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For buildings with no central compressed air system, why it is better to run a TMC air table on a silent compressor instead of a bottle of gas?

TMC Optical Tables and Lab Tables use height-control air valves to regulate the pressure inside the air isolators to maintain the tabletop in a level position. Tables and components are robustly designed and often in continuous use for a very long time, sometimes 10 to 20 years. Each valve has a specified standard leak rate of approximately 0.015 SCFM (0.02 Nm3/h). As components age, the valve leak rate may increase over time but this will not impact the function of the isolation system. This is a general characteristic of all air tables on the market and not limited to TMC tables.

When using a compressor, a minor increase in the leak rate is not recognizable. In worst case, the only effect is that the compressor will fill its tank a little more often than usual.

The situation is not the same when you’re using a gas bottle: the cylinder may empty more frequently, which can be annoying and the refill may cost extra money and time. New valves would be a solution, but installation costs time and money too. That all is unnecessary, if you’re using a compressor.

It is a more “economically favorable” strategy to use a “compressor style air source” from the beginning than facing potential issues with running the table on gas cylinders. A lab compressor will pay for itself over time by reduced cylinder usage. And, advances in compressor technology have resulted in very quiet compressors that do not compromise the performance of the vibration isolation table.

CleanBench with compressor

TMC lab table with silent air compressor

This article was published on LinkedIn on 10/23/2019. Link to original.

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