Whenever most people think about a compressor, they probably have a piston compressor in mind. You might already know there are two basic
principles of air compression. One of those is the principle of displacement compression. There are a lot of compressor types that classify
as a displacement compressor. The piston compressor is one of them, oil-lubricated or oil-free.
The piston compressor is the oldest and most common of all industrial compressors. It is available in single-acting or double-acting,
oil-lubricated or oil-free variants, with various numbers of cylinders in different configurations. With the exception of very small
compressors having vertical cylinders, the V-configuration is the most common for small compressors. On double-acting, large compressors the
L-configuration with a vertical low pressure cylinder and horizontal high pressure cylinder offers immense benefits and has become the most
normally work with splash lubrication or pressure lubrication. Most compressors have self-acting valves. A self-acting valve opens
and closes through the effect of pressure differences on both sides of the valve disk.
What are oil-free piston compressors?
Oil-free piston compressors have piston rings made of PTFE or carbon, and alternatively, the piston and cylinder wall can be profiled
(toothed) as on labyrinth compressors. Larger machines are equipped with a crosshead and seals on the gudgeon pins, and a ventilated
intermediate piece to prevent oil from being transferred from the crankcase and into the compression chamber. Smaller compressors often have
a crankcase with bearings that are permanently sealed.
So, how do reciprocating piston compressors work?
Air compression is essentially a twofold process in which the pressure of air rises while the volume drops. In most cases, compression is
accomplished with reciprocating piston technology, which makes up the vast majority of compressors on the market.
Every compressor with a reciprocating piston has the following parts:
Air compressors, for the most part, are powered by either gas or electric motors — it varies by model. At one end of the cylinder are the
inlet and discharge valves. Shaped like metal flaps, the two valves appear at opposite sides of the cylinder’s top end. The inlet sucks air
in for the piston to compress. The compressed air is then released through the discharge valve.
In certain air compressor models, the pressure is produced with rotating impellers. However, the models that are typically used by
mechanics, construction workers and crafts people tend to run on positive displacement, in which air is compressed within compartments that
reduce its space. Even though some of the smallest air compressors consist of merely a motor and pump, the vast majority have air tanks. The
purpose of the air tank is to store amounts of air within specified ranges of pressure until it’s needed to perform work. In turn, the
compressed air is used to power the pneumatic tools connected to the unit supply lines. While all of this is going on, the motor repeatedly
starts and stops to keep the pressure at a desired consistency.
What the piston effectively does with its back and forth movements is create a vacuum. As the piston retracts, the space in front gets
filled with air, which is sucked through the inlets from the outside. When the piston extends, that same air is compressed and therefore
given the strength to push through the discharge valve — simultaneously holding the inlet shut — and into the tank. As more air is sent into
the tank, the pressure gains intensity.
Who we are and how Ash Air can help your business!
Ash Air has been around in New Zealand since 1979, and we’ve grown into a nationwide company with international support and a
reputation for quality and reliability.We look after all things compressed air for your business!
Reciprocating, Screw, air compressors
An extensive line of air treatment components
Ash Air's range of Chicago Pneumatic, Alup, Pneumatech, and Quincy compressors are used extensively around the world in industries
ranging from oil and gas to food, automotive and farming, and we bring you these world class compressors here in the land of the long white
cloud.Our technicians are compressed air equipment experts and are dedicated to addressing customer needs. Supported by a 13 locations
nationwide, Ash Air offers one of the widest selections of compressed air equipment and parts available today in New Zealand.
Reliability and Efficiency
With Ash Air compressors, you can count on reliability and high performance for even the most demanding applications. We focus our
efforts on the following:
Air Compressor Installation Tips
Installing Your Reliable Air Compressor
So, you've just bought an efficient and reliable ALUP air compressor? Welcome to the world of compressed air.
As your partners in compressed air, we will continue to assist you along your journey. We have provided air
tips to ensure you get the most out of your air compressor. Read More…
Maintenance is key to continuing the performance of your air compressor. Continue to read about maximising the performance and longevity of
your compressor and some air compressor maintenance tips!