Do you already know the piston compressors? You know how they work or have used them in the past and you don’t know what their components are or you wonder what their advantages are, or you’re interested in buying a compressor and you haven’t decided yet because you don’t know which one to buy because when you go to the store You do not know whether to buy the plunger, the piston, the gas or which, since you do not know the advantages and disadvantages of each. For this reason, I would like to share a note about piston compressors, how it works, as well as its advantages, so that next time you use it, you will know more about these tools and be surer of their operation.

What is a piston compressor?

The first thing you have to know is that this machine enters the compressors that work by means of what is called positive displacement, since the air is sucked into the internal and after going through a series of mechanisms that drive it He is expelled abroad.

Its name as a piston compressor is due to the fact that inside its mechanism works by means of the action of a piston that is driven by a connecting rod connected in turn by a crankshaft, thus imitating the operation of vehicle engines, but with the difference that uses a single piston for its operation. Given its imitation of internal combustion engines, this type of machines can be lubricated or can be manufactured not to use lubricants, however the latter does not mean that the mechanism is not lubricated but that this lubricant does not enter the compression chamber, avoiding air/lubricant contact, which gives purer airs.

used piston compressors

First piston compressor

History of piston compressors

I tell you that the history of the piston compressor begins in the eighteenth century, when it becomes necessary to accelerate industrial processes since trade was booming and manual operations were inefficient, so the industrial revolution began, first with the exploration in the steam, where the first piston compressors, which worked with steam as an energy source, began to develop, and boosted the piston thanks to this steam, however these developments were very insipient, since the steam did not produce the Enough energy to speed up the process.

But later, with the arrival of the first patent of a compressor and the impetus of its research, I tell you that the development of a more efficient, powerful compressor with the ability to perform over time, regardless of the work to be developed, began, what makes that by the twentieth century, the invention of internal combustion engines used in the automotive, agricultural and industrial industry, served as a source to investigate the possibility of operating such an engine inside as a source of energy for the air compression and its subsequent use, which, I tell you, had an amazing success, since it made the compressors work more efficiently and with a higher performance than those tested so far, since its mechanism ensured a constant flow of fluid, which allowed the pressure to be regulated and adjusted as necessary.

I tell you that given its success, this type of machine began to be used in the automotive industry, both for the manufacture of cars, as for its maintenance, as well as in other areas of the industry such as agriculture, and even the railway, and the construction sector, since its contribution in the constant flow and its efficiency in performance made it mark a milestone in the history of the compressors so far.

Piston compressor operation

I explain that the operation of this type of compressor consists in the rotary movement of a piston, which moves inside a chamber where the air entering the mechanism is compressed. This piston is driven by a motorized mechanism that drives several levers, one of which is called a connecting rod, which in turn is driven by another lever, called a crankshaft which is the one that receives the energy of rotation that rotates the entire mechanism that Moves the piston.

piston compressor engine

What is a piston compressor

This type of compressor works by means of the reception of energy which is the one that drives the engine at the same time and causes the crankshaft to perform its rotating process, this makes the connecting rod, which is attached at one end to the crankshaft and in the another end to the piston make repeated movements up and down, allowing air to enter through the intake valves that are attached to the compression chamber.

I tell you that compression is achieved through the movement of the piston in a chamber, which is called a compression chamber, and the space between the piston and the walls of the chamber is tiny, since it must not allow air to escape in order to achieve greater compression. On the sides of this chamber is where the intake valves are located, which are the ones that carry the air through hoses and environmental filters inside the compression chamber.

The air passes through these valves, which are responsible for regulating the pressure of the air entering, calling this intake valve and after it is compressed and as planned, the air is expelled by another valve which is named Exhaust valve, which is the one that communicates the chamber directly with the outlet mechanism, so that the connected tools receive the amount of air they need in a constant way and without interruption.

What are the components of a piston compressor

I tell you that piston compressors not only have a single component for their operation but that their general operation depends on the operation of several components, so I would like to tell you what those other components are:

  • Electric starter, this is responsible for providing the boost that your compressor needs to operate.
  • Valve system, are responsible for allowing the entry, distribution and output of compressed air throughout the mechanism at the pressure you plan.
  • Compression system, is what makes the air entering your compressor compressed by means of the piston rotation process.
  • Intake mechanism, is responsible for bringing the air into the compression mechanism of your machine, regulating the inlet pressure and filtering the air extracted from the environment.
  • Eject mechanism, which is responsible for nourishing the tools you connect to the compressor.
  • Lubrication system, some have this internal system and others external, and it is what is responsible for making the compression mechanism work as expected, that is, lubricated and constantly and without fiction.
  • Control panel, is where you can plan the operation of your compressor, regulating the pressure, and the operating time.

Advantage of using a piston compressor

  • Piston compressors offer you several advantages when using them, so I would like to leave you a list with one of them so you can evaluate them:
  • Efficient, because its air flow is constant which makes the performance higher and reliable in its use for tools that demand good pressure.
  • High compression ratios, which gives you the possibility to connect tools for jobs that demand a high degree of pressure and momentum.
  • Controlled discharges, which makes it easier for you to regulate the amount of air needed and the pressure it needs.
  • Easy to use, since it does not demand complicated installations or advanced configurations, which gives you efficiency and avoids delays.
  • Ease of maintenance, which means that you can always count on this machine at all times, since it receives simple maintenance.

Disadvantages of piston compressors

Despite what I already told you about its advantages as a compressor, I also want to tell you that these mechanisms have disadvantages that I would like you to know and can make a better decision when acquiring them:

  • They can produce a high level of noise, since their rotating mechanism is the necessary element for the operation some can produce annoying noises that make it not comfortable for work.
  • A little polluted air, if you buy one that uses internal lubrication the air you get will not be completely clean and pure.
  • Constant lubrication change, which means that you have to be constantly reviewing and changing the mechanism’s lubricating fluid, which can take time and money.
  • Maintenance of the valve system can be expensive and complicated since if they cannot work, this compressor.
  • Repairs cumbersome, since its internal camera mechanism can present failures that its repair is not simple and you have to resort to the purchase of another device.
Advantages and disadvantages of the reciprocating compressor

Multi-stage piston compressor

If you are interested in learning more about the world of compressors, I recommend you see the following articles:

I hope this article on piston compressors has been helpful, and you know these machines better, which will surely bring you better performance for whatever you are thinking about using it, so I wish you luck when you go to buy it and choose the one that best suits you.