air-powered production safe and efficient. However, not all air compressor filters are created for the same purpose; make sure to install the type that best suits your application.

If you need help deciding which filter to purchase, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to guide you.

The performance of compressed air powered equipment and tools is often restricted by inadequate air pressure and flow due to a poorly designed compressed air reticulation system

Poor equipment performance can also be caused by contamination affecting the equipment due to corrosion in the air system and inadequate filtration.

Here are some top tips for an efficient compressed air distribution system.

  • Ring main:

In most cases it is a real advantage to incorporate a ring main line. Ring main systems allow the air to flow in either direction to get to the point of demand by the path of least resistance. Typically you can multiply the capacity of a single line main by 1.5 if the same size pipe is designed as a ring main. For example, if a 50mm straight pipe is rated at 500cfm at 100psi, that same pipe in a ring main system would be rated at 750cfm at 100psi

  • Feeder pipe:

Feed the ring main from the compressor room with a feeder pipe at least one pipe size larger than the ring main itself. This is important because the ring main system has 1.5x the flow capacity of a straight length of pipe and a smaller sized feeder will create a flow restriction.

  • Quick couplings:

It is vital to select quick couplings that have a high flow rate wherever possible as cheaper models can restrict flow unnecessarily. Quick couplings should only be used where quick disconnection of air tools, spray guns or other handheld equipment is required. Any connection of stationary equipment should be hard piped or with a flexible hose after a ball valve.

  • Elbows:

The pipework should be designed avoid the use of elbows where possible as they can cause the equivalent pressure drop of resistance from1 to 3 metres of pipe, depending on the type and size of the fitting. Radius bends have much less flow restriction than elbows. Try to keep pipework as straight as possible and avoid the considerable added expense and loss of efficiency resulting from running pipes around columns and roof beams.

  • Future expansion:

If future expansion or additional demand is likely, it is much more cost effective to plan for it now compared with the disruption and additional expense of increasing pipe sizes at a later date. Even the simple addition of isolating valves at key points saves later disruption

  • Leakage:

Any leakage is unacceptable, but a totally leak free system is often very time consuming and expensive to achieve in an existing installation. Multiple invisible leaks can add up to hundreds of dollars wasted.  An overnight leak test should not, however, result in a pressure drop of more than 10%. In new installations leak free systems are typically much easier to achieve using HDPE, aluminium, or stainless-steel pipe compared with old traditional threaded galvanized iron systems. Of these alternatives, mechanically pressfit- jointed stainless-steel pipe systems provide very cost effective, durable and leak-free solutions

  • Condensate drainage:

Any low point in the system should have provision for condensate drainage. Low points can cause blockages or restrictions to airflow due to a buildup of contaminants at that point.

  • Drip leg drain drainage:

All outlet droppers that come off the bottom of the main line should have a drain valve at the bottom of the drip leg for easy removal of any condensation that may have precipitated in the pipework.

  • Isolation valves:

Install tees with isolation valves, at key points around the main piping system so that future expansions and modifications of the system can be more easily and cost-effectively installed.

  • Dropper pipes:

Best practice is to install a dryer in the compressor room to remove all moisture from the air. If however the dryer should fail or be inadvertently turned off, some strategically placed droppers with drip leg drains should in incorporated at points in the system where condensate and contaminants actually accumulate.

Most droppers do not need to come off the top of the main header pipe and the main header does not need to fall to a corner with a drip leg drain installed. This form of layout is only effective if the header pipe is significantly increased in size to reduce the air velocity and prevent the air from pushing the water along the pipe to where it is going.

Do you have questions? For more information and inquiries, contact (03) 9765 5600.

Nitrogen gas generatorNitrogen gas is one of the most abundant resources on Earth, making up nearly 80 per cent of the air around us. It’s used by many industries in various applications. For example, in the food packaging industry, they put a puff of nitrogen gas inside a bag of chips to prolong the products’ freshness and crispness. Pharmaceutical and food manufacturing companies use nitrogen to store medical-grade compounds and as an oxygen-free packaging alternative.

Due to nitrogen gas’ extensive range of uses, some factories require the gas on an industrial scale. Paying outside parties to bring nitrogen gas in bottles to the facility is often costly and inefficient.

