Air compressors are the most common machine in a number of industries, from aerospace and aviation to construction and manufacturing. And because they’re used to power a lot of different machines like paint guns, pressure washers, and sandblasters, it’s important to know the differences between air compressors and know what kind you need for your project.
There are two main styles of air compressors, reciprocating and rotary screw air compressors. The biggest difference between the two lies in the way they generate pressure. While a reciprocating air compressor uses a series of crankshaft-powered pistons to compress air inside the tank, a rotary screw air compressor uses a pair of rotating intermeshed helical screws to push air into the tank. The difference in method also means that they have completely different characteristics.
Reciprocating air compressors include a number of other components in addition to the pistons and crankshaft, such as connecting rods and valves. This increases the vulnerability to damage and breakdowns. More parts also means more heat. Because the different components are touching, they generate more internal friction, resulting in operating temperatures of 150 to 200 degrees Celsius, thus requiring the addition of an intensive cooling system. Because of the complex crankshaft-piston system, reciprocating air compressors are able to provide up to 250 psi of pressure. However, this causes another drawback as this means noise levels of above 80 decibels.
Rotary screw air compressors, on the other hand, are much simpler with less parts. The two rotors don’t touch, so they generally don’t experience much wear and tear, nor is heat generated from friction. Rotary screw air compressors have an operating temperature of 80 to 99 degrees Celsius, which means that they don’t need a cooling system. Despite the efficiency, they can only generate 90 to 125 psi of pressure. The difference between the two types of air compressors is rather stark. Where one is more powerful but more susceptible to damage, the other is weaker but more efficient and long-lasting.
But, that doesn’t mean that both don’t require regular maintenance and repair. When you need replacement parts for your air compressors, you can come to us at ASAP NSN Parts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor. As one of the leading suppliers of aerospace and aviation parts, we have everything you need for your air compressors, from pistons to cooling systems. Just call us at +1-714-705-4780 to get started.