Air receivers are commonly used within the steam industry however they’re a bit different from the standard horizontal and vertical receivers.

The specific products used are blowdown vessels, steam separators, and steam accumulators.

In this article we will go through what each of these are and what purpose they serve.

Blowdown Vessels

A blowdown vessel is a tank that is designed to remove impurities, dissolved solids, and sludge that result from raising steam and build-up in boiler water ensuring that the water is safe and preventing the deterioration of other products further down the line.

In the UK due to the forces involved and the hazardous nature of this boiler blowdown is covered in several statutes and notes from the Health & Safety Executive.

In all cases, it’s critical to ensure suitable isolation for maintenance purposes and the prevention of reverse flow.

Steam Separators

A steam separator is used to remove droplets from the steam as “wet” steam and excess droplets in the line can result in major maintenance problems including reduction in productivity and corrosion in the line causing damage to other products and equipment within the system.

There are two types of separators commonly available, a baffle type and a cyclonic type.

A baffle-type separator consists of several baffle plates which cause the flow of the steam to change direction many times as it passes through, resulting in the water droplets collecting on the baffles as the dry steam has a lower mass it flows through the baffles.

A cyclonic filter also known as a centrifugal type separator uses a series of fins to generate a high cyclonic flow resulting in the large water droplets being flung to the wall of the separator where they drain down to a water trap as the dry steam swirls around the body.

Steam Accumulators

Steam accumulators act as a storage unit for steam when demand is greater than the boiler’s ability to supply at peak load demands. Due to the nature of the boilers used these days these have very little application uses in modern industry. 

Some of the industries and applications where these would still be used are batch processing industries such as brewing, textiles, and dry-cleaning. We can offer a range of accumulators in all shapes and sizes depending on what you require.

Speak with one of our expert sales team on 01634 297298 to discuss your requirements or alternatively send your application details to

Check out air receivers for use with vacuum next.