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Industrial Air Compressor: How Does It Work?

An industrial air compressor is used for everything from pumping up a flat tire in a mechanics workshop to spraying paint on a ceramic sculpture. These versatile machines are as likely to be found in a home garage as they are on the factory floor.

Why are they so popular? They’re more affordable, streamlined, and powerful than ever before. Read on for some industrial air compressor tips designed to help you better understand the inner workings of these remarkable machines.

What Is an Industrial Air Compressor?

As you can probably tell already, the function of this essential piece of equipment is in the name. 

An air compressor “compresses” air to fit inside an object. The compressed air becomes pressurized, transforming into a powerful driving force. The air is then used to power everything from spray paint guns to air hammers.

While there are many types of air compressors, they all consist of three major parts.

The pump is the part of the air compressor responsible for moving and compressing the air. The drive generates the power that allows the pump to do its job. The tank stores the compressed air until it is used.

An Industrial Air Compressor Guide to the Inner Workings

While there are many types of air compressors, piston-based compressors are the most common. They come in single-stage and two-stage.

In a single-stage air compressor, the piston moves one full rotation, compressing the air once the rotation is completed and forcing it into the output chamber. From there, it travels onto the tool.

A two-stage compressor generates more power than a single-stage because the rotor fires two pistons simultaneously. The larger of the two pistons draws air through the compression chamber to the intercooler. The air is then cooled with water and compressed, and forced out to the tool by the smaller piston.

The Importance of Maintenance

Whether you’re consulting an industrial air compressor buying guide or already have a machine in your workshop, you need to know about industrial air compressor repair and servicing. Air compressors are a hefty investment for most people or businesses, and you want to make sure you get your money’s worth.

Regular maintenance includes:

  • Checking and replacing lubricating oil, drives belts, and inlet air filters
  • Adding “make-up” oil—choose a synthetic oil where possible
  • Checking oil levels, belt tension
  • Reviewing all components, such as minimum pressures valves, air dryers, drains, filters, and controls

Create a maintenance schedule or work with a professional team who can stop by regularly and complete service.

The Popularity of the Industrial Air Compressor

You can find an industrial air compressor powering everything from an HVAC system to a pneumatic drill. They’re an essential part of our everyday lives. In fact, try searching “industrial air compressor near me,” and you’ll see dozens of companies in your area selling these powerful machines—a testament to their popularity as a helpful tool.

For more advice on how the machines in our lives work, browse the other articles on our blog.

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