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Air dryer for portable compressor

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  • Air dryer for portable compressor

    I am buying a Makita MAC2400 air compressor to provide air for a Hypertherm PowerMax 30. The whole idea here is something portable. And, that brings me to my question: I understand that dry air is important in running a plasma cutter and with a small compressor I will need to do something to dry the air before it gets to the cutter. In reviewing lots of air compressor dryer threads here and on other forums I see lots of nice shop mounted systems with miles of piping, drains and refrigerators to dry the air but none of those solutions are remotely portable. I see a few filters for >$100 that seem to be one solution but I came across several examples of very small in line filters for much less $$ (like $20) that were intriguing. Are those simply terminal filters supposed to work with a separate air dryer or can these function as the primary drying device?

    I don't anticipate needing more than 15-20 minutes of cutting (max, mostly much less) at a time. Work would be outdoors in summer conditions in New England so humidity is somewhere between that in Houston and Phoenix.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    The smallest, most portable filter? The HTP Super Dry, $6.99


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    If you want the Super Dry to last any length of time, install a Motor Guard filter in line first. Around $75, click here.



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    Nothing else even comes close to those two products.
    Barry Milton
    ____________________

    HTP Invertig 201
    HTP MIG2400

    Miller Trailblazer 302, Spoolmatic 30A, Suitcase 12RC
    Clarke Hotshot

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Island View Post
      humidity is somewhere between that in Houston and Phoenix.

      Any thoughts?

      humidity in Houston is significantly greater than in Phoenix. some days its just a fog coming out of the air lines. at that point you need all the piping and "non portable" stuff just to dry it. however, i have used the small inline filters , such as those above, for painting with very good success. i know youre asking about plasma cutters but spraying automotive paint also requires dry air.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 10sec.et View Post
        humidity in Houston is significantly greater than in Phoenix. some days its just a fog coming out of the air lines. at that point you need all the piping and "non portable" stuff just to dry it. however, i have used the small inline filters , such as those above, for painting with very good success. i know youre asking about plasma cutters but spraying automotive paint also requires dry air.
        Actually from my reading I think painting probably requires even drier air to work than plasma does. I think the issue with plasma is not so much whether it will cut but rather the life of the consumables if you don't adequately dry the air.

        Sounds like if you can function in Houston with these in line filter combos that I should easily be able to do that in Rhode Island.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by precisionworks View Post
          Nothing else even comes close to those two products.

          Thanks, I will give them a try.

          Comment


          • #6
            OK, in looking up the linked website at ArizonaTools, I find that there are actually four identical looking filters that all have the same replacement cartridge. One is labels as being for plasma systems and is more $$ but no explanation of what the differences are between the M26 (plasma), M30, M45 and M60 filters is. If they have the same media/filter cartridge, how different can they be?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Island View Post
              OK, in looking up the linked website at ArizonaTools, I find that there are actually four identical looking filters that all have the same replacement cartridge. One is labels as being for plasma systems and is more $$ but no explanation of what the differences are between the M26 (plasma), M30, M45 and M60 filters is. If they have the same media/filter cartridge, how different can they be?
              Yep, I have been thinking about one for several months and noticed the same thing. My thinking the way to go is with a M45 (a M30 w/ 2-723 cart.). Intresting note, the M26 Plasma filter flows 2600 cubic feet per hour. The M30 flows 45 cfm x 60 min = 2700 cubic feet per hour.I think both are rated for flow @ 80 psi. Bracket might be different, big deal.Welding suppliers are asking $105 and up for the M26. Maybe they are trying to hood wink us plasma guys.

              Comment


              • #8
                what the differences are between the M26 (plasma), M30, M45 and M60 filters
                The M26 is 1/4" NPT in & out, which limits the unit to 45 CFM.

                The M60 is similar, uses the same element, but has a straight throug piping design & 1/2" NPT in & out. It flows 100 CFM.

                The other two items are Filter Kits with contain two spare elements.
                Barry Milton
                ____________________

                HTP Invertig 201
                HTP MIG2400

                Miller Trailblazer 302, Spoolmatic 30A, Suitcase 12RC
                Clarke Hotshot

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by precisionworks View Post
                  The M26 is 1/4" NPT in & out, which limits the unit to 45 CFM.

