Different Types of Air Compressors

Depending on the type of project you’re doing, you might need a specific type of air compressor. They’re often used as a power source for electric tools, come in both oil-lubricated and oil-free varieties and are categorized as either positive or dynamic displacement.

Getting the right air compressor for your project in Wisconsin is crucial to its success. Here are the different types of compressors and which projects each type is suited for.

Positive displacement compressors

Positive displacement compressors are exactly what they sound like: they use the positive displacement of air to power compressor accessories. The compressor houses air inside the cavity, then compresses it to power the attached tool or accessory. This type of compressor is widely used on construction sites, because it can easily power construction tools.

Reciprocating compressors

This type of compressor is another displacement compressor, which is powered by an internal piston. The piston compresses and displaces the air to create pressure, and comes in single or multi-stage varieties, which affects how much pressure they can produce and which types of projects they’re best suited for. Generally, reciprocating compressors are better for smaller home and garage projects, where the compressor won’t be used continuously for a long period of time. Multi-stage compressors can achieve a higher pressure, so they’re best for garage projects, whereas single-stage compressors should be plenty for wood or metalworking home projects.

Rotary screw compressors

These are industrial-sized (read: very large) air compressors with a capacity to match. You’ll see rotary screw compressors at construction sites and other major projects. These machines are powered by two internal rotors, which spin in opposite directions. This helps the air pressure build, at which point it can be directed to the external accessories.

Rotary screw compressors are designed for continuous use, ranging from five to 350 horsepower. They come in both oil-lubricated and oil-free compressor varieties in Wisconsin.

Axial compressors

Axial air compressors aren’t usually used in construction or other projects—they’re the type of compressor used to power a ship or plane. They can reach thousands of horsepower, so for the most part, they’re far too powerful for simple projects. They’re also one of the most expensive kinds, so unless you’re building a ship or plane, you’ll want to avoid these.

Dynamic compressors

Finally, dynamic compressors are industrial-grade air compressors that are best suited for things like chemical or steel manufacturing. They operate by bringing in outside air via rapidly-rotating blades, then compressing the air for delivery. Use this type of compressor only when you need serious horsepower—they’re too much for simple projects.

Not sure which type of air compressor is right for your project? Call the team at Wenniger Compressor Co. Since 1932, we have prided ourselves on offering and installing the highest quality air compressors for your needs—whether you’re working on an industrial manufacturing project or getting things done around your home, we can help you find the right tools for your needs. Get in touch with us today to arrange a consultation.

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