Compressors and compressed air are one of the most used mechanical technology in the industrial world. Many different mechanical devices use compressed air to work, such as some pneumatic tools and percussion type tools. These devices use compressed air as fuel. You may think, “How can air move a jackhammer?” Well, it is actually not crazy to think that because we have been using pressurized air for years.
To understand how would using compressors and compressed air for plants could benefit us, we should learn the general working principles of air compressors. An air compressor is a device that takes air for the atmosphere or any gas to pressurize and release it from a nozzle. There are two kinds of air compressors out there. Reciprocating and rotary air compressors. Reciprocating air compressors utilize a piston mechanism to suck in air and pressure it only to release from the other side. Rotary air compressors are much more complex devices.
They use rotating screw-like shafts to compress air. The periodic movement of those screws makes them hard to produce and more expensive, but they are much more effective than their reciprocating counterparts. Most of the companies use a reciprocating air compressor. They are easy to use and their maintenance cost is less compared to rotary air compressors from manufacturers.
Big industrial plants take advantage of the air compressor’s potential power. For example, as I said before, a jackhammer can operate on pressurized air from an air compressor. A jackhammer, depending on the size, can weigh up to 45 kilos and can be light as 15 kg. The air operating system makes them lighter and easy to use. These precautionary measures are extremely important to be considered and followed to avoid any kind of malfunctioning or hazard.
Another example can be given from shipyards. Shipyards are big industrial plants that utilize shipbuilding and ship maintenance. The most common job done in a shipyard (almost routine) is to paint a ship overall. They paint four protective layers overall, and it takes almost two days to finish painting. So they use a machine that takes pressurised air and compresses it with a reciprocating air compressor for further high pressure and sprays it out. This device just works on air, and it is a pneumatic device. It does not need electricity or anything else to work; it just needs pressurized air.
Of course, the air compressor itself uses some of the energy to run, but they multiply the given energy so much that it is much more efficient to use them.
Lastly, I want to talk about the sizes and how much air can an air compressor pump. Sizes vary depending on the job you need to fulfil. It also depends on the intensity of the job involved. The larger the manufacturing plant within which the air compressor is meant to function, the more are the complexities involved. To fill an air tank, you won’t need very high pressures, but to run a device like the paint pump I just mentioned you would need a built on a system of air compressor. Continuing from the jackhammer example, you would need 5 to 10 metric cubes of air to run it safely. Similarly, rock drills use 15 to 24 metric cubes of air every minute to break rocks. So depending on your needs, you can get an air compressor that fulfils your needs.
Knowing that many devices have this kind of working principle using an air compressor or installing one to your plantation is very advantageous. Consider all these intricacies before you purchase an appropriate air compressor to suit your industrial needs. It would be a great start!