Looking for a good air compressor for your business? Here’s a guide to the different types of air compressors you’ll find on the market today.
George Medhurst invented the first motorized air compressor in 1799 in England, which he used for mining.
It’s incredible to think that we still rely on various compressor types to help with everything from launching a jet right down to inflating tires.
Read on for an explanation of the four main types of air compressors so you can make an informed decision for your needs.
A reciprocating air compressor uses pistons that get propelled by a crankshaft to deliver high-pressure gas.
Reducing air volume to increase pressure is how air compressors work. These machines take increasing amounts of air into an enclosed space. The air increases in pressure.
Air compressors are a type of positive displacement machine. They’re available as either air or water-cooled models. Various pressure selections and air capacity types are available to suit your needs.
Rotary screw compressors are also positive displacement compressors. These are often used in applications where large volumes of high-pressure air get used, such as in operating high-power air tools like jackhammers.
These machines are comprised of two meshing helical screws, known as rotors. These rotors compress gas internally in a closed unit.
Rotary screw compressors get cooled right inside the compressor. As a result, the internal parts aren’t exposed to extreme temperatures.
One of the main benefits of this type of compressor is that you get a compact size with a high volume output for years. This machine is easy to use and maintain and provides excellent continuous duty. Check out Able Sales compressors to find one to suit your needs.
A centrifugal compressor is not a positive displacement compressor. Instead, it is a dynamic displacement compressor. Instead of working at a constant flow the way that displacement compressors do, dynamic compressors work at constant pressure.
So, how does this compressor type work? Radial blades pull in the air towards the rotating impeller. The air gets pushed towards the middle by centrifugal force. This air movement leads the pressure to rise which produces kinetic energy.
This machine relies on the energy transfer from an impeller to the air. That means that these compressors must rotate at higher speeds than other types of compressors in order to be efficient.
One advantage of this type of compressor is that they’re engineered for running at high capacity thanks to the continuous flow.
Axial compressors are another type of dynamic compressor. They’re named for the axial flow they require to pass air through the compressor.
Rows of blades inside the compressor shaft convert kinetic energy to pressure. A drum offsets axial thrust inside the compressor.
One of the perks of this type of compressor is that they are lighter and smaller than other types of compressors. And they operate at high speeds.
Just like centrifugal compressors, these compressors provide a constant flow of compressed gas and are very efficient.
They are well-suited to work with gas turbines for aircraft usage as well as generating electricity. The downside to axial compressors is that they’re complex and cost more than centrifugal compressors.
We hope you found this explanation of the four main types of air compressors helpful.
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