Which type of air compressors is best for you?

May 8, 2017 No Comments

Air compressors have been used in the industry for a century now helping the industry of safe, flexible and convenient air. Over the years air compressors evolved into something more reliable and much function for the people. Different air compressors have been developed and invented to help people with their work in the engineering industry. So what type of air compressor is best for you?

There are in fact different types of air compressor that we use today. These are reciprocating piston compressors, rotary screw compressors, rotary sliding vane compressors and the centrifugal compressors.


– This kind of compressor has simple designs, easy to install, no oil carry over, large range of horsepower. On the down side of it, reciprocating piston compressors have high maintenance cost, have a potential for vibration problems and needs a foundation depending on its size.


– The reciprocating piston can be subdivided into two: single acting and double acting.



This compressor captures and compress air on one side of the piston. Such compressor is air-cooled and has 25hp or below. It has a duty cycle of 50%, which means they should not be running more than 30min/hr.


This compressor captures and compress on both side of the piston. Double acting compressor is water-cooled with around 40Hp to 1000Hp. With a continuous supply of water in the cylinder, it has a duty cycle of 100%.



– This type of compressor usually have simple designs, have low to medium initial cost as well as low to medium maintenance cost. It is also easy to install. Rotary screw is a popular kind of compressor design in plants.

– On the downside of it, their air ends have limited life. Have high rotational speed, shorter life than other designs and it is usually difficult with dirty environment.

– It has a difficulty with high pressure that will be over 200 psi.


– Just like the other types, it also has a simple design and easy to install. Its price is low or medium depending on its HP but the good thing is its low maintenance. It has a longer life and forgiving to dirty environment.

– It might sound good but rotary vane compressors have oil injected designs, have single-staged design, have difficulty in high pressures and oil-free designs are unavailable.


– The centrifugal compressor can reach up to 1200psi. It also has two-reciprocating compressors. Designed to give lubricants some free air. Can be used with 500hp or above.

– The downside of it is that, it is expensive. It also has a complicated monitoring service unlike the other designs.

– This one also requires bearing and specialized in maintenance consideration. It is also limited to control modulation, required for unloading reduced capacities.

There are a lot more different kinds of compressors but these are the common ones that we use. I hope that you found the right compressor for your industry.

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