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Various Types of Compressors Used in Industries

Posted by SwiftEquipment on August 1st, 2016

Ever since they were first introduced over a century ago, air compressors have continued to be important in various industries. To this day, they are considered flexible, clean, safe, and convenient to use. Air compressors have developed from simple machinery to highly reliable equipment for a wide range of applications. Compressors come in many different types and sizes and the most common ones that are used in industries are a rotary screw, piston or reciprocating compressors, rotary sliding vane, and centrifugal compressors. 

Rotary screw compressors

The air from these compressors fill the void between helical mated screws and their respective housing. The volume is reduced when two screws are turned, resulting in more air pressure. Rotary screw compressors typically inject oil into the compression and bearing area to cool, lubricate, and provide a seal between the housing wall and screws, thus minimizing internal leakage. Oil and air are separated following the compression cycle before the air system uses the air. 

Reciprocating or piston compressors

These compressors are among the widely available equipment considered as positive displacement compressors with horse powers ranging from fractional to very high. Positive displacement air compressors operate by filling the air chamber with air before reducing the volume of the chamber. They work like internal combustion engines, but in reverse. These compressors have pistons, housing blocks, valves, crankshafts, and cylinders. 

Rotary sliding vane compressors

Similar to rotary screw and reciprocating compressors, the rotary sliding vane compressor is a positive displacement compressor with a pump, which is composed of eight blades, a stator, and a rotor. The slotted rotor is arranged in the stator, resulting in a crescent-shaped swept area between the exhaust and intake ports. As the rotor revolves once, compression occurs when the volume goes from maximum at the intake to minimum at the exhaust. Vanes are forced out from the rotor slots and placed against the stator wall via rotational acceleration. Oil is introduced to the air intake and stator walls to lubricate the vanes and bearings, cool the air, and create a seal between the stat

or wall and vanes. Following the compression cycle, the air and oil are separated before the air goes to the air system. 

Centrifugal compressors

Unlike the first three compressors we have mentioned, these are not positive displacement compressors. They use extremely high-speed spinning impellers, which can be as fast as up to 60,000 rpm to accelerate air, while the diffuser decelerates the air. The process is known as 'dynamic compression' and it relies on velocity to increase pressure. Centrifugal compressors can create several combinations between the impeller and diffuser. These machines come with intercoolers between every stage to cool the air and eliminate 100 percent of condensate to prevent damage to the impeller due to erosion. 

About The Author:

 Josh Kramer is President and Founder of Swift Equipment Solutions. They offers new, surplus and refurbished equipment assets. The equipment includes refurbished engines, compressors, and generators. They also specialize in giving recommendation for equipment solutions that exactly fit the requirements for their customers’.

Also See: Rotary Screw, Positive Displacement, Air Compressors, Sliding Vane, Compressors, Air, Rotary

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