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Different Air Compressors Explained: Reciprocating Compressor & Rotary Screw Air Compressors

14 September 2021

Air compressors are a crucial piece of equipment for a substantial number of industries and purposes. Consequently, air compressor manufacturers have established dozens of different systems to compress air for technical use. Certain types of air compressors are suitable for different tasks and workloads, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is our quick guide to two of the most common compressors; reciprocating compressors and rotary screw air compressors.

Reciprocating Compressor

Reciprocating air compressors are one of the most common compressors found in garages and workshops as they can be used for a wide variety of compressed air applications. They are highly practical and hold up well under intensive workloads with the ability to be utilised in a wide variety of pressure ranges.

Reciprocating compressors commonly use a spring-loaded piston as a means to drive air into their pressure chamber. Most models will utilise more than one piston that is connected by a crankshaft, this helps the unit get the most out of the power that is being sent from the engine.

A reciprocating compressor can be manufactured with an electric motor, gas motor or diesel engine. They have the capability of achieving significantly high PSIs, are some of the most affordable compressors you will find and are easy to maintain and service.

Rotary Screw Air Compressors

Another common type of compressors are rotary screw air compressors. As the name implies, rotary screw compressors use rotary movements to compress air with a set of male and female rotors. The rotors are designed differently to enable air to be trapped between them when they turn in unison. The male rotor has convex lobes and the female rotor has concave cavities so that they can mesh together without touching to achieve compression.

Unlike a reciprocating compressor that relies on a rapidly moving piston, the rotary screw air compressor is a much quieter piece of equipment when operating. Furthermore, the output of air is more stable and continuous as there is no stroke cycle. They do, however, perform better in dealing with jobs that only have a low air pressure requirement.

The primary advantage of rotary screw air compressors is that they are highly reliable, with the ability to deliver continuous airflow, and will often have a much longer lifespan compared to other air compressors. They are also relatively quiet while operating.

Cospaker Pneumatics has been providing South East Queensland clients with high-quality air compressors, pneumatic systems and parts for over 30 years. Our staff has the expertise to supply and service all major brands of compressed air machinery, pneumatic equipment and related components and accessories. Contact our team today on 07 5665 9400 so we can give you a hand.

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