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How Reciprocating Compressors Benefit These Industrial Applications

Reciprocating compressors are incredibly valuable. Read more on how they benefit different types of industrial applications.

How Reciprocating Compressors Benefit These Industrial Applications - KB Delta

Every industrial process has reciprocating compressors at its heart. The importance of these mechanical devices cannot be overstated. Reciprocating compressors are used extensively in several industries to compress gas using pistons and even deliver the compressed gas to all appropriate places.

Reciprocating compressors – otherwise referred to as ‘piston compressors’ – are primarily designed to transport gas at increased pressure. The major components of this type of compressor are pistons and a few cylinders that move within it.

Reciprocating compressors work somewhat like internal combustion engines. As they compress the gas, the action results in a significant increase in its temperature.


How Reciprocating Compressors Work

The intake valves take in gas which passes into the cylinder as soon as the piston draws back. The gas is expelled – at pressure – via the exhaust valve when the piston takes up its initial position.

Crankshafts operate the piston and are usually powered by petrol engines, electric motors, or any other suitable rotary power sources. Cylinders are paired on opposite sides of crankshafts, in most cases, so that the movements of these pistons oppose one another.


Importance of Compressor Parts

Compressor parts are vital to the smooth operation of the machine. They work in conjunction with one another in order to give the output required.

Faulty compressor parts must be replaced with newer ones as soon as possible. This is to prevent the further wearing down of other adjacent components that may bring about costly downtimes.

Some of the compressor parts that you should keep an eye on from time to time include:


  • Cylinder
  • Piston
  • Valve
  • Distance piece, etc.


Every compressor part makes it easy for compression to occur with zero hitches. For instance, the cylinder works as a coolant for compressed gas. This makes it safer to prevent while preventing fire outbreaks. This is a common reaction when gas is heated extremely.

The reciprocating compressor’s lubrication system also attests to the machine’s efficiency. It is ideal for keeping the entire process in check since the grinding and wearing of the different parts would significantly affect the gas’s compression – and delivery.

Other vital components of compressors include connecting rods, valve rings, etc.


Maintenance of Reciprocating Compressors

Maintenance of compressors is crucial and plays a significant role in the longevity of the mechanical device. The failure of industrial compressors leads to costly downtimes. This is why regular maintenance is key to boosting profits with zero downtimes.

Compressor maintenance involves several practices that must be carried out in varying degrees, depending on the model and make. Routine inspection of critical components of compressors is critical, and servicing – if necessary – is essential. Failure to do these may lead to premature failure as well as costly repairs.

Reciprocating compressors are the most energy-efficient compressor types on the market today for most applications. This is the major reason why they have an incredibly high maintenance requirement compared to other types of compressors.

One of the primary maintenance issues involves preventing gas leakage past the piston head. For this reason, the piston rings will require occasional replacement.

This is also why expense calculations must balance energy against maintenance costs.


Reciprocating Compressor: Value and Role in Oil and Gas Industry

Reciprocating compressors are used extensively in the oil and gas industry for reliably moving highly compressible fluids. This compressor type has a significant advantage over other types – such as rotary and centrifugal compressors – especially when it has to do with generating high-discharge pressures and handling wide-capacity swings.


Reciprocating Compressor for Blow Molding

Few people know that the reciprocating compressor powers the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle manufacturing industry. PET accounts for up to 70 percent of the total number of manufactured soft drink bottles worldwide. This makes PET the most popular material of choice, far ahead of glass and aluminum.

Irrespective of the type of system a plastic bottle manufacturer employs, the compressor is always the #1 mechanical device in operation. This is why it always requires the most attention and care in the overall process.

Every process performed in the plastic bottle manufacturing industry – including blow molding – requires the injection of pressurized air in shaping the plastic bottles.

The plastic bottle manufacturing industry is replete with many compressor types in use. Common themes unite all of them, from standard models to bespoke or customized systems. This is evident from the numerous plastic bottles lining supermarket shelves worldwide.


Reciprocating Compressor for Medical Equipment

Compressors are used intensively in medical facilities as they provide 100 percent reliability even after they have completed their full duty cycle. Although reciprocating compressors can be heavily relied on, their pistons often overheat.

But newer models are fitted with cooler-running piston systems that ably combat the heat buildup. The compressors are ranked as Category 3 Care Devices. These machines’ interruption in functionality never affects or directly harms the patient.

Reciprocating compressors are generally used in medical facilities to produce contaminant-free air. The air must also have just the right pressure level to be incredibly useful.

Several types of medical equipment rely heavily on reciprocating compressors to operate optimally. This includes respirators, ventilators, as well as pneumatic surgical tools.

Since most compressors come with extended warranties, medical facilities can use the devices for a very long time before replacing them with a newer make or model.

The modular design of compressors used in the medical field also provides convenience and ease in maintaining them in order to easily prolong their life.


Benefiting Industrial Applications

When operated and handled correctly, reciprocating compressors can function for extended periods. This could be one of the reasons why compressors are one of the most widely-used machines in many industrial processes across several industries.

But regardless of the use of high-quality components, all compressor parts are subject to deterioration sooner or later. This is why it is highly beneficial to listen to expert technicians’ suggestions, recommendations, and advice about your reciprocating compressor.

They are also in the best position to inform you of exactly how long your compressor – or its components – can be safely expected to retain its optimal functionality before replacements are required.



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