What Are Compressors And The Types Of Air Compressors?

Air compressors are some of the most essential instruments in the construction or rental business. Several other instruments such as nailers, pneumatic wrenches, paint, and air sprayers, are powered by these devices. But only some types of air compressor pumps are the best choices for some applications schroder filters.

Compressors come in a wide range of characteristics since compressed air is such a valuable resource. Therefore, selecting the right machine for the job is crucial to effective air compressor utilization.

What Are Compressors?

The most popular type of compressor, air compressors are mechanical devices used to raise the pressure in a range of compressible fluids or gasses. In the industrial world, compressors are used to move gas through pipelines, supply shops or instrument air, power air tools, paint sprayers, abrasive blast equipment, phase-shift refrigerants for air conditioning and refrigeration, and more. 

Similar to pumps, compressors can be classified as centrifugal or positive displacement; however, unlike pumps, which are primarily centrifugal in nature, compressors are more commonly of the positive-displacement variety. They come in a variety of sizes, from the tire-inflation device that fits within a glovebox to the enormous reciprocating or turbocompressor machinery used in pipeline servicing.

Various Air Compressor Types

Although there are many ways to describe compressors, they are often categorized according to how the compressed air or gas is produced. Because of the nature of the compressor designs, there is a market for rebuilding air compressors, and refurbished air compressors may be an alternative to buying a new compressor. The following are some of the common compressor types:

Compressors With Pistons

In order to compress gas inside a cylinder (or cylinders) and release it through a valve into high-pressure receiving tanks, piston compressors, also known as reciprocating air compressors, rely on the reciprocating movement of one or more pistons. The tank and compressor are frequently placed on a single frame or skid as a “packaged unit.” Although delivering compressed air as an energy source is the primary function of piston compressors, pipeline operators also employ piston compressors to transport natural gas.

Compressors With A Diaphragm

The diaphragm compressor employs a unique concentric motor to pendulate a disc with flexible characteristics. This will then alternately contract and expand the compression chamber volume. This is a rather specialized reciprocating design. The flexible disc acts as a diaphragm pump-like seal between the drive and the process fluid, preventing any danger of lubricant coming into contact with the gas. Diaphragm air compressors are comparatively small-capacity devices used in many laboratory and medical situations where extremely pure air is necessary.

Compressors With Helical Screws

Rotary compressors, known as helical-screw compressors, may run at 100% duty cycle, making them suitable for construction or road-building applications. These devices pull gas in through the end of the drive and compress it as it passes along the length of the geared, meshing male and female rotors, and then release the compressed gas through a discharge port on the compressor’s non-drive end. Due to less vibration, the rotary screw compressor operates more quietly than a reciprocating compressor. 

Vane Compressors That Slide

An eccentric cavity’s interior wall is traversed by a number of vanes installed on a rotor to operate a sliding-vane compressor. The vanes lower the area they are sweeping across as they spin from the eccentric cavity’s suction side to the discharge side, compressing the gas within. The vanes move along on an oil film that develops on the eccentric cavity’s wall and acts as a seal. Although sliding-vane compressors cannot produce oil-free air, they can provide compressed air without pulsations. Due to the use of bushings rather than bearings and their slower operating speed compared to screw compressors, they are also tolerant to pollutants in their surroundings.

Compressors For Scrolling

Utilizing both stationary and orbiting spirals, scroll air compressors reduce the distance between them as the orbiting spirals follow the fixed spirals’ course. Gas is taken in at the scrolls’ outside edges, and the compressed gas is released close to the center. The compressor is inherently oil-free, as the scrolls don’t come in touch with one another.

Axial Compressors

Another kind of dynamic machine is an axial compressor. These employ rows of fan blades arranged in a shaft in place of an impeller. High pressure air compressors result from the air’s continuously increasing velocity as it moves through each row.

Generally speaking, these compressors not only work at faster speeds but are also smaller and lighter than their centrifugal equivalents. This enables them to deliver constant flow rates at large volumes, though frequently with less pressure than competing technologies.


Centrifugal compressors are dynamic as opposed to the previous three items in this list. In other words, they don’t use a closed air reserve; instead, they bring air in from the outside. In a centrifugal machine, the impeller, a rotor that spins inside a cylinder to propel air inside, is what makes that happen. Some centrifugal machines boost pressure over numerous stages to provide greater power. Multi-stage compressors are the best choice for powering larger equipment because of their impressive horsepower output. 

Rotational Screw

Based on their mode of operation, air compressors may be divided into two main groups: positive displacement and dynamic. Besides the output pressure, positive displacement alternatives like rotary screw compressors offer a continuous flow. This is accomplished in a rotary screw machine by air compression in a sealed chamber by a pair of screws moving in opposing directions.

Types Of CompressorHow they work
DynamicDynamic compressor generates pressure through its rotating blades
RotaryA common type of compressor with rotary screws 
ReciprocatingA common type of compressor that builds pressure through pistons
AxialThis compressor generates pressure through its turbine and is generally used in ships and planes
Centrifugal Centrifugal compressor generates pressure through a diffuser to build potential energy

The Closing Note

No matter what situation you are in, whether you want an air compressor pump replacement or a new one, it is important to settle for a carefully chosen compressor that will be effective for your type of work. There are so many options out there; the last thing you’d want is to waste money on an optional machine. Hopefully, now you are better-informed to avoid choosing a model which is inappropriate for your domestic or commercial needs.

Dorothy Gracious

Dorothy Gracious is a professional content writer having 8+ years of experience. Presently working as a freelancer and love to write about the latest Business, technology, health, and lifestyle-related articles.

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