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The Facts About Air Compressors
An air compressor is a device designed to compress or compress air inside a tank. Air compressors work the same way our lungs work when we hold our breath and perhaps blow up a balloon. Air in the tank is drawn in and compressed (like the air in our lungs) causing the air to increase in pressure and decrease in volume. When using the tool, compressed air is forced out of the hose in a steady, powerful stream—like through your lungs and through your pursed lips in a flowing stream of air. In the compressor, the air pressure in the tank will continue to increase until it reaches the preset pressure limit. The pressure limit of the tool varies from high to low depending on the type and size of your compressor. Air compressors also have a regulator that is set to compliment the required pressure of the particular tool and application.
Compressors are used for everything from powering pneumatic or power tools (such as nailers, and staplers) to blowing dust and debris from power tools, or as an inflation device for tires, flotation devices, and the like. Various sizes and capacities, air compressors are versatile and incredibly long-lasting; A good model can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Using compressor powered pneumatic tools offers many advantages; Pneumatic tools are more efficient than strictly electric tools, providing more torque and higher RPM for faster work and faster firing. Pneumatic tools also offer an environmentally friendly alternative to toxic battery waste.
There are two types of air compressors, gas or electric, but each type is available with some variations. Some compressors are small and portable, others are very large and stationary – the power of your compressor usually matches its size. These large, stationary compressors are best suited for industrial applications and can be used by more than one person at a time. Compressors also vary from single stage to two stage; A two-phase motor has the ability to vary speed while operating more steadily and harder – essentially a two-phase motor works harder when you need it to. Finally, some compressors require oil lubrication while others operate entirely without oil. Oil lubricated compressors run more quietly; However, they require oil changes, operate on flat, flat surfaces, and can release oil mist into the air that is highly unsuitable for applications such as painting. Although many craftsmen prefer to use oil-lubricated compressors because they last longer and run quieter (as any other type), they may not be practical for some applications.
Gas-powered compressors are optimal in jobsites or construction areas not yet outfitted with electrical power. These compressors provide the power and speed of pneumatic tools without the need for power cords or electricity. However, gas compressors must be used in open and ventilated areas. Electric compressors are generally the best choice for home and shop use. They run quieter, and with a gas motor, the joint doesn’t stink, if you will.
Maintaining your air compressor will determine how long your compressor will keep kicking. There are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your compressor stays in optimal condition, and you certainly won’t regret the time you spend taking care of your tool. The compression of your compressor’s air tanks causes moisture to accumulate in those tanks. That moisture risks corroding the tanks and ruining the paint mixture (if using a paint sprayer). There is a moisture release valve at the bottom of the compressor; It is extremely important to release this valve with each use, this should prevent corrosion or other water damage. An in-line filter can also be purchased for any compressor to remove water mist from your air lines.
It is important to check your compressor; Periodically check and tighten any fasteners, make sure your air filters are running clean and replace them when necessary, check your hoses frequently for breaks, cracks or leaks and be prepared to replace them when necessary. It is also important to ensure that the compressor safety valve is working. A safety valve (either automatically or manually) releases air if the compressor is over-pressured; An important feature, so make sure it’s working or fix it. If you have an oil-lubricated compressor, check the oil level before each use to ensure that the tool is properly lubricated. Change the oil according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As far as cleanliness is concerned, it’s always beneficial to keep all your tools as clean as a whistle, and it’s especially important to keep the compressor’s intake vents clean and clear. If you have a gas compressor, you may also want to consider cleaning the fuel tank periodically.
A good compressor is an excellent tool and can really go a long way on a job site or home-improvement project. With unmatched speed and power, a compressor and its partner pneumatic tools will change the way you build. Love your compressor, buy the model that’s right for you, maintain it, and your compressor will work as hard as you do.
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