How Do Compressors Work?

An air compressor consists of an electrical motor that compresses the air into a tank. The compressed air can be released at the selected pressure when required. How does an air compressor work? What are the requirements for selecting an appropriate gas compressor? Well there are a range of various compressor types.

Let’s continue with a summary. Typically compressors utilized in automation and workshops are the so-called positive displacement compressors. When air is drawn into a space and the volume of that container is decreased, here pressure is created. For this short article we want to limit 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 enables atmospheric air to get in 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 warmed. This is an issue for every compressor. The outcome is not just a less effective compression cycle, but also the risk of a genuine surge if any combustible compounds, such as oil or lubricants, touch with the piston and air. The pressure of a single phase compressor is limited to an output pressure of about 10 bar or 145 pounds To accomplish higher pressures, you can use a multi-step compressor.

In a two phase compressor, the big piston builds the first stage. The air that exits the first stage can now be cooled before entering the 2nd phase. With a two-stage compressor, you can accomplish pressure in excess of 20 bar or 290 psi. Multistage compressors can also be utilized with high-power water-cooled jackets to avoid getting too hot. Based upon its working principle, the reciprocating compressor provides only pulse compressed air.

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

The diaphragm compressor belongs to the piston compressor family. Here the suction chamber of the piston is shut by a diaphragm. The advantage of a diaphragm compressor is the compressed air in the compression chamber does not come in contact with the piston and is oiled. Hence it can be kept free of oil. Here are some examples:


Because flexibility is limited, the weak point of a diaphragm compressor is normally its diaphragm itself. Diaphragm compressors are utilized for example in the food industry or for filling divers bottles.

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

So when the pivot rotates, these rotors develop a chamber of numerous sizes. Air is compressed into the largest chamber, then compressed and left in the smallest chamber. An advantage here is in pulsed free circulation in contrast to piston compressors. So an air tank may be optional. Additionally, these compressors are relatively insensitive to dirt and quiet

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