Here are the top reasons why factories all over the world prefer having on-site nitrogen generators:

Reduces operating costs

It is much less expensive to create your own nitrogen than to rent tanks and buy the gas from outside sources. There is also the possibility of losing some of the product during the transportation process. With an on-site generator, your facility eliminates handling fees, transport costs and extra insurance charges.

Having an on-site nitrogen generator means greater flexibility for planning and budgeting on what is produced and needed at a given time. This results in savings that will build over time, cutting nitrogen costs and a return on investment in as little as half a year. In addition to saving on usage costs, nitrogen generators eliminate the need for rental fees on cylinders and re-supply orders.

Increases employee safety

The safety of the workers is a major concern for any business facility. This is especially true for workers who are dealing with hazardous products such as compressed nitrogen. Employees who are exposed to manual handling OH&S issues involved with constantly changing bottles plus the chemical during the transportation process may receive serious injuries, particularly if liquid nitrogen spills.

Employee injuries lead to increased medical costs and time off work. Having an on-site nitrogen generator reduces risks when moving delivered nitrogen around the factory, improves employee safety and boosts overall morale within the facility.

Improves efficiency within the facility

Having a steady supply of nitrogen in your own premises eliminates the potential of delivery delays. Waiting even a few hours for the new supply causes setbacks in the manufacturing process. With your own nitrogen generator, you’re not at the mercy of another company’s ability to ship the products on the agreed time of arrival.

Producing your own nitrogen also cuts down on the hassle of ordering, paperwork and arranging a time for delivery and storage. With your own supply, you eliminate commitments to long-term contracts.

Less environmental impact

Concern is growing for how manufacturing companies are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Considering the energy and costs involved in the shipment process, it’s more environment-friendly to have your own nitrogen source. By eliminating the need for delivery, you reduce your business’ greenhouse gas emissions – building a positive public image for your company.

Make the Switch with Air Energy’s Nitrogen Gas Generators

Increase productivity and safety within your facility with Air Energy’s range of nitrogen generators. As the leading supplier of compressed air equipment and industrial pipework, Air Energy is the best company to assess your nitrogen needs and give you innovative and cost-effective solutions. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, we provide high-quality products and excellent customer care.

aluminiumPipe material plays an essential role in determining the flow, pressure drop and quality of compressed air. However, not all materials are suitable for compressed air systems. A number of materials can be corroded by lubricants from the compressors, leading to catastrophic failure, contamination, debris and leaks in the air stream. Pipe material does also affect pressure loss caused by friction.

Following are the most common types of piping material, their advantages and disadvantages.

What not to use for piping

PVC pipe is a common material sometimes used in ignorance for compressed air systems. It is readily available, cost-efficient and easy to install. However, as with many plastics, PVC gets brittle over time. The material can easily break and shatter. Air compressor oils and heat from compressed air accelerate the degradation of PVC.

Galvanised piping is commonly used for general plumbing and water distribution. While it can resist moisture from compressed air piping, corrosion does occur internally and pieces of rust from the pipe may flake off, causing damage to pneumatic tools, cylinders and other components. Galvanised piping is much slower to install, joints are prone to leakage and has a higher coefficient of flow resistance and is a material not worth considering for compressed air systems.

Black pipe is another commonly used pipe material because of its strength, durability and ease of installation. One downside of using black pipe is rust contamination. Black pipe is uncoated, and moisture from the compressed air leads to rusting. Installing black pipes requires a significant amount of time and causes damage to pneumatic tooling.

Recommended piping materials

Stainless steel piping is recommended for compressed air systems because the material has a lower risk of corrosion. Much like the black pipe, it is robust and highly durable. Installing traditional stainless steel fittings and piping tends to be a long process unless press fittings are utilized. Pipe threads may gall and freeze up, causing difficulty in disassembly.

Copper pipes are generally considered non-corrosive and easy to weld and cut. It also has a wide range of available fittings because it is commonly used for plumbing. While it makes for aesthetically pleasing installations, soldering copper is time-consuming and requires highly specialised skills, and copper does develop green corrosion that can contaminate pneumatics and processes.

Aluminium, on the other hand, is lightweight, easy to handle, and highly recommended for clean air applications. The material is non-corrosive, allowing the compressed air network to deliver clean dry air throughout the system and operate more efficiently for far longer than other alternatives.

Aluminium pipe is also heat-resistant. It has minimal expansion and contraction in extreme temperature shifts. Compared to PVC, which is prone to sagging and bowing, aluminium maintains its form.

