22 Mar

How Do Gas Compressors Work?

An air compressor consists of an electric motor that compresses the air into a tank. The compressed air can be expelled at the selected pressure when required. How does an air compressor work? What are the requirements for choosing an appropriate air compressor? Well there are a variety of various compressor types.

Let’s continue with a summary. Usually compressors used in automation and workshops are the so-called plus displacement compressors. When air is drawn into a space and the volume of that space is minimized, here pressure is created. For this article we wish to restrict ourselves to this kind of compressor. Let’s take a better dive into the reciprocating compressor.

The crankshaft turns which moves the piston inside the cylindrical chamber. An inlet valve also called an intake valve allows fresh air to enter the cylinder. This is done during a suction blow from the cylinder. The vacuum valve deflates or opens at high pressure during the pressure paddle.

The air is warmed when it is compressed. This is an issue for every compressor. The result is not simply a less effective compression cycle, however also the threat of a genuine surge if any flammable compounds, such as oil or lubes, touch with the piston and air. The pressure of a single stage compressor is limited to an output pressure of about 10 bar or 145 pounds To attain higher pressures, you can use a multi-step compressor.

In a two stage compressor, the large piston develops the first stage. The air that exits the first stage can now be cooled prior to entering the 2nd stage. With a two-stage compressor, you can attain pressure in excess of 20 bar or 290 psi. Multistage compressors can also be used with high-power water-cooled jackets to prevent getting too hot. Based on its working principle, the reciprocating compressor offers just pulse compressed air.

So this kind of compressor is used in conjunction with a tank. However, the use of a tank offers the advantage that the compressor can be run with a two-point controller, leading to less power usage and wear.

The diaphragm compressor comes from the piston compressor family. Here the suction chamber of the piston is shut by a diaphragm. The advantage of a diaphragm compressor is the compressed air in the compression chamber does not come into contact with the piston and is lubed. Therefore it can be kept without oil. These are a few examples:


The weak point of a diaphragm compressor is usually its diaphragm itself since flexibility is limited. Diaphragm compressors are used for instance in the food market or for filling divers bottles.

The working principle is totally different from the so-called rotary compressor, which is also called a vane compressor. A typical rotary compressor has a cylindrical chamber. Adjustable rotors with their center point on the drive shaft are linked to the chamber.

So when the pivot rotates, these rotors produce a chamber of different sizes. Air is compressed into the biggest chamber, then compressed and left in the smallest chamber. An advantage here remains in pulsed free flow in contrast to piston compressors. So an air tank may be optional. In addition, these compressors are reasonably insensitive to dirt and quiet

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