Industrial Air Compressor Types
Which compressor type is best for your application?
AIRPLUS Industrial design, build & sell or leases compressed air systems using screw, piston or scroll types of compressors. Learn about the capabilities & drawbacks of each.
Industrial Air Compressor Types
Air compressors have a variety of uses in the industrial sector. Facilities all over the world have long relied on it for safe, energy-efficient, and effective outputs.
Industrial air compressors are made in several different types with variations available with each type.
AIRPLUS Industrial can design and build a compressed air system to meet your unique application’s requirements.
Purchase or Lease
We offer these systems for outright purchase for clients who require their own system for continuous use or we customize and lease systems to clients who need specifications for a single project for a limited time.
Learn more about leasing a compressor system here
Types of Air Compressors We Use
We can design and build industrial compressed air systems around 3 main types of air compressors. Those being:
- Screw type Compressors
- Piston type compressors
- Scroll type compressors
- Oil-less (Oil-free) compressors
Air Compressor Service
AIRPLUS Industrial services virtually all brands and types of air compressors.
24/7 Emergency Service
AIRPLUS Industrial has teams on call for emergency service to repair your system equipment to get you back up and running in no time.
AIRPLUS Industrial offers maintenance contracts. We can regularly visit your facility, inspect your equipment, make minor adjustments and recommend maintenance or repairs that are required in the near future, all for a flat fee.
AIRPLUS Industrial also stocks parts for most name-brand equipment and is usually available to ship in 24 hours.
Service Department Hours
Our Regular Business hours are:
Monday – Friday 7:30am to 4:30pm PST
Screw compressors provide the solution when a constant demand for air is required. Using a rotary screw element, air is efficiently compressed in a stable flow. We offer two types: variable speed drive and fixed speed drive screw compressors.
Many factories and industries rely on air compressors for material handling, for spray painting and for use with machine tools. Rotary screw air compressors are the most popular type for these jobs; mainly because they can provide the following benefits:
- Safe and Convenient – Rotary screw air compressors are incredibly convenient, given that they deliver air continuously for the required purposes. They are also safe, and cases of accidents rare.
- Functions at extreme weather conditions – Rotary screw compressors can work at high or temperature conditions.
- They are designed to run heavy equipment and tools – with high air flow rates these compressors can power such equipment effectively.
- Easily maintained – with fewer parts that require maintenance, some rotary screw compressors have up to 70% fewer parts, which in turn lowers maintenance costs.
- They run quietly despite their massive air flow – Rotary screw compressors are generally quiet performers, with many of them having noise dampening technologies.
- Energy efficient and generate less heat than other air compressors.
- Consume less oil than other oil flooded air compressors. In addition, they have minimum oil carryovers.
- Long lasting – designed to serve for many years, with little or no capacity reduction.
Piston compressors, also known as reciprocating compressors, are often found in workshops and small factories where the air-demand is not too high or needed continuously. It will just start automatically when the pressure drops below the set point and will stop again when the pressure reaches its maximum set point.
A reciprocating air compressor has more moving parts than a rotary screw compressor, and these parts are usually lubricated with oil for smoother movement.
These types of air compressors work via a piston inside a cylinder, which compresses and displaces the air to build pressure. Reciprocating compressors can come in single or multi-stage variations, which affects the pressure ranges they can achieve.
The advantages of Piston Compressors are:
- Relatively Low Maintenance Cost
- Ability to have high pressure and high power
- Can be located close to point‐of‐use avoiding lengthy piping runs and pressure drops
- Durable, efficient and affordable
- Significant product life
Scroll compressors, also known as a spiral compressors or a scroll pumps, are a type of positive-displacement compressor that works by internal compression of air or gas. Scroll compressors can be oil-lubricated or oil-free, the latter being best suited for applications where there is a need for clean, dry air quality without any oil contamination in the compression chamber.
A scroll compressor consists of two spiral-shaped scroll elements that are bolted together: a stationary scroll and an orbiting scroll driven by a motor. The scrolls oscillate in continuous motion without any metal-to-metal contact while the air is compressed into increasingly smaller volumes in crescent-shaped air pockets.
Choosing a Scroll Compressor
Choosing a scroll compressor ultimately depends on the size, flow and quality requirements of your application. Before choosing any type of compressor, it is important to figure out the correct size and technology for your compressed air needs, starting with whether you need an oil-free or lubricated compressor. For higher capacity and flow, it is possible to choose units with two or four scroll compressor elements in one housing. However, it may be more economical in some cases to go for a single large compressor rather than teaming up several scroll compressors to produce sufficient flow.
Advantages of a Scroll Compressor
The scroll compressor has many advantages due to its simplified yet efficient design.
- fewer components than reciprocating compressors
- high level of operational reliability
- meets all the basic requirements of a general-purpose compressor.
- can be oil-free
Oil-less (Oil-Free) Compressors
Oil-free air is used in all kinds of industries where air quality is paramount for the production process and end product. These applications include:
- food and beverage processing
- pharmaceutical industry (manufacturing and packaging)
- waste-water treatment
- chemical and petrochemical processing
- semiconductor and electronics manufacturing
- the medical sector
- automotive paint spraying
- textile manufacturing
Contamination by even the smallest quantities of oil can result in costly production downtime and product spoilage.. Therefore, for compressed air applications within these industries, a technology excluding any risk of contamination is an absolute requirement. Their point of reference is the ISO 8573-1 (2010) certification, in which Class Zero represents the best air quality possible. It is the only way to ensure oil-free air for your critical processes and with it, peace of mind.
Oil-less compressors come in 2 varieties:
- Reciprocating Piston compressor
- Scroll compressor
Both types of oil-less air compressors share the same benefits:
- Air quality and peace of mind
- Easy handling & service access
- Very quiet less than 70dB(A)
- Efficiency and reduced energy cost
Learn More About Industrial Air Compressors
Choosing the proper air compressor for your application is dependent upon many factors. AIRPLUS Industrial has 30+ years of experience in designing, sourcing, installing and maintaining these systems — we can help you choose the right system for your facility.