Air compressors are machines that can be used for a variety of applications. In general, they power a number of tools used for construction work or building, such as jackhammer, sanders, and grinders. Air compressors pump high-pressure air to fill gas cylinders, to supply divers, to help in powering pneumatic HVAC control systems, and to power pneumatic tools. They can also be used for household applications such as filling tires. Here’s a quick guide on what type of work can be done by air compressors.
Types of Air Compressors
The typical types of air compressors you will see are electric or gas powered compressors. In the old days, construction sites might have had one power source to drive each tool through a number of applications. Now, however, using a mechanical system to power a variety of tools is key to saving energy. Air compressors are used at corner gas stations, manufacturing plants, and construction sites all around the country. More often, they are also becoming popular in basements, garages, and home workshops. They can power nail guns, drills, wrenches, and spray guns, as well as a number of other power tools you can buy at your local tool dealer shop.
How Do Air Compressors Work?
The great thing about air compressors is that they don’t need a big bulky motor; they can instead use the compressor, which has a single motor, to convert electrical energy to kinetic. Thus, the unit runs quietly and doesn’t have as many parts. Many compressors use reciprocating pistons. These have crankshafts, connecting rods/pistons, and a cylinder and valve head. Air is driven from the tank to the tools, and the motor will cycle on and off by itself to make sure enough pressure is maintained.
Pneumatic Devices That Run on Air Compression
So what else can an air compressor do? You might want to get one if you are interested in crafts, building, or carpentry. Nailers are easy to power using an air compressor. Since pneumatic nailers are much lighter than the industrial versions, you can use a compressor to power them.
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Air compressors also make it very easy to complete spray-painting projects. Fine painting work like kitchen cabinet painting requires a sprayer to get smooth and well-done results. Air compressors combined with sprayers give you exactly what you are looking for.
Home and Auto Repair Projects
Additionally, if you want to complete auto repair jobs on your own, smaller jobs like tune-ups or installing PCV valves can be done at home. The hard part about jobs like these is simply removing bolts in tighter spaces or where you have a rusty component. Air ratchet tools make this job superbly simple; you’ll just need an air compressor in combination with the tool to quickly get tough bolts removed in just a few minutes.
Other Uses of Air Compressors
Typically, you can use air compressors for a number of applications. For home use, you might be inflating car tires, balls, or bike tiers. You might want to use the compressor to power a blower and blow leaves or dirt from your garage floor. If so, a lighter duty air compressor should work fine for you. This will most likely be a direct drive type of compressor.
However, if you plan to use the compressor for industrial use, you will want to think about a lubricated or belt driven pump design compressor. Compressors may also be used for devices that clean stone, brick, or house siding. You can also use them for powering home equipment and appliances or for taking to the construction site.
You can also use an air compressor to power hammers, wrenches, saws, and nailers. You might be painting a fence, building a deck, or roofing your home. The key is simply to determine where you will be using the device, if there will be electricity, and how much PSI/CFM you need.
How Much CFM Will You Need?
Determining how much CFM you need is simple: you just need to know how much CFM the tool you want to power will use. For example, if the compressor itself produces 6 CFM with 90 PSI, it will be able to operate tools with air requirements up to 6 CFM. So the higher your CFM requirements on your tools, the more power you’ll need. Think in long range terms: what will you need later on for bigger projects? It’s more cost-savvy to buy a compressor with a bit more power than to have to buy a new one later on.