Not all air compressors in Georgia are created equal. There are different types depending on their industrial or consumer applications. Whether you need a general purpose compressor or one for a specialized job, knowing these types will prove useful when you need to make a decision. Here are the types most frequently used today and their different applications.
Reciprocating piston compressor
Also known as just a “piston compressor,” it is the most common type on the market. The larger models generate high horsepower numbers and they are available as consumer and commercial products. It contains many moving parts, including cylinders, pistons, craft shafts and housing blocks.
A piston will move a cylinder, similar to an automobile. It creates a back and forth movement referred to as “reciprocating,” just like in its name. You can purchase these lubricated or oil-free and the most common types purchased are the two cylinder variety. The smallest ones have only one cylinder. Horsepower starts from one and is available up to 30.
You will find reciprocating piston compressors in most general-purpose shops to provide air for hand tools, clean out dust and perform small paint jobs. They are inexpensive and simple to maintain, but also very noisy and prone to overheating.
Rotary screw compressor
These also come lubricated or oil-free. Rather than a piston and cylinder system, they use two rotors. Air fills the void between them, and as they turn, that air is pushed out to create pressure. Most are lubricated, as oil needs to be injected into the bearing and compression area. Plus, the oiled ones are less expensive.
Rotary screw compressors provide a large amount of compressed air and are still appropriate for general use and small shops. Noise is low, and people using them don’t have to use ear protection. They also offer better energy efficiency. However, their complex structure requires more attention and maintenance, and they cost more money. If they are used too frequently, they can also produce water condensation that leads to rust. For the experienced user, these issues rarely present significant barriers.
The appeal of scroll compressors is their smooth, vibration-free movement. Two spiral elements compress the air; one is stationary and the other rotates against it. Air is trapped in this motion and pressurizes. Scroll compressors also do not require oil.
Scroll compressors are very quiet, low maintenance and offer a simple design. They are more for low-capacity use and when they need a repair, they often require a full replacement. Their applications are very specialized: Only places that require small amounts of pressurized air at a time from non-oiled sources use them. Water treatment facilities and laboratories are two examples.
When you choose an air compressor, you need to first determine how much pressurized air you require and whether your applications require any specialization. For example, if you run a contracting firm that frequenting performs sand blasting, your air compressor needs to have the capacity to produce more air than usual. A rotary screw compressor is likely the best choice. More refined operations can often do well with a piston compressor, with the most sensitive likely needing the scroll compressor.
Valley Hotsy in Columbus offers a full line of FSCurtis, Champion ELGi, Saylor-Beall and MiTM air compressors in Georgia. Call or visit us today to help you find the one that suits your needs.