An aftercooler is a device used to cool and compress hot air that comes out of the compressor. Thus, aftercoolers are essential to ensure that the compressed air is cooled before it enters an engine's cylinders.
Why? When air is compressed, it heats up due to the pressure created by the compressor. If the hot compressed air enters the engine's cylinders, it can cause pre-ignition or detonation, which can damage the engine. Therefore, the aftercooler cools the compressed air before it enters the engine's cylinders, reducing the risk of pre-ignition and allowing the engine to operate at higher power levels.
Aftercoolers are useful in various applications where the inlet air is too warm to use. Let's take a look.
One common application is in portable air compressors, where the aftercooler is often the most critical part of the system. The compressed air produced by portable air compressors can be quite hot, especially when used for extended periods. As a result, the air can contain a lot of moisture, which can lead to corrosion in the air compressor's components and the tools that use the compressed air. The aftercooler cools the compressed air, allowing moisture to drop out of the air, which helps prevent corrosion.
Another common application for aftercoolers is in high-performance engines, such as those found in sports cars and racing vehicles. These engines use turbochargers or superchargers to compress the air entering the engine's cylinders, which can make the air quite hot. The aftercooler cools the compressed air before it enters the engine's cylinders, increasing the density of the air and allowing for more fuel to be burned. This results in increased engine power and performance.
Van Air Systems aftercoolers are used in industrial applications. Here aftercoolers are used to cool compressed air for various purposes, such as pneumatic tools and equipment. Compressed air can be used in various industrial applications, such as sandblasting, painting, and spraying.
However, the compressed air can become quite hot, which can cause problems with the tools and equipment. The aftercooler cools the compressed air, reducing the risk of problems with the tools and equipment and increasing their lifespan.
While the above information is a great first step in learning about aftercoolers and their purpose, there is more to know! Check out the resources below to dive deeper:
Air-Cooled Aftercooler System a "Must Have" Product for Your Portable Diesel Air Compressors
Aftercooler, Filter Combo Mounted to a Portable Air Compressor Reduces Air Line Moisture
Do I Really Need an Aftercooler on the Blask Pak Pro Compressed Air Dryer System?