How does an Air Compressor work?

An air compressor includes an electrical motor that compresses the air into a tank. When required, the compressed air can be released at the picked pressure. How does an air compressor work? What are the criteria for selecting an appropriate gas compressor? Well there are a range of various compressor types.

Let’s continue with an overview. Generally compressors used in automation and workshops are the so-called positive displacement compressors. Here pressure is created when gas is drawn into a space and the volume of that container is reduced. For this post we wish to restrict ourselves to this type of compressor. Let’s take a closer view of the reciprocating compressor.

The crankshaft turns which moves the piston inside the cylindrical housing. An inlet valve likewise called an intake valve permits atmospheric 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.

When it is compressed, the air is heated. This is an issue for every compressor. The result is not simply a less efficient compression cycle, however likewise the risk of a genuine surge if any combustible substances, such as oil or lubricants, touch with the piston and air. Therefore, the pressure of a single phase compressor is limited to an output pressure of about 10 bar or 145 lbs To achieve greater pressures, you can utilize a multi-step compressor.

In a two phase compressor, the large piston develops the first stage. The air that exits the first stage can now be cooled before entering the second phase. With a two-stage compressor, you can achieve pressure in excess of 20 bar or 290 psi. Multistage compressors can likewise be used with high-power water-cooled jackets to prevent getting too hot. Based on its working concept, the reciprocating compressor supplies just pulse compressed air.

This type of compressor is used in combination with a tank. However, making use of a tank supplies the benefit that the compressor can be operated with a two-point controller, resulting in less power usage and wear.

The diaphragm compressor belongs to the piston compressor family. Here the suction chamber of the piston is closed by a diaphragm. The benefit of a diaphragm compressor is the compressed air in the compression chamber does not come in contact with the piston and is lubricated. Hence it can be kept free of oil. Here are a few examples:


Because flexibility is limited, the weak point of a diaphragm compressor is normally its diaphragm itself. Diaphragm compressors are used for instance in the food market or for filling scuba divers bottles.

The working concept is totally unique from the so-called rotary compressor, which is likewise called a vane compressor. A typical rotary compressor has a cylindrical housing. Adjustable rotors with their center point on the drive shaft are connected to the housing.

When the pivot rotates, these rotors develop a chamber of different sizes. Air is compressed into the biggest chamber, then left and compressed in the tiniest chamber. An advantage here is in pulsed free circulation in contrast to piston compressors. An air tank may be optional. Additionally, these compressors are quiet and reasonably insensitive to dirt.