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How to Select The Best Air Dryer for Powder Coating

How to Select The Best Air Dryer for Powder Coating

When it comes to investing in your shop, you wouldn’t skimp on your powder coating gun. If you are currently struggling with moisture in your powder or powder remnants in the coating booth, it may be time to consider an upgrade on your air dryer. 

Powder coating utilizes an electrical charge and fine powder to coat an object for protective purposes. The coating, once cooled, provides durable protection against rust, corrosion, and scratches. This coating needs to be of optimal quality in order to do its job and the best air dryer for powder coating will ensure the efficiency and reliability to create an even coat and ensure optimal product protection is provided.  

In this article:

  1. Signs You Need a New Air Dryer
  2. Types of Air Dryers
  3. Where to Put Your Dryer
  4. Upgrade Now


Potential Issues that Show You Need a better air Dryer

Maintaining efficiency for air compressors in machine shops means not only choosing the correct air dryer but making sure it is installed properly. The dryer should be able to maintain air pressure at the required levels and allow the powder gun to provide an even coat of powder. 

Too much powder delivery decreases charging efficiency, which then dilutes the ability of the applicator to completely charge the powder. The problem then becomes poor transfer efficiency and reduced material utilization.

Preventing any premature tool failure– such as with the gun, hose, filters, or fluidizing plates-- saves on maintenance and tool replacement. Other situations that may point to the need for a new compressed air dryer include: 

  • Uneven powder transport
  • Moisture in powder
  • Oil in feed
  • Contamination in the surrounding air
  • Powder remnants or dirt in the coating booth, cyclone, or filter
  • Solvent pops 
  • Blisters 
  • Poor fluidization due to powder clumping

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Air Dryer Selection: Type 

When it comes to selecting the best air dryer for a powder coating workshop, there are two main types of dryers available: desiccant and refrigerant. 

  1. Desiccant dryers are usually the best option as they are able to offer very low dew points which is essential for providing an even coat of powder. 
  2. Refrigerant dryers are also a good option but may not provide the necessary dew points for optimal results.

Ultimately, the best air dryers for powder coating are high quality.  A premium air dryer affects the way powder fluidizes and is transported to the gun. With dry air, the pump more easily lifts powder through the suction tube. Control of powder delivery is crucial to film control - this can be done more easily with an optimized dry-air system.


Air Dryer Installation Considerations

The placement of the air dryer in a powder coating workshop is an important consideration for optimal air quality and pressure. It’s best to install a small point-of-use air dryer directly before the powder booth and powder coating gun. This ensures that all moisture is removed from the compressed air before it reaches the application area, which prevents premature tool failure, uneven powder transport, and atomizing issues. Maximize your point of use dryer and couple it with an additional dry air storage tank.

Upgrading your powder coating dryer is worth the investment. It can improve your final product and streamline your application process. Avoid any number of potential issues with the correct choice of the best air dryer for powder coating. 


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Invest Now: Avoid Downtime Later

The best air dryer for powder coating is one that helps you reduce time spent fighting moisture in your powder or remnants in the coating booth. Make the decision to upgrade before those problems impact your business reputation. Now is the time to invest in your future and help build your business. 

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Compressed Air Maintenance is Key

If you have noticed you skipped a few steps in the regular maintenance schedule, try our preventative maintenance checklist to keep you on track with your new air dryer: