Benefits of aluminium pipework for compressed air

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Look around compressed air systems, new and old, and you will see a variety of materials used for pipework. Installations could be using galvanised steel, stainless steel, crimped pipe, and even plastic.

Traditionally galvanised steel gets used for compressed air systems for a few reasons:

  • Contractors are familiar with the material, so it gets included in specifications
  • Material costs are low
  • The pipe and fittings are common, making them easy to get
  • It's rated for high pressure

But aluminium pipework is becoming another option and it's considered a superior material. It solves some of the disadvantages of traditional pipework systems.

So, what are the benefits of swapping aluminium pipework into your installation specification?

Minimising pipework leaks

Threaded connections will unavoidably leak with 8-10% of the compressed air escaping. Compressors have to run harder and for longer to make up for the leakages, which increases energy costs.

Remember the fittings used with aluminium pipework fit more securely? This reduces compressed air system leaks and improves energy efficiency.

Reducing installation costs

Aluminium pipework systems are much easier to install, and change compared to steel or copper systems.

Steel needs to be threaded to join pipes and install fittings. This process has to be carried out by skilled workers which automatically increases labour costs. It is also more difficult to modify and maintain a system made with steel pipe. Steel is a heavier material so would again need more labour.

In comparison, aluminium pipe comes ready for use. The only preparations required are cutting, deburring and chamfering. There are no special tools needed to prepare the pipework. As aluminium pipe is calibrated, it strictly controls the diameter. This means quick connect components fit more securely, making installations quicker and easier.

Aluminium pipe is also much lighter, reducing installation and modification costs. With particular aluminium brands, such as Teseo, there is also the ability to hot tap. Modifications can happen even when the system is still under full working pressure.

Read more of the benefits over on our blog:

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