In its natural state, air consists of a number of different components, such as water vapor, hydrogen, and oxygen. It also takes up a significant volume. Compressed air consists of all the same elements, but it becomes concentrated into a much smaller volume. Because the same amount of air has a much smaller space to fill, it becomes pressurized.
The process occurs with the help of an electrical device called a compressor, which also generates a lot of heat during the process. Water vapor can condense as the air cools, and sterile air filters VA are required to remove the contaminated moisture, lest it build up in the system and cause problems.
Appropriate Uses for Compressed Air
Out of every 10 industries, nine use compressed air on an everyday basis. Because it has so many practical applications, the production of compressed air takes up about 10% of all industrial consumption of electricity. It can be used for cooling and for cleaning of materials, as well as for moving them from place to place. Additional uses for compressed air include the following:
- Tool powering
- Injection molding
- Air piston powering
Compressed air offers many benefits. It is clean, easy to transport and store, and imposes low maintenance costs.
Inappropriate Uses for Compressed Air
Compressed air involves high levels of pressure. Therefore, it can be dangerous if people do not follow the rules for using it or attempt to use it for tasks it is not intended for. For example, workers may use it for cooling equipment or themselves. This is particularly dangerous when the pressurized air is directed at human tissue. It could blow an eye out of its socket, or blow irritating particles into the eye. It could enter the bloodstream after penetrating the skin. This could cause a condition called a gas embolism that blocks the flow of blood to the vital organs, causing a stroke or acute respiratory distress. It is more appropriate to use an industrial fan for cooling people, and only compressed air tools specifically designed for the purpose should be used to cool equipment.
Other examples of inappropriate uses of compressed air include open blowing with an unregulated pipe, hose, or tube for purposes of cleaning up (i.e., pushing loose materials around quickly) or drying. These pose some of the same physical hazards as using it for cooling. Additionally, the hose used could strike a person if not properly secured.