Is an air dryer needed for low humidity/desert areas?

Las Vegas here… I’ve been using a Crossfire for a while but just set up a new Pro. Before that I was using a PlasmaCam.

I see many posts regarding air dryer setups and techniques. With a generally arid environment and warm temperatures, is a dryer needed? I used a motoguard filter on the Plasmacam, but haven’t used one with the Langmuir tables, and I haven’t noticed a difference. I’ve been using an older Hypertherm Powermax 600 with all 3 tables.

This is just a recreational use machine, maybe 4 days a month.

Thank you!

My thoughts would be if your tank collects water even from time to time. When the compressor is running you are pumping hot moist air into your lines. So some kind of system would help. Even just using on occasion your consumables will last longer.

How was the plasmacam table? The Pro is a great table, have had mine for over two years of trouble-free use.
I put a deposit on the XR first week of June, needed bigger cut envelope, hope it functions as well as my Pro has.

The PlasmaCam tables are very nice and well made, but I feel everything they do is too proprietary. They are a relatively small company, and I didn’t feel comfortable having that expensive of a machine that could turn into a big paperweight if anything happens with them (was especially leary during covid times).

The Langmuir works just as well for what I do and for about 1/5 of the price with more support.

I will say though, that Design Edge, built for and by PlasmaCam, is amazing software and I still use it to design. It’s easier, more intuitive, and faster than Fusion, and it’s actually made for plasma tables.

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I am in northern utah. I use a couple of separators and a desiccant filter. I am planning to add a after cooler. I have a large tank and a second tank in line with the plasma. I usually turn on the compressor first let it sit while I get everything ready. I usually have enough volume the compressor doesn’t kick on during a cut.

I have only changed the beads out once so I feel like I am getting pretty dry air as it is.

I don’t think in Vegas a refrigerated air dryer is necessary… maybe if it’s monsoon season.

@TinWhisperer has a super handy chart that shows your target for air quality.



Thank you for the replies

My shop is located in the Mojave desert area of southern California and I still get a good amount of water in my air system. There is many factors that go into compressed air quality and moisture levels, even the type of compressor plays a role. I have a 80 gallon reciprocating compressor that I use for periods of lower air demand and I have a 10hp rotary screw compressor that is fed into a 120 gallon vertical air tank and the reciprocating compressor is plumbed into that freestanding 120 gallon tank. The reciprocating compressor definitely makes more water then the rotary screw. With my setup I was getting a good amount of moisture at the different usage points around my shop. I have water traps on the outputs of both compressors and both of those are fed into a refrigerated air dryer and the air from the dryer then goes into the 120 gallon freestanding air tank and I have another water trap on that tank output and from there it goes into prevost aluminum air tubing system throughout the shop. I have a air outlet on the wall just for plasma cutters that is fed into another water trap and then into a motorguard m60 sub micron filter and I have a La-Man 520b extractor dryer mounted on the back of the plasma cutter. With all of the separate water traps throughout my air system I am able to see exactly how far the water makes it down stream, I was actually surprised just how far down stream the moisture makes it. Both of the compressors are located outside behind my shop. when the humidity was 38% for the past 2 weeks my system was removing a ton of moisture.