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How Different Types of Air Compressors Work

This article covers the different ways air compressors work, depending on the type. Compressors are used in many industries, including automotive and manufacturing.

What Are the Different Types of Air Compressors?

If you're researching air compressors, you might be wondering about the available different types. There are many different kinds of air compressors, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here's a quick overview of some of the most common types of air compressors:
Reciprocating air compressors use pistons to draw in air and then force it out under pressure. These are some of the most versatile and widely-used models, but they can be loud and require more maintenance than other types.
Rotary screw air compressors use two counter-rotating screws to trap air in a chamber, which is then compressed with the turn of the screw. This type is typically quieter and more energy-efficient than reciprocating models, but they're also more expensive.
Centrifugal air compressors use an impeller to draw in air and then spin it at high speeds to generate pressure. These models are very efficient thanks to their high-speed operation, but they can produce a lot of noise.

How Do Centrifugal Air Compressors Work?

A centrifugal air compressor is a type of positive displacement compressor that uses a rotating impeller to force air into a chamber where it is compressed. The impeller rotates at high speeds, and the centrifugal force created by this movement pushes the air into the chamber, where the chamber walls compress it.

How Do Piston Air Compressors Work?

Piston air compressors work by using a crankshaft to drive a piston up and down in a cylinder. The piston compresses the air as it moves up and then allows the air to expand as it moves back down. This process is repeated over and over again, and the resulting compressed air is stored in a tank.