An Air Compressor can be defined as a device that provide air at pressures higher than atmospheric with support of numerous pump drives, such as DC, AC, and gas or diesel engines. Compressed air is prime utility for many industries, since, it produce an alternative form of energy, which is safe to use, clean, versatile and portable for all process and production applications.
The modern day air compressors are available in a wide variety of hi-tech design technologies, like, rotary screw, covering reciprocating, centrifugal, portable and the latest innovation in the form of energy efficient speed rotary screw. They are designed for continuous operation, maximum efficiency, long service life and simple maintenance.
As a machine that compresses air by reducing its volume and increasing its pressure an air compressor can be divided into three basic types, on the basis of the number of compression stages, method of cooling, drive method (motor, engine, steam, other) etc. Various types of Air Compressors are :-
Reciprocating Air Compressors
These compressors takes in successive volumes of air, which is shut in an enclosed space and elevate it to a higher pressure. It employs a piston within a cylinder as the compressing and displacing element.
Rotary Screw Air Compressors
These compressors are made up of two rotors within a casing where the rotors compress the air internally. They are available in a wide range that varies according to their configuration, pressure and capacity.
Rotary Centrifugal Air Compressors
The process of these compressors depend upon the transfer of energy from a rotating impeller to the air. This oil free compressor achieves this by altering the momentum and pressure of the air.
Quality Air Compressors
While making an investment decision and deciding upon a particular kind of 'Air Compressor', one should always look for quality and protective features, like, Safety Relief Valve ( to allow the air to escape automatically), Tank Pressure Gauge & Pressure Regulator (as different processes have different pressure requirements), Thermal Overload Button (important in case of overload), Belt Guard ( a very important protection) etc.
However, there are certain guidelines that should be practiced while using an Air Compressor, even if it comes with all the quality essentials :-
- Never allow flammable materials to come in contact with the air
- Watch out the compressor for faulty gauges.
- Before starting the process, make sure that the air which is
taken inside is not only cool, but also free from flammable gases
- Check the safety valves, pressure valves, and regulators, on a
regular basis to see that they are working properly.
- Secure the engine before adjusting and repairing an air
- One should be very careful while dealing with compressed air
because if at close range, it can put out eyes, burst eardrums, and
cause serious skin burns.
- Only use nontoxic, nonflammable solution for cleaning compressor
intake filters, cylinders, or air passages.
- Before working on or removing any part of a compressor, always make sure that the compressor is safe by ensuring that all valves between the compressor and receivers are closed.