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Home > What's New > What is an Air Compressor?
  • What is an Air Compressor?2009-04-03
  • An air compressor increases the amount of air in a particular space. By packing in the air, the air pressure is increased which creates a force that is useful for a variety of purposes, from industrial and manufacturing to commercial and personal purposes.

    The original air compressor is the lung. When you take a deep breath to blow out your birthday candles, for example, you're increasing the pressure of the air in your lungs, which effectively is an air compressor containing pressurized air. You then use the force of the air in your lungs to blow out the flames of your birthday candles.

    Eventually, man-made air compressors were created. These fall generally fall into one of two types, positive displacement or dynamic, defined by its mode of operation. A positive displacement air compressor works by filling and then emptying an air chamber. Three common types of positive displacement air compressors are: reciprocating, rotary screw and rotary sliding vane. A dynamic air compressor, on the other hand, uses a a rotating device to accelerate and then decelerate air. This process uses the speed or velocity of the air to increase the air's pressure. Centrifugal air compressors are dynamic air compressors.

    Compressed air can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used to alter the chemical composition as in the case of making fertilizer or it can be used for industrial purposes like production line manufacturing processes or it can be used to maintain industrial plants. Perhaps the most well known use of the air compressor is in the case of pneumatic tools like air powered nail guns, staplers, sanders, spray guns, or ratchet wrenches. Air compressors can also be used to move debris. These tools are commonly available at hardware stores for purchase or rental.

    Another way to group air compressor types is by the number of stages it has. A two-stage air compressor is usually used for heavy duty use. This type of unit offers a higher level of compression than smaller, single stage air compressors. A two-stage air compressor can store air for future use, and is more energy efficient since it produces more air per unit of horsepower than a single stage compressor. Also, less heat is generated in a two-stage compressor, which means that wear on the unit is reduced. Portable electric air compressors are also available for light-duty applications.

    Depending on the type of air compressor, operation costs can be high, as in the case of plant maintenance. While air compressors can run on manual labor, like a hand powered air compressors, most run on either electricity or natural gas. It's the natural gas air compressor that is usually more cost-effective. If the air compressor is used in a small, enclosed area, an electric model may be more desirable in order to avoid gas fumes.

    The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) attests to the quality and protective features of air compressors. Their rating can be considered in evaluating air compressors for purchase or rental. In some states, only ASME-certified air compressors may be sold. Some safety features include a safety relief valve, which lets air escape if the tank's pressure exceeds the maximum. The air compressor should also have a belt guard for protection, and an enclosed air intake filtration system.

    As with all tools, proper safety should exercised when using an air compressor. When not being used, air compressors should be properly powered off and unplugged.

    For more information,please visit http://www.bossgoo.com

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