Overview of Reciprocating Air Compressors

June 26, 2014

Air compressors explained quite simply, is a machine that moves the surrounding air into the machine and reduce its volume thereby producing pressure. The air, when released from the chamber, is then emitted forcefully out of the machine serving its main purpose.

Some of the major purposes of air compressors would include supplying air for divers who are carrying oxygen tanks with them; providing the necessary pressure for common household tools that are pressure driven such as screw and bolt drivers, nail guns, and etc.; navigating air currents for centralized air-conditioning; or just simply filling your automobile tires.

Reciprocating air compressor

This type of compressor belongs to the positive displacement category as do rotary screw compressors and the vane compressors. It uses pistons in order to take in surrounding air and pushes it inward into the machine’s chamber and accumulating more air particles packed into a very small volume.

One way valves prevent the air from leaking back out as the pistons follow their one way motion of in and out. Several models would allow using either one or both of the pistons (called single acting or double acting respectively).

The pressure is adjusted by modifying the speed by which the engine is letting the pistons run. Reciprocating air compressors also come in a wide variety such as water cooled compressor, air cooled ones and a lot more.