Compressed Air: Aluminum

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Compressed air piping systems transport compressed air from air compressors to points of usage....

Aluminum is a light-weight, non-magnetic, non-sparking metal that is easily formed, drawn and...

Benefit of Material to Systems Application

Aluminum pipe for compressed air is exceptionally versatile and can be easily integrated into existing systems made from other pipe materials. It can also be modified to accommodate changing needs. Smooth, calibrated aluminum provides the best possible flow, and will not rust or corrode over time.

Fast to install and easy to modify, aluminum pipe is a versatile compressed air distribution system.  The light weight material reduces installed cost by about half when compared to steel or copper, especially in overhead installation.

Black iron and copper are traditional materials for compressed air installations and installers are familiar with them and their joining methods.  Black iron itself is inexpensive, but installation is time consuming and labor intensive with threaded or welded joints.  The threaded joints often serve as a source of leakage, which leads to higher operating costs.  Black iron also rusts with the corrosion affecting the quality of the compressed air. Interior pitting and scaling increases pressure drops throughout the system. In extreme cases, pieces of scale can dislodge and clog or damage end-of-line equipment.

Copper does not corrode and joints are less prone to leakage, but copper components are more expensive and installation is more labor intensive than aluminum systems, especially in larger diameter systems.

Aluminum piping features push-to-connect, leak-free joint technology as well as quick disconnect capability.  Aluminum is resistant to corrosion, ultraviolet, mechanical shocks, thermal variations, and various oils found in compressed air systems.

PVC is another relatively inexpensive, easy to install, lightweight and corrosion resistant material. It is also brittle, making it prone to shatter from impact unless encased in shatter-proof encasements.  Aluminum requires no such protection.

Aluminum cannot be used for high pressure, medical gas or flammable gas. 

Aluminum pipe can be used for compressed air (dry, wet, lubricated), vacuum, inert gases (Argon, Helium, Krypton, Neon, Radon, Xenon). Working temperature and pressure ranges from 29.6” Hg vacuum -4°F to 188 psi @ 140°F 232 psi @ 115°F.

System Application and Material Usage

Aluminum pipe used for compressed air and vacuum systems is rigid and manufactured in Aluminum 6063 T5 as defined in ASTM B241. Made by extrusion, it is calibrated within the tolerances specifically required by the manufacturer of the instant connect fittings. It is available in the following diameters in 10 foot and 20 foot lengths: 16.5 mm OD (13 mm ID), 25 mm OD (21 mm ID), 40 mm OD (37 mm ID), 63 mm OD (59 mm ID), 76 mm OD (72 mm ID) and 101 mm OD (97 mm ID).

Fittings are designed as instant connects of various designs, depending on the size of the pipe and feature lateral dismantling for quick disconnect.  Drop connectors are quick to install and flexible hose is available in lengths up to 12’ 2” for both compressed air and vacuum systems.

The only consideration when installing aluminum piping for compressed air would be environmental.  For instance, the temperature, placement (i.e., above or underground), drops, the size of the compressor, and size of the pipe system.

Aluminum pipe is supplied ready for use.  No particular preparation (cutting, deburring, chamfering, etc.) is required.  No special tools are needed. Aluminum pipe is calibrated and fits perfectly with all push-to-connect components.  Each connection is automatically secured and the seal is optimized, which minimizes corrosion to the internal surface. 

Manufacturers and Suppliers Participating in OPUS

F.W. Webb Company

F.W. Webb Company is a multi-faceted distributor of plumbing and heating, HVAC and controls,......
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Ferguson specializes in providing PVF, Plumbing, HVAC and Related Specialty Products and......
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Hajoca Corporation

Founded in 1858, the Hajoca Corporation is the largest privately owned wholesale distributor of......
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Jomar Valve

Founded in 1966 by former Navy Commander Joseph Martin, Jomar Valve set out to change the way......
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MORSCO is a leading U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing, HVAC, and PVF, with......
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Parker Hannifin manufactures Transair, a robust piping system with superior operational......
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The Commonwealth Group

The Commonwealth Group is the industry’s newest, 100-percent member owned, $8.5......
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Weldbend Corporation

Weldbend Corporation is a manufacturer of carbon steel welding fittings and forged steel......
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WinWholesale, Inc. is comprised of over 525 wholesale distribution locations. Along with Noland......
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Applicable Joining Methods

Quick connect

Quick connect fittings are manufactured for specific applications and involve some mechanism...
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