Reciprocating Piston Air Compressor
The reciprocating piston air compressor is available in a one-stage and two-stage design with the main difference being a second compression in a two-stage to compress the air to a higher psi. This type of compressor is common in garages, shops, and for portable needs like a truck-mount compressor.
The process of compressing air is similar to the operation of an internal combustion engine and is powered with electricity. Air compressor parts are also similar to a small gas engine. They consist of a piston, connecting rod, crankshaft, cylinder, and valve head.
The air is compressed in the following manner:
- The valve head at the top of the compressor tank draws air in by the downward movement of the piston in the cylinder.
- As the piston moves up, the air is compressed.
- The increased pressure forces the discharge valve to open, so then the air moves into the tank.
- With every stroke, more pressure is built up in the tank until it reaches capacity and the pressure switch shuts off the motor.
- Two-stage compressors have the same operation with the addition of a second cylinder, which air is pumped into to create greater pressure.
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