Types and Uses of an Air Compressor

Written by on March 22, 2019 in News Flash with 0 Comments

An air compressor is a machine that's used to increase pressure and convert power into potential energy in pressurized air. This device is usually powered by an electric motor, diesel, or gas engine. Compressors can be classified in different types in relation to their functionality, as well as the methods used to generate the compressed air.

Some of these types include:

  • Piston Compressors

Also known as reciprocating compressors, piston compressors are positive displacement compressors that work on the basis of valves and piston rings. These types of compressors are the most commonly used. They are larger, and therefore generate more heat and tend to hold in more moisture.

  • Diaphragm Compressors

In a diaphragm compressor, the compression of gas takes place through a flexible membrane driven by a rode and a crankshaft mechanism. The membrane and the compressor box are the only things that come into contact with the gas that’s being compressed. The compressor works best in pumping toxic and explosive gases. A diaphragm compressor is also known as a membrane compressor.

  • Sliding Vane Compressors

Just like the piston compressor, these compressors are positive displacement compressors. The sliding vane compressor relies on vanes. These vanes are mounted on a rotor and trap gas between the rotor and the cylinder walls. The sliding vane compressor is mostly used as a vacuum pump.

  • Axial Flow Compressor

Just as the name suggests, axial flow compressors are dynamic compressors that have a continuous flow. The gas being compressed passes along the compressor shaft through several rows of rotating and stationary blades. They are smaller in size and work at very high speeds.

  • Rotary Lobe Compressors

Typically referred to as vacuum boosters or root-type blowers, these compressors are the best innovation the industry has ever had. The rotary lobe compressor is referred to as a vacuum booster when its suction and discharge pressure is lower than the atmospheric pressure, and as a root-type blower when the discharge pressure is higher than the atmospheric pressure. It has two rotors that rotate in opposite directions.

  • Centrifugal Compressor

In a centrifugal compressor, air is drawn into the center of a rotating impeller with radial blades and is pushed towards the center through a centrifugal force. These compressors work at constant pressure, and the performance is only affected by external conditions, i.e., temperature changes.

  • Scroll Compressor

This compressor works in a circular motion. It's also known as a spiral compressor. It's a type of positive compressor that consists of two scrolls – one that's fixed on the compressor body and one that moves.

Air compressors have been used in the industry for quite a long time, and they, therefore, have a number of uses. Some instances where air compressors have been applied include – in inflating air balloons, delivering oxygen into the human body, pumping air into tires, in the cooling and heating systems in engines, etc.

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