Cold air, good or bad?

A

Andhson

Guest
I just realized I may be about to do something stupid, or not.

To be able to do my airbrushing during the winter I need to get my air from one building to another since the compressor will not move, and there is no room in there with it.

The solution I have come up with is to install an underground air line between the buildings. I expect this to cool the air from whatever the compressor heats it up to down to about 4 degrees celsius. I expect this to generate condensed water, so there will be a drain valve at the low point of the air line and a moisture trap in the high end where I use the ab, so hopefully I will get dry clean air, but cold, during winter maybe very cold.

The cold part I have not considered before, will cold air be a problem?

I am using standard waterbased createx.
 
Your main problem would have been the condensation, but you seem to have that covered, so I doubt it will affect your paint, I'm sure the only thing you would notice is a slightly longer drying time.

It might be an idea to lag (insulate) the pipes going under ground, this would protect your pipes from "ground heave", this means when the ground freezes it expands when it starts to thaw out again and this can crush your pipes stopping the air from flowing, or if the pipes are copper or other metal the pipes could be pierced causing the need to dig them up for repairs, the only alternative to this is bury the pipes more than one meter under ground, anything under this is safe from freezing.

Other than that, no problem and no noisy compressor in your ear
 
Ok, drying time I can deal with, just add heat.

The air line is a new PEM water line and is allready frozen in the ground. Fortunately we have used one just like it for water for about 45 years without problems so i am not worried about it breaking unless I break it myself, which may eventually happen.
 
Not sure what part of the world you are from but here in the "states" (east coast US), 18" is the frost line here and plumbing, wires, ect. must be below this frost line. Having your airlines underground you should be able to have about a consistent aprox. 50 degree temperature but with that said you will be subject to a definite condensation issue so a water trap/filter would strongly be a plus. Good luck with your project!
 
Not sure what part of the world you are from but here in the "states" (east coast US), 18" is the frost line here and plumbing, wires, ect. must be below this frost line. Having your airlines underground you should be able to have about a consistent aprox. 50 degree temperature but with that said you will be subject to a definite condensation issue so a water trap/filter would strongly be a plus. Good luck with your project!

I am in the south of sweden, so freezing stuff under ground is nothing new. None of this is below the frost line, some of it must even be above ground, even colder. I don't really have a choice there, I will not get any deeper without using dynamite.

An intersting scenario might be if all this condensed water would freze up inside the airline, then I might experience a plugg that won't go away for months. I guess that is when I give up and get myself a second compressor.
 
I am in the south of sweden, so freezing stuff under ground is nothing new. None of this is below the frost line, some of it must even be above ground, even colder. I don't really have a choice there, I will not get any deeper without using dynamite.

An intersting scenario might be if all this condensed water would freze up inside the airline, then I might experience a plugg that won't go away for months. I guess that is when I give up and get myself a second compressor.
You could also place a moisture trap on the line before it leaves the garage to go under ground.

On top The air humidity in cold weather is usually less than in warm weather, unless you have a humidity source in your garage I do not think you will have a problem.
 
You could also place a moisture trap on the line before it leaves the garage to go under ground.

On top The air humidity in cold weather is usually less than in warm weather, unless you have a humidity source in your garage I do not think you will have a problem.

Thanks, I did not think of that one. Stopping as much moisture as possible from going in to the line seems as a good strategy. Also, yes there will be more water during the summer when the temperature difference is bigger, but that water will not freze up.
 
As above, can't see any huge issue if you take care of your water besides the potential of your line freezing up, digging ya trench a little deeper may also help insulate it a bit from the cold surface ground or even wrap the pipe in some cheap insulating material like old carpet or something.

Stopping as much moisture as possible from going in to the line seems as a good strategy.

It will help no doubt but most condensation issues arise from not only compressing the air, but as you mention the temperature differential. That also occurs in the line itself, the longer the line the more potential for condensation issues, using a coiled hose can also help or use gravity to your advantage to drain/keep the water in the low spots so running it along the ground and then up to your work station effectively will reduce the amount exiting your gun but you will need to be able to drain your line at that lowest point or else it won't be long before you have a water hose for the garden, even if you manage to stop all the air moisture going into the line in the first place as compression doesn't remove it all..

