Compressors are a crucial portion of pneumatic and hydraulic systems
, along with a number of other forms of industrial machinery. By compressing a liquid or gas, these devices can add to the potential energy of the medium so that it can be used to power an assembly. Two of the most common types of compressors used are rotary screw air compressors and reciprocating air compressors. Despite achieving a similar function, there are several major distinctions to consider, including in their operating costs.
The greatest difference between a piston compressor and screw compressor is the way they function. Screw air compressors utilize two fitting helical screws, whereas piston air compressors employ pistons driven by a crankshaft. Specifically, screw compressors contain a set of two externally threaded rotors which operate within close contact, but never touch. As such, the air is spun around very quickly and forced through very tight spaces between the two rotors, being compressed as a result. Conversely, a piston compressor has a crankshaft
that continually moves a piston up and down inside the cylinder to continually take in more air before compressing and exhausting it into a storage tank.
Due to their structure, piston air compressors have many benefits and drawbacks to consider. Firstly, because the piston portion of the device collides with the cylinder around it, piston compressors tend to wear out more quickly. Therefore, despite having a much lower starting cost, piston compressors will often have greater maintenance and replacement costs in the long run. Nevertheless, piston compressors can be an affordable and effective option for basic applications with low production requirements. They also do not contain oil in the resulting compressed gas, meaning they do not require a degreasing device to output clean air.
In comparison with piston air compressors, screw compressors are more capable and exhibit longer service lives. With a no-contact design between the two moving parts, screw compressors are much less likely to malfunction and have no wearing parts. They also operate at the same capacity as the piston variety with lower motor power and a more stable exhaust system
, making them considerably efficient. Finally, they have the advantage of low vibration and noise, and are typically able to complete the same processes within a smaller device. However, piston air compressors are much more costly to buy than piston compressors, so it is reasonable to consider the price in comparison with what will be required of the compressor.
Screw compressors are considered much more capable, especially with a lower operation cost despite their high initial price. As such, they are commonly used in operations that demand high accuracy and strength in a compact device. Nevertheless, piston compressors are found in just as many applications for their affordability and effective use in certain applications, such as powering air tools, paint sprayers, and abrasive blast equipment.
If you are in need of a reliable air compressor for your business, you can rely on Purchasing Efficiency as a leading distributor of piston and screw compressors, alongside countless other industrial components. Many of our items are subjected to rigorous quality assurance measures, tests, verifications, and assessments to ensure their effective use in aircraft and other harsh working environments. More than that, backed by speedy turnaround times and unmatched cost savings, we are ready to help customers meet their operational deadlines and find solutions for AOG situations. To begin procuring the parts you need, we invite you to browse our online catalogs of available parts at your leisure and request quotes for your comparisons on any items of interest using our Instant RFQ service.