Planning a AIR PIPE installation

Please note we have technical engineers available to help at any stage of planning or installation. Call us on to see how helpful we can be.

The first stage to planning a compressed air pipe system is working out the flow rates.

This is achieved by looking at the flow rate of your compressor or the flow required by the equipment using air. We have included tables for compressor flow rates and typical tool air usage.

The following is a guideline to work out the output of your compressor:

Power of compressor motor (KW) Approximate flow rate (cfm)
1.5 8
4 23
5.5 32
7.5 42
11 62
15 88
22 124
55 300
110 636

Typical air tool flow rates

Tool Flow rate required approx. (cfm)
Tyre Inflator 1.5
DA Orbital Sander 15
HVLP Spraygun 20
Air Drill 5
Blow Gun 4
1/2" Impact Wrench 4
1" Impact Wrench 12

Once you have a figure to work with compare it to our table below to work out the size of pipe you require. The column on the left shows the cfm flow rating and the row on top shows the distance from the comrpessor to the furthest outlet in metres. Follow the lines down and across to highlight the tube size you require.

  25m 50m 100m 200m 500m 1000m
8 cfm 20 20 20 20 20 20
23 cfm 20 20 20 25 25 32
32 cfm 20 20 20 25 32 32
42 cfm 20 20 25 25 32 40
62 cfm 20 25 25 32 40 40
88 cfm 25 25 32 32 40 50
124 cfm 25 32 32 40 50 50
300 cfm 40 40 50 50 63 63*
636 cfm 50 50 63 63 110 110
1766 cfm 63 110 110 110 110* 110*
3531 cfm 110 110 110 110* 110* 110*

Measurements calculated at 7 bar - * Pressure drop is higher than 4%

The next step is to consider pipe runs. It is almost always better to run a circuit when designing a compressed air system. This is known as a ring system or ring main. This means any outlet or drop will have two sources of flow from either side of the tee piece. See image below:

air ring system

Further considerations include:

What will it be clipped to or hung from? Ceiling, wall.
What will be on the outlet? Regulator, gauge, quick release coupling.
Where should isolation valves be placed?
Will there be expansion in the future?

We have engineers in our office waiting to help call us on:

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