                  The M60 is similar, uses the same element, but has a straight throug piping design & 1/2" NPT in & out. It flows 100 CFM.

                  The other two items are Filter Kits with contain two spare elements.
                  That makes sense but doesn't jibe with pricing structure. The items with the extra filters cost the same as the M60 and actually cost less than the M26. Is there any reason not to get one of the kits with the added filters and simply use step down fittings to adapt to the more common 1/4 inch NPT fittings found on the small compressors?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I called Motorguard and got the following info from a very helpful lady whose name I forgot to ask:

                    1) The M26, 30 and 60 are all essentially the same filter unit using exactly the same cartridge.
                    2) The M45 is the M30 with two extra filter cartridges (and oddly priced below the M30 alone!!)
                    3) The difference between the M26 and M30 is that the M26 has an extra nut and bolt as part of it's bracket to allow it to be secured to a plasma cutter.
                    4) I believe she told me that the difference between the M30 and M60 is limited to different air IN/OUT port locations and NPT fitting size (M30 1/4 inch, M60 1/2 inch), nothing else. M30 in/out are on top and I recall she said something about the M60 having the out line on the bottom.

                    She also mentioned that they recommend 25ft of line between the compressor and the filter to allow the air to cool and water to condense before reaching the filter.

                    Finally, you should not leave the used filter element in the cartridge but rather take it out and leave it open in the room to dry after use. Even in the humid summer weather that is preferable and no special efforts need to be made to protect the filter elements from ambient humidity.


                    Bottom line: the M45 package is the way to go.... Which is nice as that is the least expensive and has the extra filter elements. http://www.arizonatools.com/tools/ai...detail/JLMM45/

                    I may try some of the disposable filters first to see how long they last before I bother to rig one of these bigger canister types though. I called HTP and ordered some of the super drys. Motor Guard also makes a disposable DD1008 filter that has a color change agent so you can see when the filter needs to be changed and it is small enough to put in line right at the plasma cutter without mounting.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I use a refrigerant liquid-line dryer on mine. They come in all capacities and line sizes. They have male flare ends on them, you will need adapters. If nobody local will sell you one, check Grainger.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spotsineyes View Post
                        I use a refrigerant liquid-line dryer on mine.
                        I may be confused but isn't this a very expensive and big piece of equipment? I know refrigeration based systems are very efficient but I thought they were pretty much shop based permanent installs. I'm trying to find a solution that will be portable for a portable compressor.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Isn't a refrigerant line dryer the same as a suction line dryer? They contain a filtering element, but they don't contain silica gel. The silica gel dryers, like the HTP pictured earlier, absorb moisture & produce air that's dried to a lower dewpoint than anything else, except a refrigerated dryer.

                          Motor Guard also makes a large, canister type silica gel unit, and HTP sells it as part of their Max Dry unit. The silica get is removed when the color changes, redryed in a kitchen oven, an reused over & over again. Combine that with the Motor Guard cartridge filter for a combination that's nearly as efficient as a refrigerated dryer.

                          Barry Milton
                          ____________________

                          HTP Invertig 201
                          HTP MIG2400

                          Miller Trailblazer 302, Spoolmatic 30A, Suitcase 12RC
                          Clarke Hotshot

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Island View Post
                            I may be confused but isn't this a very expensive and big piece of equipment?
                            I'm not talking about a refrigerated air drier, I am talking about a drier for refrigerant.
                            Originally posted by precisionworks View Post
                            Isn't a refrigerant line dryer the same as a suction line dryer?
                            No, a liquid-line (as opposed to suction line) drier has filters and drying media in it. Here is a link with good details:
                            http://www.sporlan.com/40-10.htm
                            I use it as a cheap, disposable alternative to the setup in the above post's picture.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by spotsineyes View Post
                              I'm not talking about a refrigerated air drier, I am talking about a drier for refrigerant.
                              I looked at the link. I'm still a bit confused. Could you please expand on the use of these filters with compressed air for plasma cutters and comment on what advantages/disadvantages they have compared to the "normal" types of filters as discussed in this thread. Thanks.

                              Comment

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