Air leaks usually happen all the time when working with air compressors. The key is knowing how to detect and fix them before they turn into a very costly mistake. To this effect, we will present you with some Fluid-Aire Dynamics tips to know how to deal with these leaks.
How Common Are Compressed Air Leaks?
The compressed air leaks occur in practical applications. Not only are they often frequent, but they are also time-consuming to find and fix. In an average production plant, between 20% and 30% of your total energy consumption is compressed air. Of that figure, there is an average of 30% leakage.
How Do We Detect Compressed Air Leaks?
Walk around the plant, following the compressed air networks and try to listen to the noise emitted by the leak.
- Ultrasonic Leak Detector
This type of detector locates the high-frequency sound waves emitted by air leaks. This equipment usually includes directional microphones, amplifiers, audio filters, and finally, a visual indicator or headphones to see or hear leaks.
How Does It Work?
When compressed air travels through the pipe, it moves in what we would call laminar flow. This means that all the particles are transmitted in the same direction in a parallel way. When a leak occurs in the pipe, the air stream around the leak changes to turbulent flow, which means that the air stops moving in the same direction.
This turbulent air emits a sound that can be interpreted by ultrasonic detectors. The detector will be connected to headphones and will produce a sound that will increase when a leak occurs, or it will have a screen where the ultrasonic waves will be displayed. The waveform will vary greatly when the sound is amplified.
How Do We Reduce Future Compressed Air Leaks?
- Make sure the fittings, connections, hoses and pipes are of high quality. Also, check that the nut sealant is applied properly.
- All non-operational equipment must be isolated with a valve in the distribution system.
- Lower the air pressure in the system. This is effective since the flow rate decreases when the pressure in the system drops.
- Once you have repaired the most noticeable leaks, you should recheck the compressor control system and analyze it.
In conclusion, compressed air leaks are a common problem, but can be easily detected and repaired. If one does occur, it should be fixed immediately to prevent costly mistakes.