Yes, air compressors are capable of bursting into flames. Air compressors are crucial equipment components in industrial facilities, vehicle repair shops, and home workshops. Industrial production relies heavily on air-powered power tools.
Regarding the bursting of the air compressor, corrosion of the compressor tank is the most prevalent cause. Corrosion is due to too much condensation, which may be prevented by regularly inspecting and maintaining the compressor and its supporting components. This article will see the other causes of such explosions and measures to prevent any accident.
Causes of explosions
Compressor explosions may occur for various causes, some of which are following.
- Corrosion of the Storage Tank
The compressor tank will get weaker due to corrosion. A rusted tank can’t handle the high pressures generated by the compressor. Tank condensation occurs while the compressor is running.
There will be corrosion if you don’t empty the tank often enough to prevent moisture accumulation. Experts recommend drafting the tank and releasing the air pressure from the compressor’s associated equipment.
The tank’s metal thickness affects whether it can withstand high pressures. Corrosion degrades the tank’s metal, causing it to lose some of its strength.
- Explosion or Ignition of Equipment Nearby
Another potential cause of a compressor explosion is overheated equipment near the compressor. Compressors should not be placed or utilized in a restricted area that lacks enough airflow.
You should not install a compressor near a furnace if the stove fails or ruptures. Storage and usage of compressors need a cold, dry environment. The compressor tank may be compromised by extreme heat, resulting in a catastrophic disaster—a minor explosion from one piece of equipment might kick off a bigger one, rupturing the compressor’s tank—and a disastrous catastrophe.
- Poor installation
For the safe usage of air compressors, manufacturers give detailed instructions. You should always follow the manufacturer’s specifications for maximum psi levels and maintenance procedures when purchasing a compressor for your usage. There are several dangers associated with over-clocking a compressor’s pressurization switch.
Professionals install large compressors for commercial usage. Local authorities are responsible for checking these installations, but it’s a good idea to double-check the work done by a competent installer.
- A lack of lubrication
Your compressor can’t perform at its best if it’s not properly oiled. You should use lubrication to avoid friction. Friction increases the temperature of the component, causing oil deposits to form in the valves.
Component failure and ultimately rupture or explosion may occur due to a temperature rise. In the valves, dry oil that has been heated up and ignited is a danger. Keeping an eye on the oil and changing it when it becomes black and less viscous can help prevent any issues with lubrication.
- Inadequate Heating and Ventilation
With the modest compressors you use in your workshop, you won’t have any issues with cooling. On the other hand, commercial machinery needs cooling systems to keep compressors operating safely. A compressor might explode if it is not adequately cooled.
- Fabrication Errors
Manufacturing faults are relatively infrequent compared to other concerns connected with air compressors. Stop the installation if you realize that a valve or other component from the compressor does not fit properly.
Guidelines for safe use of Air compressor
Compressor explosions are not as dangerous as natural gas or propane explosions, but they may still cause significant damage if they are not adequately maintained and monitored. It is possible to utilize air compressors without the risk of an accidental explosion if you take the proper precautions and get the necessary training. Some of the precautions are following:
- Empty the Tank
Turn off your air compressor and empty the tank after you’re done using it. The drain valve is located at a different place on each compressor tank. Condensation might form within the tank if it is not adequately drained.
The hoses should be bled of air as well. Pull the trigger on the wand and turn off the compressor until you hear the air leave. Your hoses and accessories will last longer if you regularly flush them. The hoses might fracture and break if they are kept under pressure.
- Conduct a Visual Inspection of the Engine Oil
Because oil-free compressors don’t need as much maintenance as oiled compressors, they are more cost-effective. The lubrication of a machine that does not use oil should be checked often. Debris can accumulate on the surface of synthetic gel lubricated components, which some manufacturers say are maintenance-free, resulting in premature wear. As a result, oil-less compressors have a lower life expectancy than their conventional counterparts.
- Follow the Manufacturer’s Recommendations
When installing and using an air compressor, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Inspect every part for damage.
Look for noticeable damage to your valves, hoses, connections, and storage tank. Replace any hoses or valves that are damaged or clogged.
In brief, Manufacturers, car shop painters, dentists, and many other professionals make use of air compressors. To prevent an accident, you must regularly maintain and inspect the compressor.
For safe and effective air compressor use, you need to follow is a few quick safety inspections and remember to empty the tank after each usage.