History of Air Compressors

It is fascinating to learn how different industries and technologies affect one another. The history of the air compressor has revolutionized many other types of industry. Although today, the air compressor may seem like an unassuming type of machine, it actually has a fascinating history that has dramatically impacted many areas of industry. Let’s learn a little more about the history of air compressors in US.

Understanding Air Compressors

Before we jump into the history of compressed air systems, let’s look at what an air compressor is exactly.

A compressor is a machine that uses a motor to increase pressure on a compressible gas or liquid. Most commonly, they are used to compress air for various purposes. Compressors come in a variety of sizes. Some compressors are so small they can fit in the glove box of a car and are a handy way to get air into a tire while on the road. Larger units are called turbo compressors. These machines are used in large industrial applications for various reasons.

Compressed air can be used for many purposes. They can power air tools, paint sprayers, and even abrasive blast equipment. Compressors are also used for refrigerants for AC or to move gas through pipelines.

Compressors work in two different phases. First is the compression operation, and second is the release operation. During the compression operation, the air is compressed, and during the release operation, the air is released for its intended purpose.

There are also two different types of compressors; positive displacement compressors and dynamic compressors.

Compressed Air Systems History

Today’s compressed air systems are actually based upon the same technology used with the concept of the ancient bellows. Bellows were odd-looking triangular inventions that would be squeezed on one end to put pressure on the air entering the bellows. The air coming out of the other end would come out with force for specific purposes. Historically, bellows were used to heat fires to hotter temps.

The first time compressed air was used for something other than fire stoking was recorded in 1762.

The technology of compressed air really took off after the invention of the motor. This is a good example of how an invention can impact many industries. The first motorized air compressor was created by a man named George Medhurst. These early air compressors were used heavily in the rail industry.

Viktor Popp started the first air compressor plant in Paris. This plant grew quickly and along with it grew air compression technology as well.

As the industrial revolution took over the world, it became quickly apparent that pressurized air could be incorporated into many industries to make things work more efficiently. The demand for more and better compressors led to many advancements in this field during this time.

Air Compressor Uses Today

Today, air compressors play an important role in the everyday lives of ordinary people and in the larger world of industry. They are used on construction sites, in factories, concrete compactors, refrigerators, HVAC systems, and even large sports arenas. They are so pervasively used in the world today that we actually do not even notice the hard work that air compressors are doing on our behalf.

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