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reciprocating air compressor

What To Know About Reciprocating Air Compressors

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A compressor is a mechanical device that is used to increases the pressure of a gas by reducing its volume. An air compressor is a specific type of gas compressor.

Compressors are similar to pumps: both increase the pressure on a fluid and both can transport the fluid through a pipe. As gases are compressible, the compressor also reduces the volume of a gas. Liquids are relatively incompressible; while some can be compressed, the main action of a pump is to pressurise and transport liquids.

The main and important types of compressors are classified as below:


Types of air compressors

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So What is a Reciprocating Air Compressor?

A reciprocating compressor is a positive-displacement machine that uses a piston to compress gas and deliver it at high pressure.

They are often some of the most critical and expensive systems at a production facility and deserve special attention. Gas transmission pipelines, petrochemical plants, refineries and many other industries all depend on this type of equipment.

Due to many factors, including but not limited to the quality of the initial specification/design, adequacy of maintenance practices and operational factors, industrial facilities can expect widely varying lifecycle costs and reliability from their own installations.

Various compressors are found in almost every industrial facility. Types of gases compressed include the following:

• Air for compressed tool and instrument air systems

• Hydrogen, oxygen, etc. for chemical processing

• Light hydrocarbon fractions in refining

• Various gases for storage or transmission

• Other applications

There are two primary classifications of industrial compressors: intermittent flow (positive displacement), including reciprocating and rotary types; and continuous flow, including centrifugal and axial flow types.

Reciprocating compressors are typically used where high compression ratios (ratio of discharge to suction pressures) are required per stage without high flow rates, and the process fluid is relatively dry.

Wet gas compressors tend to be centrifugal types. High flow, low compression ratio applications are best served by axial flow compressors. Rotary types are primarily specified in compressed air applications, though other types of compressors are also found in air service.


Components of a Reciprocating Compressor


Reciprocating Air Compressors Components

A reciprocating compressor uses pistons to compress air. The compressor has a similar design to an internal combustion engine; it even looks similar. There is a central crankshaft that drives anywhere from two to six pistons inside cylinders. The crankshaft is generally driven by an external motor. This motor can be electric or internal combustion. However, it determines the total horsepower of the compressor.

Compressing the Gas

As the pistons drawback, gas is injected from an intake valve in the compressor. This gas is injected into the cylinders of the pistons and is then compressed by the reciprocating action of the pistons. The gas is then discharged either to be used immediately by a pneumatic machine or stored in compressed air tanks. However, the gas must be stored or used directly from the compressor to prevent it from losing its pressurization.


Reciprocating Air Compressor Uses

Reciprocating-air-compressor-usesBusinesses of all sizes use reciprocating air compressors. Some of the industries that make heavy use of this compressor type include auto service, dental service and a variety of recreational services, for example. Here is a quick look at some of the most common compressor uses for businesses ranging from small to medium size:

• Sandblasters in machine shops or factories
• Wood or auto body sanding
• Spray painting for vehicles
• Manufacturing snow for skiing or other entertainment purposes
• Dental and some medical tools
• Pneumatic nail guns, hammers and drills in construction
• Air guns for cleaning machinery

Air compressors are also common in the agriculture industry, for uses such as:

• Conveyors that move feed or grain between silos and other destinations
• Ventilation systems in greenhouses or hydroponic systems
• Crop spraying to deliver pesticides or fertilizer
• Powering different types of material handling machinery
• Powering various dairy machines from milking to material transportation
• Compressed air is also an essential power source for large businesses in the manufacturing industry.

Fabrication, assembly, refinery plants and more use compressed air to power:

• Air tools and automated machinery
• Welding or cutting equipment
• Component ejection from moulds
• Production monitoring devices
• Feed and roller machinery adjustments
• Moulding gas tanks and plastic bottles
• Positioners, air knives, clamps and air chucks
• Pneumatic finishing and packaging devices

In terms of everyday applications, air compressors are more essential than most people realize. Refrigerators and freezers use air compressors to cool air within the unit, and air conditioners use them as the main source of power for cooling. Even recreational activities like paintball and scuba diving make use of air compression.


Looking for the best air compressor service and repair in Sydney? Contact All Air Compressors today! We will help you decide which air compressor is best for your needs. All Air Compressors is also providing repair services for your industrial air compressors.