PE100 is the highest grade of polyethylene piping commercially available and is also recommended to provide clean, corrosion free, economic, fast to install and reliable compressed air pipework. It is important to choose a reputable brand like Max air that meets the Australian Standard with the required safety margins. Its smooth bore is ideal for reducing pressure drop which also reduces operating costs.

What happens when you choose the wrong air piping system?

  • Pressure loss from poor pipe direction design

Leaks may be one of the most significant challenges to a piping system’s efficiency, but there are other factors for consideration. The presence of sharp angles in the design of the pipes impedes the speed of flow, and creates pressure drop- this means the compressor has to work harder and tools and pneumatic equipment work slower. When choosing a piping system for your business, minimise right-angle elbow corners because they will cause turbulence in the air pressure system and reduce pressure delivery. Following a straightest path possible in air flow will deliver the most efficient results.

  • Increased energy usage

Air piping without efficient ring systems and only small diameters can also lead to a sudden drop in pressure while your pipes are in use, affecting your overall energy consumption. The less pressure there is, the more energy you need to keep the pump systems running. Every bar of increase or decrease in pressure usually requires x2 increase or decrease in power. With the appropriate piping design, you can save about five per cent in power costs per 10psi (68kpa) decrease at the compressor.

  • Corrosion from clogged pipes

When you purchase compressed air piping systems that are subject to corrosion, they can become clogged with dirt and liquids over time. If left untreated, clogged pipes can lead to wear of seals and moving parts. Choosing the right type of piping will prevent grime accumulation and microbiological growths. Also, aluminium pipes are one of the most corrosion-resistant piping options, giving you strong and lightweight air piping solutions.

  • Moisture buildup from slow temperature fluctuations

In a typical industrial operating environment, temperatures fluctuate throughout the day. It can be extremely hot during the day and especially cold at night, affecting the condensation in compressed air systems. Poorly designed compressed air systems with changes in temperature, causes moisture to precipitate within the system. If there’s too much moisture in your equipment, it can lead to rust, system breakdowns and costly maintenance.

  • Staff health and safety risks

You can put your staff’s safety at risk if you invest in the wrong type of piping for breathing air applications. Some substances carried by air piping systems can be potentially dangerous to health. Any safety concerns that your piping systems have could also severely affect your business. Be sure to choose the right compressed air line systems from a provider you can trust.

  • Troubleshooting issues

Compressed air has enormous stored energy and the piping needs to be clearly and readily identified. If your pipes have incorrect labels or non-specific colour coding, it can do your staff and your business harm. Any issue or need could arise from time to time – it’s important that your pipes have the correct markings so that you can easily troubleshoot or modify your piping systems.

Air Energy delivers leading pipework and air compression systems

Air Energy is a leading provider of compressed air systems across Australia. Our company has been installing and supplying industrial pipework systems for more than 20 years. With our in-depth industry knowledge and vast scope of experience, we are determined to give each client personalised ‘best practice’ solutions.

Air Energy has a team of dedicated industry-leading consultants, contractors and mechanical designers who provide a comprehensive range of equipment and services for businesses in Australia.

Call Air Energy on 1300 99 55 26 for enquiries.

There are many considerations when selecting the right air compressor for your industrial site. Air compressors are a vital component for numerous industrial applications, often serving as the ‘hidden core’ of many operations. Different industries require different compressors, so it helps to be familiar with the features and benefits of each variant.

It is important to choose a reliable industrial air compressor that will suit the needs of your project. One of the main factors to consider is the volume, intensity and frequency of your workload. A compressed air audit is a valuable tool to benchmark what you need to achieve.

Piston Compressors: For Lighter Loads

If you are dealing with light compressed air loads distributed across a short amount of time, a piston compressor may be what you need. Piston compressors can be a highly cost-effective solution, depending on how they are used. They run at a start/stop pace, so their utility costs depend only on the amount of time they are operated. Maintenance costs also tend to be minimal, especially if the machine is properly sized.

Piston compressors should not be used for high-duty cycles ideally no more than 6 stop/starts per hour, due to the risk of overheating and higher electricity consumption. The air drying load must be sized beforehand to prevent the hot air from overwhelming the compressor’s drying mechanism.

