Distribution Piping

The “How To’s” of Compressed Air
Point of use components

Rate of flow considerations at the point of use are much more important than in sizing distribution piping. When end users complain of low pressure, the first thing blamed is the piping because “the user is at the other end of the system” or “the piping system has been expanded haphazardly over the years” (or whatever the excuse). The real problem is almost never the piping. The real source of problems described as “low pressure” usually resides in the choice of installed point of use components.

Pipe drops, filters, regulators, lubricators, quick disconnects, and hose must all be sized for the rate of flow at the point of use. A common mistake is to buy a tool that uses 100 Scfm, apply a 10 percent utilization factor to it and size all of the in-line components for 10 Scfm. The components need to be sized for the 100 Scfm rate of flow, not some averaged demand level used to size compressors!