Different Types of Air Compressors

In an industrial setting or a business, compressed air has become a staple. You can find compressed air being used for tools in a business setting that used to rely on gas or electricity. For example, a pneumatic drill is just as commonly used as an electric drill. In many settings, a pneumatic wrench or hammer is more common than any other kind of tool since compressed air tools are more adaptable and more easily modified. When you buy a series of attachments for your air compressor, you can easily switch them out while you’re working. Such a process is quick and easy. The only real decision you have to make is between types of compressors.

Types of Compressors

There are two main types of compressors: screw compressors and piston compressors. Screw compressors in Melbourne are most common for all applications that require at least 30 horsepower. That is a pretty serious amount of horsepower and is usually reserved for industrial applications. Piston compressors are more common for smaller applications and/or less expensive applications. For example, home compressors are often piston compressors.

The principle is fairly simple. Air is taken into the tank of the compressor. In the tank, the air is physically forced into a smaller space. A screw compressor pushes the air forward with a screwing motion so that the air is forced to fit into a smaller space. A piston compressor usually has two chambers. The air is physically smashed by a piston into a smaller chamber where it is compressed again. The second chamber often has a cooling unit that allows it to compress air even higher.

Which Is Better?

A piston compressor is the most efficient type of compressor. It can achieve the fastest pressurisation and the highest PSI. However, the piston motion causes heavy vibration in the compressor. It also causes air to sometimes move in spurts as the piston moves. Furthermore, they typically require some kind of oil to lubricate them. You can find oil-free piston compressors, but they are not quite as common. A piston compressor needs to be on spring-loaded feet that can absorb the constant rocking of the machine.

A screw compressor does not produce the same amount of force as it operates, which is why they are popular for 30 horsepower applications. They don’t have to be built on spring-loaded feet, however, they are usually built on rubber feet so they can absorb the high vibrations from operating.

If you are looking for the most efficient possible air compressor, a two-chamber piston compressor is easily the most efficient. It can produce the highest PSI in the least amount of time. However, it will vibrate very forcefully and require routine maintenance. A screw compressor will operate in a much calmer and more stable fashion. The choice is really a matter of what is more important to you. If efficiency is your biggest concern, a piston compressor is right for you. If your biggest concerns are noise and operational hazards, a screw compressor is a better choice.   

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