Understanding Air Compressors

Many years ago, workshops used to have a central power source that drove all the tools through a system of wheels and belts. The power was routed around the workshop mechanically.

This technology, machinery and equipment were heavy, huge in size, and very expensive to come by for small operations. Because of this, it made it almost solely accessible by big companies and factories.

In recent years, as technology has advanced and machinery has reduced in costs there has been a phasing out of the belts and shafts approach. That being said, there are a lot of workshops still use a mechanical system to move power around the work centre.

The system is powered by the energy stored in air that is under pressure by an air compressor, which serves as the heart of the system. As these changes have happened, so have business models and now instead of having to purchase the expensive machinery, many companies have opted for air compressor hire instead offering a cheaper alternative for those starting out.

In present times, it is hard to imagine a time when factories and workshops don’t have air compressors. Used for a variety of applications in manufacturing plants to the small corner gas stations, everyday air compressors are becoming a common sight in garages, basements, and even home workshops.

Air compressors nowadays come in different models and sizes, specifically designed to handle different jobs ranging from inflating pool toys to powering devices such as drills, spray guns, wrenches, and nail guns.

What is admired by most about air power is that each device does not require its own motor, which can be rather bulky at times. One motor on the compressor is all that is needed to convert the electrical energy to kinetic energy. This helps create easy to use, light, compact tools that have lesser parts that wear out and operate smoothly and quietly.

People use the term ‘horsepower’ to describe the amount of power taken up by an air compressor which is very much active. The rate and volume an air compressor can offer, on the other hand, is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).

Manufacturers use standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM) to determine CFM in combination with external pressure and humidity. However, other factors apart from power and pressure are taken into consideration before a final answer regarding how much pressure a particular air compressor can offer.

The rate at which external air goes into the cylinder is influenced by humidity, heat, and wind speed of the surrounding area. The atmosphere thus plays a huge role in deciding the CFM of an air compressor and therefore industry experts also use a term known as displacement cubic feet per minute (DCFM) to determine truly just how efficient a compressor pump is.