Screw Compressors: For Steadier Loads

A screw compressor is suitable for steadier load spread out over long periods of time, even with flow reductions due to breaks. Screw compressors can be fully loaded hours at a time and turned off when dealing with lighter loads.

Screw compressors come with different control modes, which enable you to adjust the amount of energy consumed. These modes include variable displacement, load/unload and variable speed.

Depending on your industry or quality requirements, you may choose between oil-free or lubricated screw compressors. Oil-free compressors are more suitable for industrial applications that require pure air free of moisture and contaminants, such as pharmaceutical, chemistry or food and beverage.

Centrifugal Compressors: For Larger Loads

Centrifugal compressors are the ideal option for applications involving high flow requirements in larger industrial sites. They are the most suitable option for base loading because their air capacity allows them to supply higher energy flows to your industrial machinery. Centrifugal compressors are also lubricant-free and occupy a smaller footprint per kilowatt than screw compressors.

Consider Your Power Source

Your power source is the most crucial consideration for choosing an air compressor. Compressors are typically powered either by gas diesel or electricity. Diesel compressors deliver high output and convenience, but they emit exhaust fumes and should only be used outdoors or in well-ventilated indoor areas.

Electric compressors are a better choice for indoor applications and traditionally run on standard 415 3 phase voltage.

Air Energy is a family owned business that supplies leading-brand compressed air equipment and industrial pipework. We have over 20 years of experience providing products for a broad range of industries. Client satisfaction is our goal, and we pride ourselves on giving clients personalised services tailored to their needs. Contact us today.

Air CompressorIndustrial air compressors are central to many manufacturing and processing operations. They are designed to convert electrical power into potential energy stored in pressurised air. With an efficient air compressor, the required amount of energy supplied to keep industrial systems running at all times is critical for controlling ongoing running costs.

Purchasing the most suitable air compressor for your industrial environment is critical. Air Energy provides a list of points to consider before investing in an industrial air compressor to implement in your operations:

Accurate Rated Capacity and Pressure

Inaccurate or missing information on industrial air compressors can be harmful to business.  Some companies provide incorrect sizing details, or specify a misleading capacity rating or pressure level, posing risks to your operations.

Before you purchase an industrial air compressor, check the product descriptions carefully. Some are sold by displacement, but FAD is the critical benchmark. Check that the stated capacity is at the pressure you need. You must be able to find the system that offers the load operating pressure capacity you need.

At Air Energy, we give you all the information you need about our products, whether it’s an oil-free compressor or a silenced compressor.

Power Consumption and Cost-Efficiency

Energy is one of the most costly aspects of running a business. Selecting the correct air compressor translates to higher energy efficiency and lower monthly power costs.

The purchase price for any compressors will only be 10% to 15% of your total cost of ownership over the lifetime of the compressor. In fact, in the first year of using new air compressors, your energy bill will be almost the same amount of your compressor’s purchase price. So that is why Air Energy regard it as important to understand your usage, an audit is well worth understanding your power demands.

Ability to Run Partly Loaded

Traditional piston industrial air compressors can only run either at full load or at no-load. They continuously switch between loaded at 100% and unloaded at 0%, which may result in significant energy wastage. It may make more business sense to invest in a variable speed (VSD) compressor that can run at any capacity within its range, but there are circumstances where a piston compressor is preferred.

Air Energy carries air compressors that can run partly loaded. They hit the best capacity range between 50% and 80% while allowing you to produce only the energy you need, saving you power costs no matter how long you use the system.

Installation Location

Before buying your air compressor, make sure you have secured a spot for it in your facility. Air compressors should be placed in a clean, dust-free area where there’s a steady supply of cool air.

The ideal compressor will depend on your existing work conditions. Be sure to tell the sales representatives at Air Energy the purpose of your air compressor and the site where you plan to have it installed. This information helps us recommend a suitable system for you.

Reliable Emergency Services

Your compressor serves your business. If a large portion of your business operations rely on an industrial air compressor, faulty components and busted machinery lead to downtime and production loss. Work with a provider that has dependable emergency services in the event of a system failure.

A preventative maintenance schedule saves money and loss of downtime that could be crucial to your processes. We help you avoid massive production losses and plant downtime by providing assistance whenever you need it.

Invest wisely in your business and enquire about our air compressors today.

