0/50 ratings

It is challenging to imagine modern factories not performing pneumatic operations. Air compressors are omnipresent, even though being a relatively new invention. They were previously used in combination with complex, heavy, expensive machines and only at large plants. But today, individuals and small workshops quite can afford lightweight, silent, and compact devices that last long and require minimum maintenance.

How can air compressors be used?

First of all, such devices are used for automated assembly and car servicing. There are a plethora of tools operating based on a pneumatic principle: sanders, spray guns, drills, nail guns, grinders, staplers and much more.

Work process

The two main things happen when an air compressor works: air pressure increases, while volume decreases. Most modern devices have a reciprocating piston, a crankshaft, a connecting rod, a cylinder, and a valve head. Motion is maintained by an electric or gas motor.
A cylinder has input and output valves at its top end. The former absorbs air that is then compressed by a piston, while the latter releases this flow. Reciprocating movement creates a vacuum.

Some compressors use rotating impellers to process air. However, most builders and craftspeople prefer models based on positive displacement.

It is enough to have a motor and a pump to construct the simplest compressor. But still, air tanks would make its operation smoother and more efficient, deter air until the system needs it to be involved in the process. Compressed air may be used for pneumatically powering connected machinery. The motor constantly switches between active and passive states to maintain optimal pressure consistency.


Some air compressors use oil to lubricate cylinder walls. Such devices are durable, silent, and exert less pressure on the motor. At the same time, it is sometimes challenging to prevent injecting oil into compressed air. For operations requiring the absence of emissions, it is better to resort to oil-free analogs.

As you can see the operation principle of an air compressor is pretty simple. We hope that our explanations were clear and useful to you.