Has anyone used PEX tubing to run compressed air in a shop?
I had copper air lines in my old garage and really liked it. I'm
getting tired of tripping over rubber hoses in the new garage. I think
one of my coworkers that I've loaned tools to before has a PEX crimper,
so if I can borrow a crimper is PEX worth the trouble for an easy 25'
run? Or should I just go copper again now that Cu prices are dropping
again. (of course with PEX, maybe I could buy a 100' roll and run a
line all the way around the garage instead of just down one side...)
You need pex-al-pex that can handle air
There is another kind of PEX piping that is used in residential and
commercial applications and in pressure service on compressed air and
compressed gas systems. It is known as crosslinked
polyethylene-aluminum-crosslinked polyethylene (PEX-AL-PEX).
Why would I care about oxygen permeability on a compressed air line?
PEX-AL-PEX might be easier to work with tho' because it will take a bend
without trying to spring back. And it should tolerate exposure to UV
better (fluorescent lighting and occasional indirect sunlight.) Will
have to see what the difference in price is...
Be careful of that one.
The pex-aluminum laminate is the one that had many failures in the early
days of PEX.
There was much finger-pointing between contractors and manufacurers.
Something about dissimalar materials delaminating...................
Not that simple. While pressure is pressure, water is not nearly as
compressible as air and you don't get the same results with a catastrophic
failure. That is why PVC is not allowed for air use. The shards can cause
Pressure is pressure but air is not water.......its a stored energy
That's why pressure vessels are "hydro-tested" for re-
certification... a pressure vessel that fails when pressurized with
water, fails with a "spurt" not a "boom".
Most, but not all, plastics are not ok for compressed gas
applications ...its a matter of failure mode; ductile vs brittle.
As per Smitty Two's post....a LOT of machine shops / fab shops use PVC
for a quick and easy air systems BUT PVC for air is a major no-no.
Not just a silly rule...as PVC ages it gets brittle and a brittle gas
pressure vessel is a potential fragmentation grenade.
I did not know for sure, but I was thinking that water would sort of squirt
out if the pipe burst,but air would rush out much faster and give a faster
release of enegery. That would propel the shards much faster.
Where I work we extrude melted plastic under 1500 psi from a hole 3/8 inches
in diameter but it is so thick that is just barley gets out of the pipe.
Water under that same pressure would go across the room. I sort of think
water vers air at 100 psi would act similar.
Gas under high pressure has WAY more stored energy than water under
the same pressure.
It's a compressibility issue; gases are compressible, water (for
purpose of the this discussion ) is basically incompressible.
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