Major Location of Compressed Air Leakage
1. Main Supply Line and Branch Connections
Two Material composites can be used for main supply lines
i. Plastic Pipes
Air leak inspections should focus on connection points and any bends in the pipe. Suspension hangers as these are areas of strain which, when combined with vibration will be the first area where cracking will appear.
ii. Metal pipes
Stronger anchoring and suspension are required as steel is heavier than plastic. Most steel pipes are uncoated which leaves them susceptible to corrosion; even if you use a good dryer system to eliminate moisture. Rusty pipes can cause damage to pneumatic equipment and contribute to compressed air system leaks.
2. Quick Coupler
Quick couplers are primary sources of compressed air system leaks. The cause of failure can be a damaged O-ring, poor workmanship during installation, or misuse by operators. Focus your attention on these couplers when inspecting your compressed air system. They are easily replaced on the fly.
Filter bodies consist of both an air inlet and an outlet port. When hoses or pipes are connected in a careless manner. These are prone to corrosion as well as thread damage and hence the area to inspect for leaks.
A spinning baffle or coalescing element removes moisture from the air which settles at the bottom and can be emptied by simply opening and closing the drain port. It is common to detect the ultrasonic hiss of an air leak from the drain valve.
4. Pneumatic Cylinders
They are viewed as a low-cost solution and are easily exchanged when they reach the end of life and, are utilized in many automated processes as well as on packaging and conveying lines to direct the flow of product through your facility. However, they are subjected to constant movement as well as vibrations and eventually they will wear out.
In Pneumatic Cylinders, the first place to search for leaks is where the ram shaft exits the cylinder body. The rod seal continuously wears against the shaft and eventually fails.
5. Dryer Assembly
Dryer assemblies are used to remove moisture from compressed air systems which could otherwise foul pneumatic tools and corrode steel lines and tanks.
Regardless of the type of dryer assembly used, they are all prone to leaks and should be a top priority for ultrasound inspections.
6. Pressure Regulators
Contaminants like oil, dirt, rust, and moisture in pressure regulators cause its rubbery consistency to become rigid. This combined onslaught eventually cracks the diaphragm allowing the regulator to leak expensive compressed air.
7. Rubber Pipes
Rubber pipes, airlines, and hoses are the most common method for branching into distribution lines within compressed air systems. It is typical to see these hoses dragged across the shop floor, driven over by lift trucks, pinched, slit, cracked, and otherwise abused. No matter how or where they are in your facility, rubber air lines and hoses must be at the top of the list for leak surveyors.
8. Lubricator Assemblies
Pneumatic tools require lubrication in small doses. Lubricator assemblies send oil into the compressed air line in small, atomized bursts. This component benefits pneumatic cylinders, valves, and other end-use tools.
9. Isolation Valves
Isolation valves are usually installed downstream of the filter/regulator/lubricator assemblies. Leak inspections should focus on the valve seat handle mechanism where the packing wears from continuous use. Often these leaks can be repaired by simple tightening with a wrench.
10. Automatic Drain Traps
Receivers, separators, filters, and regulators all require moisture removal. Automatic drain valves are either timer-operated or actuate when the water column reaches a set height and releases a ball from its seat to allow water to flow. Once the water level drops, the ball re-seats to stop the flow of air.