Unless you work in a specific industry, you may have no knowledge of air compressors and how they work, but these mechanical devices are a lot more common than you might think. Any time you blow up a helium balloon, pump a tyre, or use a pneumatic tool – you’re using equipment powered by air compressors.

Air compressors have many useful applications across a wide range of industries, so if you want to know more about what they are, how they work and how they can be used, read on for our brief guide.

What are air compressors?

A compressor is any mechanical device that increases the pressure of a gas by reducing its volume.

So, an air compressor is a type of gas compressor which converts power (using an electric motor or gas/diesel engine) into potential energy stored by compressed air. Air compressors come in three common types based on how they function: reciprocal, rotary screw and centrifugal.

What are they used for?

Air compressors have a wide and varied range of uses, in both domestic and commercial environments. Just a few of their domestic uses include; tidying up dust and loose debris, inflating bicycle tyres or pool equipment, airbrush painting or pressure washing.

Air compressors are also used on an industrial or commercial scale with uses such as sandblasting, painting vehicles, powering pneumatic drills, air tools and nail guns. Industries that use air compressors include the agricultural, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industry, for applications such as spraying crops, bottling medicines, powering dairy machines and ejecting pieces from production moulds.

How do air compressors work?

Air compressors work in different ways, depending on the type of compressor (rotary screw, reciprocal etc), but in simple terms, air compressors convert power into potential energy stored by compressed air. The power can come in the form of an electric motor or a gas/diesel engine, which then forces more and more air into a storage tank, increasing the pressure. When the tank reaches the set upper limit, the air compressor shuts off and the compressed air is held in the tank until needed.

If you’re looking for high-quality industrial air compressors and equipment, get in touch with the experts at Air Supply. We’re proud to offer a full range of products and services for all your compressed air needs, including compressors, air dryers, in-line filters and air receivers. Our team of fully trained engineers are also on hand to provide any maintenance and repair services you might need, so give us a call today or visit our website to find out more.

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