How Do Compressors Work?

An air compressor consists of an electrical motor that compresses the air into a tank. When needed, the compressed air can be expelled at the picked pressure. How does an air compressor work? What are the criteria for choosing a suitable gas compressor? Well there are a variety of various compressor types.

Let’s continue with an overview. Normally compressors utilized in automation and workshops are the so-called plus displacement compressors. Here pressure is created when gas is drawn into a space and the volume of that space is decreased. For this article we wish to restrict ourselves to this kind of compressor. Let’s take a more detailed look at the reciprocating compressor.

The crankshaft turns which moves the piston inside the cylindrical chamber. An inlet valve also called an intake valve permits fresh air to go into the cylinder. This is done during a suction blow from the cylinder. The vacuum valve deflates or opens at high pressure during the pressure paddle.

When it is compressed, the air is heated up. This is a problem for each compressor. The outcome is not just a less efficient compression cycle, but also the risk of a real explosion if any combustible substances, such as oil or lubes, are in contact with the piston and air. For that reason, the pressure of a single stage compressor is restricted to an output pressure of about 10 bar or 145 lbs To achieve higher pressures, you can utilize a multi-step compressor.

In a 2 stage compressor, the large piston develops the first stage. The air that exits the first stage can now be cooled prior to going into the second stage. With a two-stage compressor, you can achieve pressure in excess of 20 bar or 290 psi. Multistage compressors can also be utilized with high-power water-cooled jackets to prevent getting too hot. Based on its working concept, the reciprocating compressor provides just pulse compressed air.

So this kind of compressor is utilized in conjunction with a tank. The use of a tank provides the benefit that the compressor can be operated with a two-point controller, resulting in less power consumption and wear.

The diaphragm compressor comes from the piston compressor family. Here the suction chamber of the piston is shut by a diaphragm. The benefit of a diaphragm compressor is the compressed air in the compression chamber does not come into contact with the piston and is lubricated. Hence it can be kept devoid of oil. Here are some examples:


Since flexibility is restricted, the weak point of a diaphragm compressor is normally its diaphragm itself. Diaphragm compressors are utilized for instance in the food market or for filling divers bottles.

The working concept is entirely different from the so-called rotary compressor, which is also called a vane compressor. A normal rotary compressor has a cylindrical chamber. Adjustable rotors with their center point on the drive shaft are linked to the chamber.

When the pivot rotates, these rotors develop a chamber of different sizes. Air is compressed into the largest chamber, then compressed and left in the tiniest chamber. An advantage here is in pulsed free circulation in contrast to piston compressors. So an air tank might be optional. In addition, these compressors are relatively insensitive to dirt and quiet

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