Industrial pipes are required to withstand many tough work environments. When installing complex pipework for compressed air systems, you want to ensure your pipes are secured by dependable and compatible pipe fittings that enhance the integrity of your pipes.

Unipipe is the ideal solution for your pipework installation requirements. Here are some of the reasons you should invest in Unipipe fittings:

Practical Design

Unipipe fittings are engineered to simplify pipework requirements and provide a durable fitting for pipes in various applications. The dynamic gripping ring and internal nut ensure there is no way to separate the pipe from the fittings. The plastic ring around the pipe fittings also allows you to identify the fluid and working pressure for each system, easing installation and inspections.

Quick and Easy Installation

To create a durable and complex pipe system, all you need to do is cut the pipe to length, deburr and attach the Unipipe fitting onto the pipe and tighten the nut. Installations require minimal tooling and fewer materials. With fast and straightforward installation processes, you get the job done without stress or costly delays.

Better Longevity

Aluminium is a long-lasting and durable material that prolongs the life of your installation. Unlike hand painted products that are prone to flaking, Unipipe fittings have powder coat finishes that are vastly superior in terms of durability.

Improved Security

One of Unipipe’s greatest benefits is its security, ensuring peace of mind. The stainless steel grip ring provides a secure jointing system compared to other options giving the highest pressure rating of any aluminium system. They minimise leaks and protect the pipes.

Enhanced Heat Resistance

Unipipe fittings are high-pressure aluminium pipe fittings that have innate heat resistance. They work in a wide range of temperatures, from -20°C to 100°C. Even when exposed to extreme temperatures, Unipipe fittings do not expand as much as other fittings. Aluminium allows the fittings to retain their form, requiring minimal clips during installation to preserve the structure of the system.

Aesthetic Value

One of the key features of Unipipe fittings is that they do not just work well – they look good too. In an age where design and aesthetic appeal are becoming increasingly important to engineers and clients, aluminium pipe fittings provide a sleek and attractive finish for your pipework.

A Universal System

Unipipe is considered a universal fitting by many technicians. They are designed to suit a vast array of applications. The fittings can be used in systems that transport water, fire suppression, compressed air, industrial gases and nitrogen ‒ all at a high pressure. Because of its versatility, Unipipe has become a system of choice in many industries.

A Variety of Choices

Aside from their adaptability, Unipipe fittings also come in an extensive range of pipe sizes: 20, 25, 32, 40, 50, 63, 90, 110, 140 and 160mm. Just measure the outer rim of your pipe and choose a press fitting that suits it best.

Air Energy

Established in 1993, Air Energy is a family owned business that supplies a comprehensive range of equipment for industrial pipework. Our knowledge and expertise enable us to give you personalised solutions that match your needs.

Your satisfaction is our priority. If you want to purchase Unipipe fittings for your pipework or other brands, feel free to contact us today.

AlAluminium Pipinguminium piping has many advantages over other forms of piping. It outperforms copper and is a more cost-effective material than steel. Add to this that it is a material that does not corrode and you have some of the reasons why aluminium could be the ideal piping material for your business.

Features and benefits of aluminium pipe systems

Aluminium pipes are easy to install and require minimum tooling to create even complex piping systems. The metal can withstand extreme temperatures and carry a wide pressure range. Air Energy stock and supply a number of leading brands, but the new Unipipe range outperforms all the others.

These aluminium systems also do not require as much clipping compared to poly pipe. Because they are lightweight, they require less structural support and fewer materials overall than traditional galvanized steel.

Our range of aluminium piping systems can be used in several applications. Following are some examples:

Aluminium piping for compressed air systems

Aluminium piping is a superior material to use for compressed air installations compared to other traditional piping systems. Since compressed air systems carry more risk due to the stored energy than pressurised fluids like water, pipe systems made of quality materials are of utmost importance.

Aluminium pipe systems are corrosion-resistant, providing optimal airflow, lower energy costs and improved air quality.  Fittings used with aluminium systems also provide a secure fit, eliminating the risk of leaks.

Aluminium pipes are easier to install and modify compared to their copper or steel counterpart, reducing costs and labour for installation and modification. Unlike steel piping systems, they do not require threading, welding or soldering.

While copper piping has been used as an option for compressed air systems, not all types of copper are suited for high air pressures. Copper pipes also tend to be more expensive and labour-intensive. Stainless steel, on the other hand, has been a widely used alternative. However, moisture trapped inside stainless steel pipe systems may tend to cause rusting from the inside out. Despite having a moisture trap, a small amount of moisture remains in the piping system, which will eventually lead to corrosion.

