Air compressors are used in manufacturing and also in other industries. The industries in which these compressors are used vary and the types of compressors needed for the different industries also vary. Uses vary from small business activates such as airbrush painting to paintball. They are also used in showbiz in snow machines. Divers also use air compressors since the air they take with them to breath under water is usually compressed. There are several types of air compressors in the market today. The different types are suitable for different applications.
The following are the types of air compressors in use today.
These compressors are positive displacement. The pressure of air in them is increased, not by increasing the quantity of air but by decreasing its volume. The chamber which holds air inside the compressor is cylindrical in shape. The volume of the air in the cylindrical chamber is reduced using a piston.
Under this category, there are single stage and two stage reciprocating compressors which are available for commercial use in the market. The single stage compressors work best for pressure ranging between 70psig and 100psig. Its two-stage counterpart is normally used for pressures ranging between 100psig and 250psig.
There are two categories of reciprocating air compressors. Single acting and double acting. Single acting compressors are the ones in which compressing is achieved using only one side of the piston while double acting are the ones where compressing is achieved using both sides of the piston.
These compressors are also fall under the positive displacement category. The most common of these uses screw air compressors. These compressors have rotors that compress the air inside a casing that holds the air. Rotary screw air compressors are cooled using oil. The oil cools the compressor from inside. Since the inside is where the real work goes on, the cooled rotary screw compressor is ideal to continue working for long hours without experiencing disruptively high operating temperatures.
There is a different variety of air compressors that is oil free. Its rotary screws use air ends for compression. There is also water cooled compressors in this category. The water and air cooled rotary screw compressors help to ensure that work gets done in case there is need for oil free air.
This is also known as vane rotary air compressors. It has a fixed casing; it also has a rotor disk. The rotor disks are held together to confine their movement on the inside. These rotating discs move from the inside of the casing moving outside. The result of this is that a lot of air is trapped in the casing.
This air compressor consists of two connected lobe rotors. The connected lobes form a cavity in the casing in which they are mounted. Where the cavity is largest is where the air is gathered and compressed. The compression occurs when the lobes rotate. Their rotation reduces the space in the cavity increasing pressure on the air in the cavity. The rotors are mounted on a casing. The lobe rotors are driven by gears
Distinction between the different compressors is made through the cooling methods used by these compressors. Another factor determining classification include the cooling method used in the compressor. Whether the compressor is driven by steam, engine, mortar or other drivers is another determinant of its classification. Some compressors require lubrication by oil while others do not.
This is another way of separating between types of compressors. Different types of compressors have different number of compression stages. The other distinction between compressors is based on whether they are bought as a package or the user orders a custom-made air compressor.