How Do Air Compressors Work?

Air Compressors

An air compressor is a type of machine which converts normal air into a denser, high pressurised version. Compressed air is stored under a pressure which is greater than atmospheric pressure.

The conversion process is typically performed in 3 stages, air intake, air pressurisation and air release. There are two types of air compressors – positive displacement compressors and dynamic compressors. In positive displacement compression, air is drawn into one or more of the compression chambers, which is then closed off from an inlet. The volume of each chamber decreases, compressing the air internally.

In dynamic compression (also known as turbo compression), air is drawn in between the blades of a rapidly rotating compression impeller, this then accelerates to a high velocity. The gas is then discharged through a diffuser and the kinetic energy is transformed into static pressure.

Most air compressors come with the following specifications; Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM), this describes the volume of air the compressor is able to create per minutes, Pounds per Square Inch (PSI), this states how much air pressure is in the tank. Other specifications also include Tank Size and Horse Power (HP).

Air compressors are used for a wide range of applications in various industries, these can typically be divided into 3 classifications – consumer, professional and industrial. Applications include construction and infrastructure development, mining, drilling applications, sand blasting, manufacturing (food & beverage, pharmaceutical etc.), agriculture, the auto-mobile industry, the energy sector, home and auto repair projects.

The Construction Site
Air compressors are extremely useful on the construction site, due to their high output and efficiency. A wide range of power tools can be used to power tools on site such as power hammers, drills, saws, wrenches, nail guns, compactors and more. Such tools use either portable units which deliver power in a compact package, or via permanent compressors. Multi-stage air compressors can power multiple tools at once.

The main advantage of air compressors is that such tools don’t require large engines or heavy batteries, they run off a compressor which converts electrical energy into kinetic energy, driving energy from a tank to power tools. This provides a great advantage, as instead of using a variety of tools which each require their own power source, the air compressor can be used to power each tool as needed. Air compressors typically run quietly and don’t have as many parts, making them easier and cheaper to maintain over time.

Popular Air Compressor Brands for Construction
Doosan Air Compressors
The Doosan range of compressors offers an impressive selection which includes CE certified products as well as non- CE certified, ranging from 2m 3/min to 44m 3/min at 7 to 35 bar. The range offers the latest design features plus outstanding performance and serviceability.

Atlas Copco
Swedish based Atlas Copco offer a comprehensive range of air compressor products which support a range of different industrial uses suitable for the construction site, offering energy efficient solutions for low, medium and high pressure applications.

Ingersoll Rand
US based Ingersoll Rand introduced its first pneumatic device over 135 years ago, the company offer a diverse product range with complete air compressor systems, tools and more.

For more information on air compressors for construction and other industries, get in touch with AT Wilde today.

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