Compressed Air: A Long & Colourful History in Industry

Of course, we are all surrounded by air and this invisible, odourless gas has long been used by mankind in a compressed form. The very first air compressor was, in fact, the human lung, as our early ancestors huffed and puffed to increase the fire temperature to make iron implements and this was closely followed by bellows that were made from animal hide. The bellows served us well for centuries and helped to provide high quality blades for swords, the principal weapon at that time.

The Bellows

As time passed, below design improved and forges needed higher temperatures to create better steel; Of course, the device was operated by humans, with two handles that are pulled together and pushed apart to create the compression. This system worked fine and it wasn’t until the 18th century that automated air compressors were first developed. In 1776, John Smeaton created a machine to blast objects with compressed air and this was the start of the compressed air energy field.

Sand Blasting

The discovery that small, abrasive materials can be forced onto surfaces using compressed air revolutionised many industries; machinery can easily be cleaned, ready for paint or other coating and for cleaning engines, sand blasting is very effective. Fast forward to today and there are industrial air pump suppliers who offer a range of equipment for a range of uses. Other materials like glass and beads are used instead of sand; the mining industry, for example, relies heavily on abrasive blasting for the heavy plant that must work round the clock.

Power Tools

In the 1920s it was discovered that compressed air can power tools, a wide range of saws and drills were built and air compressor development was ongoing. Of course, today the construction industry makes best use of nail and staple guns, which saves both time and money. Air compressors are widely used with road construction, using pneumatic drills to break up the road surface and every building site would have diesel powered air compressors to power a range of tools. If waste is an issue at your plant, here is an interesting article on the use of skips. Many small builders make good use of small, portable air compressors to power a range of building tools.

Rotary Screw Compressor

This is the most common type of air compressor, as the rotary screw type compressor is uncomplicated and quiet and very easy to maintain. Most auto and engineering workshops have a couple of air compressors that automatically kick in when the pressure drops to a certain level. If you are in need of any type of air compressor, there are leading Thai suppliers who offer the best brands at affordable prices. Rotary screw compressors are popular because they are easy to maintain and many small businesses prefer these to reciprocating units.

Reciprocating Compressor

This involves pistons that run in cylinders, usually single or twin cylinder models and unlike rotary screw units, the reciprocating compressor has many parts and needs more maintenance. Multi-stage compressors are ideal for intense use and should you be in need of such equipment, an online search will help you to locate a local supplier.

Dynamic Compressors

This type of compressor sucks in air through rotor blades, restricting the air to create pressure, which is stored in special compressors. These are heavy industry solutions that demand specialist designs and when providers are asked to bid for a contract, each company would submit a system proposal. Here is some information on a Yamaha project that was very successful.

Compressed air is widely used today in many industries and as you would expect, there are suppliers of many different types of air compressor. If you are unsure about what type of compressor to buy, the supplier is always happy to advise you on any aspect of air compression. Their staff are highly experienced and understand the complex factors that industries involve and can offer sound advice regarding compressed air solutions.

If you have any need for air compressors, consult with an established supplier who can point you in the right direction.

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