Reciprocating air compressors work on the principle of reciprocity, which means moving something back and forth. Also known as piston compressors, these machines are positive displacement equipment, which means they increase the pressure in the air to compress it. A reciprocating air compressor (also known as a piston-type air compressor) uses pistons driven by a crankshaft to compress air. Pistons were first used to compress air in the mid-17th century.
Today's reciprocating air compressors are largely the same as the compressors used in the late 19th century during the industrial revolution. A reciprocating air compressor is a positive displacement compressor that uses a crankshaft driven piston and cylinder to compress air. A single-stage reciprocating piston compressor works by drawing air into the cylinder, where it is compressed into a single piston stroke of approximately 120 PSI and then sent to a storage tank. A two-stage compressor includes additional steps in which air is compressed by a second, smaller piston to a pressure of up to 175 PSI.
See our reciprocating piston air compressor collection below. Reciprocating compressors work through a piston inside a cylinder, which compresses and displaces air to generate pressure. Reciprocating compressors can come in single- or multi-stage variations, which affects the pressure ranges they can reach. Reciprocating compressors belong to the category of positive displacement compressors.
These types of compressors work by drawing fluid into a fixed volume chamber through a mechanical component that physically displaces the air. Other types of positive displacement compressors include rolling piston, rotary screw, rotary vane and diaphragm compressors. The following charts allow you to compare the advantages and disadvantages of reciprocating and rotary screw air compressors. In addition to clean air, oil-free compressors tend to have lower operating costs, since there is no need to change parts as often.
Rotary screw air compressors offer better performance and often require less space, making them an attractive alternative option. While oil-free compressors tend to be more expensive, they are the only option for installations that ensure clean manufacturing. A reciprocating air compressor can be used to operate air-powered hand tools and for blowing and cleaning, inflating tires (and other inflatables), airbrushing, and sandblasting. If your demand for compressed air varies, but you want to take advantage of a rotary screw machine, you can consider a variable speed drive (VSD) compressor.
In the compression stroke of the piston, the volume inside the cylinder decreases, raising the pressure of the collected air. The QP is a two-stage pressurized lubricated air compressor with a working pressure of 175 PSI for your most challenging air compression applications. They work by “compressing air into a smaller volume, causing a buildup of stored potential energy that will be used when needed. Because of their multi-phase compression process, centrifugal compressors can produce a large amount of energy in a relatively small machine.
A reciprocating air compressor can use 5 to 10 percent less energy than its rotating counterpart while pumping the same amount of air. In terms of compression efficiency, reciprocating compressors are slightly more efficient than rotary compressors. Ultimately, if your primary concern is the size and weight or the work performance of a high-quality system that will last the life of the vehicle, rotary screw air compressors are the ideal solution. .