Types Of Air Compressors


Air compressors are actually items which we use more frequently than we think. This equipment is utilized often utilized by construction, mining and other related industries, but simple air compressors are also used to fill in tires or defective refrigerators. What most of us do not know is that air compressors have been in use for over a century now. But with the development of new technologies, the evolution of air compressors has brought about models which are not only extremely durable and versatile but also more environmentally friendly.

Aptly named, an air compressor is essentially a tank that is filled with air that can be used in the future. Because of its use, a good air compressor should be portable. This equipment is a must when using huge engines for cooling or heating purposes. At the same time, air compressors also contribute in the delivery of energy into huge machines found in large power plants.


There are actually different types of air compressors. Depending on how you’ll be using your air compressor, you can choose from four different varieties.

Piston or reciprocating. This kind of air compressor is the most common one and work under the principle of positive displacement. Basically, air is pumped into an air chamber, the volume of which is reduced. Piston or reciprocating air compressors work just like an internal combustion engine would only in a reverse manner. Buyers can choose from fractional air compressors to ones with high horsepower.

Rotary screw. With this kind of air compressor, the air is pumped into a void which is situated in between helical mated screws. The turning screws will lead to the reduction of volume within the void and a subsequent increase in air pressure. Often times, rotary screw air compressors have oil injected into its compression chambers and bearings which helps not only in lubricating but also cooling the entire unit.

Rotary sliding vane. Similar to the piston or reciprocating air compressor in that it is also a positive displacement air compressor, the rotary sliding vane’s pump is composed of eight blades, a stator and a rotor. The rotor, which is found inside of the stator, is crescent shaped and is found in between two ports. With revolution by the rotor, compression happen which takes the air from the intake port to the exhaust port. Just like the rotary screw, oil is injected into the rotary sliding vane for the same purposes.

Centrifugal. The only variety which does not operate under positive displacement, high-speed impellers turn which generate air and then a diffuser is used for deceleration.

The writer, Anthony Brewster, is an industrial engineer who have extensive experience in industrial air compressors

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