How to choose a piston compressor




Piston compressors like screw compressors, are widely used in industry and repair work, for example, when it is necessary to connect a pneumatic unit or other equipment. To make the right choice and buy the device that suits you perfectly, you should consider many different criteria. Let’s talk about them in this article.

  • Article Summary:

First of all, you should be guided by your personal needs. It is important to identify such tasks:

  • What you are buying the compressor for;
  • What task it will be used for.

The piston unit works by the method of compressing atmospheric air flow. Once it is started, the piston moves back and forth in the housing and air is produced in the correct volume. Accordingly, the more powerful the tool, the more productive it is.

Two types of units are offered in today’s domestic market:

  • belt;
  • coaxial.

Each has its own characteristics and you need to know about them before you buy.

The coaxial type is divided into two other subtypes – oil- and oil-free. If we talk about the latter, it produces clean compressed air, without impurities. This feature has made it popular in coating applications, healthcare and the food industry.

An oil compressor means that the connecting rod, cylinder and other parts are lubricated with oil. The service life is considerably increased due to this.

The coaxial model can run continuously for 20 minutes hourly. The capacity reaches up to 200 liters per minute. Advantages of the use include affordability, compactness and low weight.

If we talk about belt compressors, they have a longer service life and a higher level of performance. They are used at service stations and construction sites. They are in high demand in those areas where there is a need for continuous operation.

Speaking of the advantages of such units, we can highlight the following:

  • affordable price – piston compressors are not expensive, but their technical characteristics are not inferior to other types;
  • there is a possibility of compressing aggressive gas, for example, ammonia;
  • Service of the unit is not very expensive, in addition. The need for repair arises very rarely, and all necessary parts are available;
  • Is used for short-term purposes;
  • easy to set up and operate, even an inexperienced person can work with them.
  • Technical specifications of the reciprocating compressor

Pay attention to criteria such as:

  • noisiness level;
  • compressed air quality;
  • rated working pressure;
  • performance.

If we talk about the last criterion, the manufacturer usually specifies the unit’s shutdown period as well. So, for example, a flow rate of 500 l/min assumes a compressor with a capacity of 1000 l/min, i.e. 50×50.

The power of the device needs to be known in order to understand what kind of electrical cable to connect to it. The cross-section of the cable must fully correspond to the declared power of the equipment.

One of the main parameters is the operating pressure. It determines the efficiency of the compressor. The performance of the unit to be connected depends on this criterion to the full extent. You can find out what the working pressure of the type of compressor you choose in the manual.

It is equally important to know such a parameter as air quality. It is especially important for production facilities where oil, moisture and impurities cannot be used. For example, when applying paintwork, it is important that there is no excessive humidity. Otherwise, the coating will be of poor quality.

Another important aspect is the noisiness of the compressor. All models make a lot of noise, but oil-free units are considered the quietest. The manufacturer installs a special protective cover, which suppresses noise, on the piston unit or the electric motor.


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