An insight into the basic knowledge about Industrial Air Compressors

An insight into the basic knowledge about Industrial Air Compressors

Water, electricity, and natural gas are essential elements in the industry without which proper functioning may be difficult. Perhaps, you’ve stumbled on the name ‘Fourth Utility’ sometimes and wonder what it means. The fourth utility is also known as compressed air in the industry. It is another element industries survive on for powering their heavy-duty machines. Now, it is easy to equate industrial air compressors with steam engines used in the 18th century. This blog will discuss the major significance and other fundamental knowledge about air compressors. Here we go…

What are Air Compressors?

Air compressors are storage tanks for air. Just like water is stored in tanks for usage for easy access later, the compressors store air to be dispensed in an appliance or machine to boost operation. Air is stored in the compressor through a force you find air compressors in many machines such as the refrigerator, tire pumping machines, pneumatic equipment, and many others. Air compressors are very useful for many uses and always come in handy. They have evolved over the years to become vital for many applications.

Types of Air Compressors

Air compressors are designed in various types. They come in either dynamic or positive displacement. The common four types of air compressors are discussed below:

  • Reciprocating Air Compressor: this compressor operates through a piston inside the cylinder. They are applied in areas requiring lesser pressures such as garages, etc. but, they are only suitable for temporary uses.
  • Centrifugal Compressor: this compressor uses a multi-phase compression method to boost potential energy for a machine. They can supply a high level of energy into smaller machines. They are often used in the construction and manufacturing industry.
  • Axial Compressor: these are found in-plane or ship engines. They are designed to power more than other types of air compressors, however, they are specially retained for aerospace machines.
  • Rotary Screw Compressor: these are large compressors popularly known and used due to their easy maintenance and inner cooling device. Also, they are designed to operate oil-free or with oil and fit for continuous use.

Uses of Air Compressors

Air compressors are used for various purposes. Air compressors are applied in the following industries:

  • Construction and manufacturing industries to fuel hammers, and generate uninterrupted power supply. For manufacturing industries, they are used in machines to ensure a clean and germ-free end product.
  • Agricultural sector: many agricultural machines such as tractors, pumps, etc make use of air compressors to operate.
  • Automobile and HVAC Industries: for cooling and heating engine parts as well as trucks’ air brakes. HVAC machines are used to compress air and modulate temperatures.


Industrial air compressors are very versatile and simple to operate. Selecting the type to use for and application depends on the capacity of the types discussed above. The extensive uses across all sectors explain why it is tagged the fourth utility for many industries. Therefore, we can conclude that industrial air compressors are a must-have for all industries.

Nicholas Jansen