This makes aluminium piping the best option for compressed air systems.

Other uses for aluminium piping

Aluminium is ideal for use in fire protection systems. Effective fire protection systems require corrosion-resistance and robust materials to ensure that they perform at peak levels when needed.

Water distribution is another system that is ideal for aluminium piping. Water systems need to be reliable and well sized to prevent downtime. Since they operate at different pressures, aluminium piping systems can withstand varying temperatures and pressure.

Aluminium pipe systems can transport a wide range of gases and liquids. They can be used for the following applications:

  • Nitrogen
  • High-pressure oil lines
  • Vacuum
  • Industrial gases

Strong and durable pipe fittings from Air Energy

Air Energy is a trusted Australian supplier of pumps, compressed air equipment and industrial pipework. Our range includes high-pressure pipe fittings. We have recently completed a new installation in aluminium Unipipe for Natures Organics in both standard pressure and high pressure for their processes.

Contact us on 03 9765 5600 for enquiries.

Moisture build upFor industries using compressed air systems, moisture is an enemy. Before air dryers were implemented, accumulated moisture created costly problems throughout the entire operation. The rusting or corrosion of a system often led to malfunctioning of pneumatic controls, incorrect readings and advanced wear and tear of moving pneumatic parts.

The uncontrolled spurts of oily condensate would ruin work in progress, just one drop would cause a spray painting job to be sanded back and repainted

Moisture is naturally present in the air as humidity. Consequently, with a system that gathers and compresses air, moisture accumulation is inevitable. A typical system will operate at 8 bar, that is 8 volumes of ambient humidity air compressed into one volume. The water is incompressible so the air become oversaturated and as it cools more and more water condenses from vapour into droplets.

Probably every Service Technician could tell stories of receivers half full or more of stagnant condensate. This causes the compressor to constantly cycle on and off creating higher energy costs and accelerated wear.

Luckily today, there are now technologies that remove water from compressed air systems. Despite widespread use of automatic drains, operators and plant managers should still be vigilant about water accumulation in the receiver to ensure optimal system efficiency.

So, to help our readers prevent downtime and extend their industrial compressor’s life, we’ll share with you the most effective ways to eliminate moisture.

Housekeeping is Still Key

Like with any system, proper housekeeping is the primary key to keeping machines operational. For compressed air equipment, the primary and simplest method of keeping moisture out of your lines is to drain the compressor receiver frequently. In a manual drain operation, draining has to be done every day you operate the compressor. For plants where the drain valve is difficult to reach, a drain extension kit or an automatic receiver drain or a timer operated drain are recommended.

The inside surface of receivers is very rarely coated (for a reason in another blog) so scale and rust particles can block even the autodrain.

Filter Out the Moisture

There are many filters needed for industrial compressors, but one of the most important moisture filtering and purification component in a compressor is the coalescing filter. They do not remove water vapour from the system, but they eliminate water droplets, oil and solid particles as small as 0.01 °m. For optimal mechanical filtration, filters can be installed in pairs. The first filter, a general-purpose one, strains the bulk of the contaminants. The second filter, a high-efficiency one can prevent the remaining particles from going further in the compression line.

Strip the Air of any Left Water

Cooling the air with a refrigerated dryer strips the air of its capability to hold water. The colder the air, the less water it can hold. The refrigerated dryer acts like a refrigerator, cooling the air to 1.5˚C to 10˚C, resulting in a pressure dew point of 0.5˚C to 3.8˚C. With the help of gravity, water then drops out of the air.

To make the air very dry, desiccant air dryers can be used. The dryer can take down the dew point to -40°C. This is very important for applications such as spray painting, printing and bulk material conveying.

After this stage, the compressed air would normally pass through a final filter, or for food and beverage industry, a carbon filter before its intended use.

Moisture in compressed air systems can cause expensive damage to your equipment, production line and finished products. To successfully combat moisture, a whole system involving filters, dryers and proper housekeeping is recommended.

If you need help on selecting and sizing the best combinations of dryers or filters, we’d be glad to help. With over 20 years of experience, we can advise you on the best products for your needs.

Need to go moisture-free? Contact Air Energy today.