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What do Beef Jerky and Corrosion Mitigation for Dry Pipe and Pre-Action Sprinkler Systems Have In Common?

Dry Air for Corrosion Mitigation – it’s being used all around you!

Dry air is a proven technology for corrosion mitigation in many industries, including fire sprinklers. You might be surprised to learn that your bag of beef jerky is utilizing the same principle that we apply to your sprinkler system with our dry air generators.

The picture below shows the small bags of desiccant that you find in all sorts of products you buy, sneakers, medicine, and many types of food. They often say “Desiccant: Do not Eat” - for real, don’t eat it. These packets of desiccant are designed to soak up the moisture in the package so that the air inside remains dry, protecting the product from growing mold, from discoloration or from corrosion.

Dry Air by means of desiccant is used in a variety of industries, including fire sprinklers, to inhibit corrosion and mold.

A dry air generator, like our Dry Air Pac®, contains several pounds of desiccant (don’t eat ours either) that the air from our compressor travels through before it goes into the system. When the compressed air meant for pressurizing your dry pipe sprinkler system travels through the desiccant beds nearly every bit of moisture is removed. The air, upon exiting the compressor / dryer unit, is then dry to anywhere between -40F and -70F PDP (pressure dew point). Note that PDP is a moisture measurement not a temperature rating.

The effect this has on the moisture inside your dry or pre-action sprinkler system is twofold. First, as the air being used to pressurize the system is dry that means that there is not a steady contribution of moist air as there is when a standard air compressor is being used.

Second, the air pressurizing the system is so dry that as it sits in and ultimately leaks out of your system it causes any residual moisture inside your sprinkler piping to be removed. Any environment kept at a low dew point or low relative humidity will interrupt the corrosion process. Put another way, the dry air inside the pipe evaporates the moisture sitting on the inside walls of the pipe or in shallow pools along the length of the pipe.

The Corrosion Triangle: For corrosion in fire sprinkler systems to occur three things must be present: a metal, water and oxygen. Dry air generators remove the water and nitrogen generators remove the oxygen. The Corrosion Triangle: For corrosion to occur three things must be present: a metal, water and oxygen. Dry air generators remove the water and nitrogen generators remove the oxygen.

While nitrogen eliminates the air part of the corrosion triangle, dry air reduces and eliminates the water part of the equation – thereby protecting your dry pipe or pre-action sprinkler system against corrosion. So next time you see one of these little desiccant packages that you found at the bottom of a bag of beef jerky remember that dry air is at work! … go ahead, you can eat the jerky.

To learn more about the benefits of dry air as a corrosion mitigation technology comment here or contact us today!

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