Finding the Best Compressor Materials For Your Industry
Many industries use compressors. Depending on your industry, do you know which are the best compressor materials for you?
What do filling soft vehicle tires, coming into a cool house on a blazing hot day, or grabbing a snack from the fridge have in common? Each of these tasks requires the use of a compressor in one way or another.
For example, one needs a functioning air compressor to fill the tires, and it is compression that keeps the refrigerator cold and the air conditioner working.
Compressors are used for a large variety of things, and there are several different types of compressors, too. Whether for a reciprocating compressor, rotary vane compressor, or another type, it is critical to choose the right compressor materials for repairing and maintaining the machine.
First, though it’s a good idea to understand why this holds such high importance.
How Compression Creates the Heating and Cooling Cycle
The First Law of Thermodynamics states that compression of a gas leads to higher temperatures, whereas decompression of that same gas leads to lower temperatures.
This concept is the foundation of refrigeration via compression.
The gas (usually a coolant) travels through the compressor, where it is compressed and heated, but then moves to the condenser, where it condenses and cools.
Meanwhile, something called the metering device drops the pressure to help allow this to happen. Suddenly, refrigeration has occurred, and perishables can stay cold and houses can stay cooler in the summertime.
The Importance of Air and Gas Compression
Compression makes things like air conditioning and refrigeration possible.
Without compression technology, people would still be driving around with horse and buggy and using ice boxes to keep food from spoiling.
Compression is a way of controlling, regulating and augmenting the heating and cooling cycle described above, as an element moves from gas to liquid and back again.
Without the ability to compress a gas material, society would be stuck in the 19th Century.
Parts of a Compressor
Most types of compressors have a few main components in common, such as the cylinder, crankshaft, piston, or the piston rod.
One of the most important parts of any compressor is the compressor valve, because this is what regulates the flow of the refrigerant vapor through the machine.
There are several necessary parts to keep a compressor valve functioning properly:
- Spring Plates
- Ported Plates
- Wafer Plates
- Valve Plates
- Radius Rings
- Damping and Cushion Plates
- Centre Bolts
These are only some of the many parts to a compressor and its valve(s).
The repair and maintenance of such an intricate machine should be taken seriously in order to maximize safety and efficiency.
For the operation of a highly productive compressor, it is imperative to ensure that these parts are durable and sustainable. They require compressor materials of the highest possible quality, and your materials will vary based on your compression needs.
Varying Types of Compressor Materials
There are numerous compressor materials which could be used in the manufacturing of the above compressor valve parts and others, too.
One common type of material is a thermoplastic, which is a polymer that softens upon heating, making it able to be molded into a certain shape. Then, upon cooling, it hardens.
Nylon is one such kind of material used in making various compressor valve parts. It is made of something called polyamide, and is 30% glass fiber reinforced.
Furthermore, this is a hydrolysis resistant and heat stabilized material. It is usually lubricated for better flow of the refrigerant, and meant to help the refrigerant maintain its physical properties as much as possible through the different phase changes it undergoes.
PEEK, also known as polyetheretherketone, is also 30% reinforced by glass fibers for strength and durability. Furthermore, it is good for sterilizing things such as food contact surfaces and medical devices. Certain models are even compliant with the FDA.
This material has a low coefficient (a multiplying factor for determining a specific property) for better thermal expansion. PEEK is ideal for use in a static compression system versus a dynamic one.
Carbon-PEEK is a similar material, except that it is reinforced with carbon fibers instead of glass.
This is a high performance thermoplastic material that is also semi crystalline. Carbon-PEEK does not wear or break down easily, and it has a low coefficient of friction.
MT stands for “Mid Temperature,” a gas-filled nylon material. This material has good strength and heat resistance, and like Carbon-PEEK, it possesses great strength and durability.
Choosing Your Material
These and other compressor materials each have their strengths and weakness, so it would be wise to seek professional advice regarding which materials may or may not work best for the type of compression needed.
The information above should help provide a basic breakdown of these main components, but they are each part of a complicated testing system with many properties, so it is likely that additional research will be necessary.
Getting Professional Help
When it comes to ensuring the quality and efficiency of a compression machine, it will be important to trust a dependable company that is committed to providing only the best quality parts and materials.
Experience, customer service, and the variety of parts available are all factors to consider when choosing the right compression valve repair service or manufacturer. KB Delta can help.
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