Can saturated dessicant material be treated in such a way that it can be used again?
Episode 15 of the STAUFF Miniseries "Is Your Hydraulic System Breathing Properly?"
Can the desiccant in the breather be regenerated and used multiple times? The STAUFF expert has a short answer: Basically yes, but better not:
Did you know: You can turn on subtitles by clicking the CC button at the bottom of the video.
Watch this and all other episodes of this STAUFF Minseries on Youtube instead.
Can the desiccant in the air breather dryers be regenerated?
A look at pneumatics as the heavy-duty discipline of hydraulics shows that desiccants such as silica gel and molecular sieve can be regenerated. In this field, the freshly generated compressed air is often dried with adsorption dryers. These consist of two containers with desiccant. One container is active at a time and binds the moisture content, while the other is being regenerated – with heat or with dry fresh air. The desiccant then typically has to be replaced only after several years and an appropriate number of regeneration cycles.
That means: A desiccant can generally be regenerated. The bound moisture can be removed from with heat or dry air. So it can be dried in an oven, for example. But there is one significant difference between the “hydraulics” and “pneumatics” areas of application. The compressed air dryers process the ambient air that was aspirated by the compressor. During “breathing out”, however, the air from the hydraulic reservoir flows through the breather on the reservoir. This air also contains oil mist and potentially other harmful substances that have evaporated from the hydraulic system and collected on the desiccant beads.
These harmful substances would then be released again during the regeneration process. That is why reusing desiccants is not a good idea. Instead, STAUFF recommends using the maintenance kits. They make it easy to replace the desiccant and the filters in the breather – without the risk of any contamination entering the process or the environment.
Some more advice for anyone who is worried about using the desiccant for as long and as efficiently as possible: There are other ways to extend the service life of the air breather dryers and therefore the maintenance cycles.
Do you already use air breather dryers in hydraulic systems?
Then share your experiences and leave a comment below this post.
Receive automatic e-mail notifications about new posts on the STAUFF Blog