Compressed Air Compressors – Purpose, Types & Applications

 Introduction to Compressed Air Compressor

Air compressor is a powerful device that converts energy (electricity, gas or fuel) into compressed air. The air compressor produces compressed air by forcing the passage of the air through small volume in a way in which it increases the pressure of the air. The produced compressed air is stored in special storing tanks.

Purpose Of The Use Of Air Compressor

In many industrial sites, compressed air is adapted as a reliable and clean power source. Due to this reason, one of the indispensable pieces of equipment in industrial sites such as: construction, mining, chemical manufacturing, automotive industry, etc., are the compressed air compressors. In these industries and in home use as well, the air compressor is used for powering wide variety of pneumatic tools including: impact wrenches, nail guns, sanders, spray guns, drills, staplers and more.


Types of Compressed Air Compressors

Air compressors are classified into several categories according to a variety of criteria.

  • The number of the compression stages through which the compressed air system converts the energy into pressurized air.
  • The cooling method – whether the device is cooled with air, water or oil during the operation.
  • Type of lubrication – oil and oil free types of air compressors.
  • The drive method – the compressed air compressor can be driven by motor, engine or steam.

According to the aforementioned criteria, the compressed air systems are classified into three major groups:

1. Reciprocating Air Compressors – This type of compressed air systems are positive displacement units. This means that these machines produce compressed air by increasing the pressure while reducing the volume of the air. This is done with the use of piston which is placed within a cylinder of the device. There are two types of reciprocating air compressors: single stage and two stage reciprocating air compressor.

2. Rotary Screw Air Compressors – Also known as positive displacement compressors, the rotary screw compressed air compressor is consisted of two rotors. This type of compressed air system produces compressed air internally. The rotary screw air compressor provides continuous powering with compressed air. It can be cooled with water or air. This compressed air device is extremely easy for maintaining and operating.

3. Rotary Centrifugal Air Compressors – The centrifugal compressed air compressor is one of the top three most commonly used devices in numerous industrial sites. The operation of this compressor depends on the transfer of energy from a rotating impeller to the air that is being compressed. This type of air compressors does not need lubrication with oil.


As we said before, the compressed air compressor is used in a wide range of industries.

  • Construction – for powering devices such as demolition hammers, concrete compactors and conveyor systems.
  • Medicine – in producing power for dentist’s drills, respiration systems, extraction of anesthetic gases and more.
  • Mining – for producing energy for rock drilling and pneumatic hammers, maintaining ventilation systems, etc.
  • Chemicals Industry – using compressed air as raw material for oxidation processes, during process control, for remote-controlled valves in process circuits and other machines.