The compressor is a mechanical device that increases the pressure of a gas by reducing its volume. It is used to increase the pressure of air from low pressure to high pressure by using some external energy. Compressors are similar to pumps: which increase the pressure on a fluid and can transport the fluid through a pipe.
Types of compressors
1. Rotary screw compressor
Rotary air compressors are positive displacement compressors. The most common rotary air compressor is the single-stage helical or spiral lobe oil flooded screw air compressor. These compressors consist of two rotors within a casing where the rotors compress the air internally. There are no valves. These units are basically oil cooled (with air-cooled or water-cooled oil coolers) where the oil seals the internal clearances. Since the cooling takes place right inside the compressor, the working parts never experience extreme operating temperatures. The rotary compressor, therefore, is a continuous duty, air-cooled or water-cooled compressor package.
● They are generally used to
supply compressed air for larger industrial applications.
● They are best applied in applications that
have a continuous air demand such as food packaging plants and automated
manufacturing systems although a large enough number of intermittent demands,
along with some storage.
● They are incredibly
● They are easier to maintain.
● They are designed to run
tools that generate more power than typical equipment.
● They are good energy conservers
● Special maintenance is
● Quite expensive
2. Centrifugal compressor
A centrifugal compressor is a type of dynamic compressor or turbocompressor, with a radial design. Unlike displacement compressors that work at a constant flow, dynamic compressors work at constant pressure and the performance is affected by external conditions such as changes in inlet temperatures.
● Food and beverage industry - the centrifugal compressor provides oil-free compressed air for some sensitive
applications such as food processing.
● Centrifugal compressor meets the high demand of the compressed air.
● Gas turbines, in automobile
turbochargers and superchargers.
● Oil refineries, natural-gas
● Low weight, easy to design
● Suitable for continuous
compressed air supply, such as cooling unit
● They are oil-free in nature.
● They have fewer rubbing
● High-flow rate than the
positive displacement compressor.
● Large frontal area for a
given airflow rate compared to the axial flow compressor.
● Unsuitable for very high
compression, limited pressure.
● They are sensitive to changes
in gas composition.
● They work at high speed,
sophisticated vibration mounting needed.
3. Reciprocating Compressor
air compressors work on the principle of reciprocation, which means to move
something back and forth. Also known as piston compressors, these machines are
positive displacement equipment, meaning that they increase pressure in air to
compress it. Understanding reciprocating compressor design and the types of
compressors available is essential to choosing the right model for your
application, whether you’re a home artisan or run a factory floor.
● Sandblasters in machine shops
● Wood or auto body sanding
● Spray painting for vehicles
● Dental and some medical tools
● Used to produce high-pressure
● It can compress gases and refrigerants of a wide range of molecular density.
● High efficiency and
● Cheap and rugged design.
● The size of the compressor is
very large for a given capacity.
● Part of the work input is
lost due to frictional resistance between the piston and cylinder.
● Pulsating of fluid flow. The
operation can be made smooth by using a flywheel.
● High vibration and noise.
compressors are found in a wide range of environments for an even wider range
of uses. You’ll see gas stations offering compressed air to inflate your
vehicle’s tires and your tire shop using compressed air with an air tool to
remove your tires. You may have seen small desktop air compressors used with an
airbrush or a trailer-style gas-powered air compressor at a construction site
powering jackhammers and concrete compactors. Air compressors have a multitude
of uses for leisure and maintenance at home or in businesses to get work done
efficiently and safely. The pressure that comes from compressed air has so many
uses in industries.