We have been using compressed air since the end of the steam age in the mid-19th century, when it was discovered that compressed air travels well down a sealed pipe, making for a better solution than steam. Today, there are many sectors that rely on compressed air, with compressors of numerous designs, specifically designed for one job, and here is a brief outline of the different types of air compressors on the market.
- Rotary Screw Compressors – The most common type of compressor, the rotary screw is a displacement compressor that does not require a lot of maintenance, and can be oil-free or oil mixed. These are used in auto paint spray shops and garages to inflate tyres and clean with sandblasting, indeed, almost all engineering shops would have at least one rotary screw compressor. For the best prices, check out Pneutech Australia’s new website, where you will find everything you need, and at trade prices too!
- Piston Compressors – They used to be at the top of the tree, before the arrival of the rotary screw, and for many users, a twin piston compressor is all that is needed. A standard piston compressor is inexpensive and they run for years, with minimal maintenance, making them a favourite with many people. The sensor tells the compressor when to fire up, which it does frequently in order to maintain the desired air pressure, and most businesses leave it running all day.
- Reciprocation Compressors – These are used by individuals and small workshops and are not designed to run continuously like the rotary screw. There are more moving parts in a reciprocating compressor, so maintenance is required, and the pistons force the air into very high pressure, which is more than enough to run your application. There are multi-stage compressors, with relays of pistons that rotate the pressurisation, ensuring you always have the required PSI.
- Dynamic Air Compressors – They work by sucking in air with rotating blades, which is then restricted to create air pressure, and this kinetic energy is stored in the compressor. By forcing air into a confined space, pressure is created, and these large systems can be found in factories and complexes where compressed air is required. Technology is rapidly advancing, with the Internet of Things being launched early next year, and this will have beneficial effects for humanity.
- Axial Compressors – Huge and complex, an axial compressor would be found large ships and aircraft, developing massive air pressures that are used in the aerospace and marine industries. Very expensive and requiring constant attention, these are the hi-end systems that can generate thousands of horsepower. Here is some technical data concerning the use of compressed air, which you should read.
If you are in need of compressed air, Google is your best friend and once on the supplier’s website, you can browse the various types until you find what you are looking for. The supplier is always happy to advise, and can source any make and model, while also offering maintenance for a small cost. As to the best type of compressor, that very much depends of what you are doing, and the supplier would be most helpful is you are unsure what type of compressor you need.