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Classification of Air Compressor

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We know the word air compressor mean, but we don’t know about what are the different types of classification of it. So, you can learn about the different type of air compressors from this article.

Sometimes, you may have a question. What is the purpose of knowing different classification of air compressors? If you are gone through this full article, you will clear this question. An air Compressor is one of the major energy consuming utilities in any industrial operation and is mainly classified in two types. The classification is based on their construction and operation features.

The two main classification of Air Compressor are:

  1. Positive Displacement Type
  2. Dynamic Type


Positive Displacement Type Air Compressor

Positive displacement air compressors are those, who mechanically displace a fixed volume of air into a reduced volume. The constant volume can be delivered by compressor when operated at fixed speed. The discharge pressure is determined by the system load conditions. If the consumption of air is more, then discharge pressure falls below the cut-off pressure & compressor works on load condition.

These types of Air Compressor further classified as

A.   Reciprocating Air Compressor

In this type, compressed air is generated by to & fro movement of piston inside the cylinder (compression chamber). Each movement compresses a fixed quantity of free air at a specific pressure. Single stage, double stage or multiple stage and single acting or double acting is the further classification of Reciprocating Air Compressor. A Vertical type Air Compressor is use for the application of compressed air ranging in between 50 to 150 c. f. m and the Horizontal balance type is most suitable for application ranging from 200 to 5000 c. f. m.

B.   Rotary Air Compressor

In this type, air is compressed by two rotating or inters meshing rotors. According to the type of construction Rotary Compressor can be further classified as

  1. Rotary Screw Compressor
  2. Rotary Vane compressor
  3. Rotary Screw Compressor

Air is compressed between two rotating screw (male & female screw) and casing. The compression took place in gradually reducing space between these two parts.

  1. Rotary Vane compressor

Air is compressed between casing & rotating rotor by the help of movable rotor blade. This type of Air Compressor can be further classified as Single Stage or Double Stage Rotary Air Compressor.

Dynamic Type Air Compressor

The Dynamic Type Air Compressors mechanically impart velocity to the air. This action is produced by the Impellers rotating at a high speed, in enclosed casing. The air is forced into a progressively reduced volume. The volumetric flow will vary inversely with the differential pressure across the compressor.

This type of compressor is further classified as

  1. Centrifugal Air Compressor
  2. Axial Flow Air Compressor
  3. Roots Blower Compressor.

a)  Centrifugal Air Compressor

In a Centrifugal Air Compressor, an Impeller is mounted on a shaft and positioned within housing, consisting of an inlet duct, a volute and a Diffuser. The velocity to the air can be imparted by the high speed rotation of Impeller. The Diffuser surrounds the Impeller and act to convert the Kinetic energy of air into potential energy at a higher pressure level.

b)  Axial Flow Air Compressor

The Axial Flow Type Air Compressor is essentially a large capacity, high speed machine with characteristics quite different from the centrifugal air compressor. Each stage consist of two row of blades, one row rotating & the next row of blade is stationery. The rotor blades impart velocity and pressure to the air as the motor turns, the velocity being converted to pressure in stationery blades.

c)  Roots Blower Compressor

This type is generally called as blower. The discharge air pressure obtained from this type of machine is very low. The Discharge Pressure of 1 bar can be obtained in Single Stage and pressure of 2. 2 bars are obtained from Double Stage. The discharged pressure achieved by two rotors which have separate parallel axis and rotate in opposite directions.


Air compressor is the machine that we use it for huge industries and other works that need the help of compressed air. We are given you a brief explanation of air compressor reviews on their classification. Without classification we can’t use different air compressors for different purposes. Click here to learn more tips about air compressor.

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