But on the aspect of cold air at the point of exiting your gun won't at all be an issue as atomization basically reheats it all up again anyway LOL.
 
There I learned something, the ab heating the air up again, it does make sense.

Also, I just realized I built a redicolous scale air dryer. If I am not wrong these things work by pushing wet air onto a cold surface and leading away the condensed water, which is more or less exactly what this thing will do, an if I am not wrong it will do that job even better suring the warm season when the temp difference will be higher.
 
Yer m8, atomization is a pretty violent process, its actually quite an interesting thing to read about.

In a way you do create a air dryer with a hose but the difference is a dryer unit drys and removes the air prior to it entering your line so much less condensation will occur as the air ultimately has less water contained within it for the hose to separate it from the air. If that process is occuring in your line it does dry the air but it also then spurts out water as the water is seperated but has no-where to go. thats why you see U-Bends in many industrial air circuits, as the u-bend traps the water by gravity, but if you thing about it in reverse that U-bend if allowed to get full then re-adds water back into the air passing through it LOL.

temp differential does make a difference to a small degree but its more about humidity. for example if the outside temp is 30 degrees celcius for two days in a row, the first has 0% humidity and the next day its 50% humidity, both days you will get some condensation naturally occuring due to the fact that air contains some amount of moisture but on that low humidity day you'll likely notice fewer issues, on the high humidity day you may have a water pump. Winter air also contains moisture (And can on a rainy day contain a crapload) so again the heating of the air through compression can create the same problem on a cold day as that high humidity day. the only real difference is that possibility of freezing the water thats in the line so you may want your line to go downhill into the other building to assist any condensate to flow and not puddle in low spots.

Not sure how your designing your system but consider this..Your compressor no doubt has a water trap on it, after that water trap hook up a 3-4 feet coiled hose. The coiled hose will act as that radiator, removing and drying/cooling the air out somewhat but the water needs removed again after that process so put on another water trap at the end of that. Then attach your long hose going between the buildings. use a manifold or similar type set up at the other end of that and prior to that manifold put in another regulator/water trap setup. I'd be surprised with that type of set-up that even the most humid day would cause you an issue, but if your still seeing any water, add one more mini water trap just prior to your gun (They attach directly to the airbrush) and this will I can guarantee remove every possible drop of water. maybe a little overkill but it really depends on your dislike of water and where you live as to such a need, live in a dry climate like I do, water just isn't an issue. Best of luck.
 
Well, I should maybe explain the design a bit more.
Starting from the compressor the air will enter a 1m braided hose, I can easily coil that as the actual distance it need to cover is much less( here I will add a second water trap with drain), from there t goes through the wall and down about a 1m, here it splits in a T, downhill is the lowest point with a drain valve, uphill about 10m distance an 1m higher is the entry point to the next building, from here it is straight up about 1,5 m to the next water trap and regulator, from there I will connect the ab.

The compressor does not produce much water, i know that from experience, not nearly as much as my mini compressor, which I seem to have missplaced somewhere no loss. So, as long as the condensation in the line itself does not produce much water I am not to worried, even then that water has to travel uphill to even reach the last water trapp.

I was more worried about the temp, but it seems the ab itself will fix that...

If the weather permits I will finish the build this in a week or so, then we will see how it works...
 
Sounds like a plan LOL, let us know how ya go. Be aware of one thing we haven't really discussed though. the cold air itself ain't an issue to the airbrush, but it is to paint :) If that air is really cold as it passes the paint through the airbrush (Prior to the atomization) it could cause some minor issues as paint doesn;t like to be cold or sprayed on cold surfaces, is the second building heated? if so prob no issue at all but something to keep in the back of your mind..best of luck.
 
Both buildings are heated, so that part is covered. I will drop a note here about how it works, either way.
 
I finnished the build yesterday and tried some painting today, to my big surprise I did not find any water in any water trap after painting. My guess is that my ab does not consume enough air to move hot air into the air line, all water ends up in the compressor tank as usual.

An no tip dry:)
 
I have a box full of soon to be wooden lures to paint, now let the fun begin :)
 
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