Air compressors are vital pieces of equipment that supply a steady flow of compressed air for long periods. These are useful in many industrial and commercial applications. The many types of industrial air compressors feature durability and longevity, handling the high demands of manufacturing plants in items from power air tools and paint sprayers to blast equipment and propelling gas through pipelines.
That’s right. Industrial air compressors are found in a wide range of environments and offer a wide range of uses. Gas stations provide compressed air to inflate your tires, and construction sites use gas-powered industrial air compressors to power jackhammers. While some smaller home air compressors offer a lot less power – think of your HVAC system and refrigerator.
In this post, we look at the different types of industrial air compressors.
These are also known as reciprocating compressors. They depend on the reciprocating action of one or more pistons to compress gas within a cylinder and release it through valving into high-pressure receiving tanks. These compressors provide compressed air as an energy source and are used by pipeline operators. Piston compressors are intended to function within a duty cycle, allowing the heat generated to dissipate through air-cooled fins.
The diaphragm compressor uses a motor-mounted concentric that oscillates a flexible disc that alternately expands and contracts the compression chamber’s volume. So the drive is sealed from the process fluid by this flexible disk. The bonus here is that there is no likelihood of lubricant coming in contact with any gas.
Helical Screw Compressors
These are rotary compressor machines that work on a complete duty cycle. This means that they are a good choice for construction or road building, where a trailer is used. The compressor’s rotors pull gas in at the drive end, compress it as the rotors form a cell, the gas travels axially, and discharges the compressed gas through a port on the non-drive end. Since there is reduced vibration from the rotary screw action, these are quieter compressors. If you need an oil-free service, the Helical Screw is the way to go. They can be designed to make oil-free air.
Sliding Vane Compressors
This sort of compressor relies on a series of vanes mounted in a rotor. This then sweeps the inside cavity wall, rotating from the suction side to the discharge side of the cavity. They reduce the volume of space they are sweeping, compressing the trapped gas. Since the vanes glide along on an oil film, they cannot provide oil-free air. However, they can provide compressed air that is free of pulsations. Also quiet and capable of operating at complete duty cycles, they are a reliable type of compressor.
Scroll compressors use stationary and orbiting spirals, decreasing the volume of space between them as the revolving spirals follow the path of the fixed spirals. No lubricating oil is needed here, making the compressor oil-free. Capacities for these compressors are more limited since no oil is used to remove the heat of compression. These are often used in low-end or home air compressors.
These depend on high-speed pump-like impellers to impart velocity to gases to create an increase in pressure. You’ll find them in high-volume applications in big processing plants. They improve the rate of gas by driving it outward by the action of a spinning impeller. The gas expands in a casing volute, where its velocity slows, and its pressure rises. Centrifugal compressors can handle huge volumes of gas.
Axial compressors achieve the highest volumes of delivered air. They tend toward multi-stage designs because of their low compression ratios. They increase pressure by first expanding the velocity of the gas. They then slow the gas down by passing it through curved, fixed blades, which increases its pressure.
Looking for New Industrial Equipment?
If you are looking for advice on new industrial equipment and industrial air compressors that are best for your business or the servicing of industrial air compressors and torque converters, contact Fitz Equipment. With over 50 years of dependable, fast, and friendly service, Fitz Equipment uses trusted brands Gardner Denver, Joy, FS Curtis, and Champion air compressors. Fitz Equipment also manufactures parts for torque converters and specialty machine parts.