Air compressors are appliances that convert and store atmospheric air into high-pressure gas in metallic tanks. The devices use a motor operated by an electric or gasoline engine to force air into the storage cylinder under high pressure. It is worth highlighting that the amount of force air compressors produce depends on different factors. For instance, clients can select from low-, medium-, and high-pressure devices. This article will discuss diverse information such as where clients can source industrial air compressor parts, applications of different units, and air compressor features, among other critical details a first-time buyer would need to understand how the units work.
Understanding Air Compressors
These are machines consisting of two units: an air storage tank and a pump. The pump forces air into a reservoir under high pressure. The stored air has high kinetic energy that is used to force a liquid through a high force pipe. The air compressor pumps are operated by electronic, diesel, or gasoline.
Air Compressor Varieties
Customers can choose a broad range of air compressors that range from the small options intended for domestic use to the large units used in industries. The intended application determines the unit that would suit the requirements of a client. The main classifications of air compressors include:
- Single-phase and dual-phase units
- Oil-free and the oil-lubricated units
- Fixed speed and the variable speed units
- Compressors and rotary screw units
Air Compressor Components
Three primary parts of the units include the tank, pump, and the drive. The drive is a motor that is powered by a fossil fuel engine or an electrical current. Regardless of the source of the power, air compressor pumps have a system that converts the energy into electrical force needed to compress the gas into a storage unit. The tank is a reservoir for the pressurized air stored for later use.
Applications of Air Compressors
The units are used in different domestic and industrial settings such as:
- Cleaning surfaces with pressurized air
- Inflating tires
- Driving pneumatic tools
- Airbrush painting
- Delivering oxygen in hospitals
- Heating and cooling vehicles
- Bottling and packaging foods
- Moving products using conveyor belts
- Running automated machines
How Air Compressors Function
Air compressors feature one motor that transforms electrical power into kinetic energy.
Many units use either rotary or the piston compressors to drive pressurized air into the reservoir tank.
- Piston Air Compressors
The working mechanism of piston air compressors resembles the system applied in vehicles. These units contain a crankshaft, a valve-head, and a cylinder linked to the piston by a rod.
Atmospheric air is sucked into the compressor via an inlet at the top while a second valve helps to discharge the air into the reservoir. The electrical energy from the power source allows the piston to push down the reservoir tank’s inner walls. The downward movement creates a vacuum above the piston, which allows the upper valve to absorb air into the low-pressure chamber (vacuumed area).
Once the piston reaches the bottom surface, the top air valve closes automatically. The piston then starts moving back to the top surface by compressing the air trapped in the vacuum created during the downward motion. When the compressed air attains a pre-set temperature and pressure, a valve allows it to enter into the reservoir tank.
- Rotary Screw Air Compressors
The rotary screw units use impellers that are covered by an involute board. These units have a valve located in the center of the compressor system that allows atmospheric air to enter into the compacting tank. The atmospheric air forces the impeller to rotate and drive out air through the expulsion valve.
According to experts, piston air compressors are mainly used in domestic applications, while the rotary screw air compressors are mostly used in industrial settings.
Due diligence is needed to assist clients in choosing air compressors that would produce adequate pressure to match their intended applications. Further, clients should consider the industrial air compressor parts in the market and the initial capital required to purchase a particular unit.
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