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Air compressors are useful in all sorts of applications. You can find air compressors on marine vessels, in manufacturing plants, and in home workshops. The type of job to be performed indicates the type of air compressor needed, which in turn determines the specific compressed air service required.

Types of Air Compressors

The most common type of air compressor is a positive-displacement compressor. This type operates by a gas engine or electric motor and consists of the following parts:

  • Valve head
  • Cylinder
  • Piston
  • Connecting rod
  • Crankshaft

The operation of a positive-displacement air compressor is similar to that of a small combustion engine. The movement of the piston reduces the size of the space that contains the air, which increases the pressure.

Another type of compressor generates air pressure with the use of rotating impellers. However, these are not as common.

Uses for Air Compressors

Professional contractors and mechanics use air compressors, as do homeowners. Woodworkers also use air compressors. This is true regardless of whether woodworking is a profession or a hobby. Air compressors are also found in major manufacturing plants as well as corner gas stations.

Homeowners can obtain air compressors through tool dealers and local home centers. They are handy for inflating things like pool toys or tires, but their usefulness extends beyond these types of tasks. Additional household uses for air compressors include powering spray guns, staplers, drills, sanders, and nail guns. Tools that run on air compressors have fewer parts to wear out and run more quietly. They are also easier to handle for being more compact and lighter without their own bulky engines.

In manufacturing, air compressors are now used to power a mechanical system that drives most, if not all, of the tools. Compressors pressurize the air, and the energy that results is stored in the air tanks until needed.