An air compressor is a flexible tool which converts power into kinetic energy by compressing and pressurising air and is also known as a pneumatic tool. Air tools are more durable, faster and lighter as they have more torque and power than other conventional power tools. A portable air compressor is ideal for the home and job site usage whereas in the case of stationary compressors the high volume of air needed for powering automotive and production air tools are provided.
There are a variety of compressors available in the market according to their needs as they are used to supply high-pressure clean air to fill gas cylinders, moderate-pressure clean air to a submerged surface supplied diver, moderate-pressure clean air for driving some office and school building pneumatic HVAC control system valves, a large amount of moderate-pressure air to power pneumatic tools for filling tires and to produce large volumes of moderate-pressure air for large-scale industrial processes such as oxidation for petroleum cooking or cement plant bag house purge systems.
For a selection of perfect compressor for proper working, some factors should be considered. For example, Portability; Stationary or portable, Power Source; Electric or gas-powered, Performance Ratings; SCFM, PSI and horsepower. Moreover, horsepower is the unit of measurement for the power a compressor’s motor produces. Higher horsepower engines produce greater PSI and are able to carry a heavier workload. Tank Size ; No tank, small tank or large tank, the units with more powerful motors and larger tanks (measured in gallons) can generate higher levels of PSI for longer amounts of time, providing greater power to the air tools, CFM: cubic feet per meter -this is the volume of air that your compressor can pump in one minute, a specific working pressure.
High CRM ratings mean a compressor can provide more air making higher CFM units more practical for larger applications. PSI power per square inch is the measure of air pressure delivered by your compressor. The higher the PSI, the further the air can be compressed – means a larger volume of compressed air can be stored in the tank interconnecting piping. Selecting an air compressor with rigid piping and flexible connections will ensure that there will be no leaks. Pump Type ; Continuous operation, stop/start operation, single stage, two-stage, oil-lubricated and oil-free motor to compare the brake horsepower to nameplate rating.
Motors that go into the service factor are not at all reliable and should be avoided. Electric power source to air compressors is preferred in case of household needs at a voltage between 110;120V because electric air compressor doesn’t emit fumes, it is the best choice for indoor applications.
On the other hand, Gas-poweredair compressors are generally used by builders and re-modelers because they provide high output and convenience at the jobsite and emit exhaust, so should be operated only outdoors, where proper ventilation is available. These generally have horsepower ratings between 1.5;6.5 HP. Stationary oil-lubricated compressors with a rating above 2 HP require a 230/240v power source to supply the high volume of air required for high consumption air tools like sanders, grinders and sandblasters. Air compressors with air cooling system should be preferred as they cool the pumping machinery and extend motor life.The Thermal Overload Switch can be used in a good air compressor to automatically shut off the motor if it overheats, increasing tool life and protecting your investments.