If you work in any type of machine shop or any other mechanical industry, you’re probably very familiar with air compressors. These versatile tools are used to clean spaces, fix products, and make tools work. They can even create heat! In fact, as much as 80% to 90% of the electrical energy used by an air compressor is transformed into heat.

Did you know that there are many types of air compressors and compressed air piping? Well, if you didn’t know, keep reading to learn all about the different types of compressors that may be available to you.

The first type of air compressor is a reciprocating or piston compressor, which is one of the most commonly used types available. These compressors work by filling an air chamber with air and then taking that chamber’s volume and reducing it. These types of compressors have crankshaft, valves, hosing blocks, and cylinders. They are easy to install, have a lower initial cost, and have no oil carryover. They also work well with compressed air piping materials.

The next type of compressor is a rotary screw compressor, which injects oil into the bearing and also into the compression area. This is done to cool, lubricate, and create seals between the housing wall and the screws, preventing any internal damage or leaking. These compressors are also easy to install, are very popular in production plants, and won’t cost a ton to maintain.

The last type of air compressor we’ll discuss here is the centrifugal compressor. These compressors use a process called dynamic compression, which uses velocity to create an increase in pressure. These machines usually have intercoolers to remove condensation, ultimately avoiding damage from erosion. Centrifugal compressors are designed to produce lubricant-free air, are known for reaching pressures up to 1,200 PSI, and do not require any special foundations.

So, now that you know a little bit more about the different types of air compressors out there, which one will work best in your line of work?