Different Types of Air Compressor and Their Working Mechanism

Compressed air is a popular source of energy for powering tools. It provides the energy needed to run machines such as conveyors and aeration equipment. The range of equipment relying on compressed air can be as small as a hand-held gun or a big machine fitted in a manufacturing room. Machine and automotive doors also rely on compressed air to make their cabins safe for goods and passengers. Certainly, the range of applications means that air compressors come in different types with varying working mechanisms. You can only make the right purchase decision if you understand what lies beneath the different air compressors. Here is a closer look:

Reciprocating Single-Acting Air Compressors

Reciprocating single-acting air compressors come in two forms. The first one is a single-stage design that draws air from the atmosphere and compresses it to a certain pressure level in one stroke. These types of compresses are ideal for pressure levels ranging from seventy to one-hundred and thirty-five pounds per square inch.

On the other hand, you can get a two-stage design that draws air from the atmosphere and compresses it to an interim pressure level during the first stage. During this stage, the air loses most of the compression heat before going through an intercooler in the final stage. It also achieves the absolute pressure during this stage. Single- and double-stage air compressors have a wide application in auto repair shops and industrial plants.

Rotary Sliding Vane Air Compressors

Rotary sliding vane compressors feature a rotor fitted conventionally in its housing. The turning of the rotor forces the vanes to slide by centrifugal force. Consequently, the vanes form a seal on the lubricant film used to coat the stator wall. The lubricant ensures that metal-to-metal contact doesn't occur as the blade's tip moves through the equipment. Essentially, air compression happens because of the reducing volume of space between the eccentric cylinder and the sliding vane.

The working mechanism of the vane-type compressors allows a smooth, pulse-free and quiet operation. They are the go-to air compressors when you want a noise-free operation.

Diaphragm-Type Air Compressors

Diaphragm air compressors share a working mechanism with reciprocating air compressors. However, there are some slight variations. Here, pressure build-up happens because of the oscillating or reciprocating action of a flexible disc. You do not need a sliding seal between the moving components of the set-up. Diaphragm-type air compressors are ideal for equipment that should not have any contaminants, such as hospital lab equipment. The compressor's output is limited and suitable for light-duty work.