Reciprocating Compressors: The Heart of Industrial Processes
Reciprocating compressors possess so many qualities, that industrial processes rely on them heavily each day. Read below on what you should know.
Reciprocating compressors are truly the heart of industrial processes and their importance can not be overemphasized, they are used in industries to compress gas and with the use of piston and then proceed to deliver them to the appropriate places.
Any standard production industry would understand how important it is to have this displacement compressor that makes it easier to compress and deliver gas quickly and heightened pace. Industries that can almost not perform effectively without the use of reciprocating compressors include refineries, gas plants, or industries involved in the production and distribution of petrochemical products.
What Do Reciprocating Compressors Entail?
This heavy-duty equipment consists of different parts and tools that come together to work on the compression and release of gas. It should also be noted that there are two major types of reciprocating compressors: the integral reciprocating compressor that uses lower speed and is efficient over a couple of production needs and the separable reciprocating compressors which use a higher speed and also has a separate driver for fro the compressors, hence the name separable.
Some of the important components of reciprocating compressors and their uses include:
Cylinder: This is one of the most important components of a reciprocating compressor, it is where the gas that is to be compressed is stored and they are connected to the frame with the use of a distance piece. Cylinders can be made out of iron or steel and their main purpose is to cool off the compressor while it is working on the gas since this would generate heat.
Frame: This is perhaps the most conspicuous part of a reciprocating compressor as it is the all-encompassing frame for all the other components of the compressor. The frame is also known as the crankcase because it provides support to the crankshaft.
Piston: This is the component that bears the weight of the entire operation of the compressors since the whole gliding, compression, and release of gas relies on this component. It is the part that compresses the gas and it is expected to be strong, weighty in comparison to the gas to be compressed. It is the movement of energy from the gas contained in the cylinder to the crankcase that is handled by the piston and they are mostly made of aluminum.
The Distance Piece: This is the component that separates the frame and compressor cylinders. The work of a distance piece is to get lubrication from the cylinder with the gas and then isolate the rod entering the crankcase. This component makes it easy to lubricate the cylinder during the compression process. They are also of different types depending on the type of compartments that they contain.
The Valve: This component makes it easy for the easy flow of gas to the right direction and also blocking of the ones headed in another direction other than the speculated ones. Each end of the cylinder has a valve placed there for direction. They are different configurations like Plate type valve, which is a more coordinated control over the flow of gas because of the single element that joins them, the Poppet type valve with its highly efficient flow and ability to work with medium temperature. The last configuration is the Ring type valve, which is renowned for its stress concentration reduction on the cylinder.
The other important components of a reciprocating compressor are connecting rod, crankshaft, lubrication system, valve rings, etc.
What are Reciprocating Compressors Used For?
The use of reciprocating compressors is basically for any situation where a higher compression ratio would be needed for the discharge of compressing and discharge of gas. They are a perfect fit for the processing and delivery of Natural gas products and are an integral part of any chemical plant or oil refineries. Reciprocating compressors also come in handy for the compression of refrigeration gas and any such need for compressed gas in areas like agriculture, mining, and automation.
Some of those areas where reciprocating compressors come in handy are Vehicle painting, auto and wood sanding, dental and medical services, construction sites, cleaning equipment like air guns for heavy-duty machinery, ventilation systems in agriculture, material and diary transportation, welding, packaging devices, etc. In short, if you need to compress and deliver gas other than in minute quantities while keeping the temperature minimal with refrigeration, then reciprocating compressors are your best option.
How Do Reciprocating Compressors Work?
It is important to understand the principle behind reciprocating compressors as this would further shed light on their importance in the industrial, chemical, and petrochemical processes that they are used in.
As the name suggests, this type of compressor uses the principle of reciprocation, that is, it puts more pressure on gas and then releases it in its compressed form. The higher the pressure that is being applied on gas, the more compressed it becomes for circulation.
The stages involved in the use of a reciprocating compressor are:
- Intake Cycle
- Duty Cycle
Each of the above stages must be well-prepped for and monitored to get the best results.
Importance of Reciprocating Compressors and Components
The reciprocating compressors are used for high volume compression and delivery of gas because of their efficient way of handling the whole process, especially because of the speed and ability to process a lot of gas within minutes. This type of compressor is renowned for its wide capacity handling and discharge pressure which is very high.
Each of the components of this compressor makes it easy for the compression to take place without any hitch. The cylinder, for instance, serves as a coolant for the compressed gas, making it safer to operate and preventing fire outbreak that is known to happen when the gas gets too heated.
The lubrication system of the reciprocating compressor is another attestation to its efficiency, it is perfect for keeping the process in check as the wear and grind of the different components would have affected the compression and ultimate delivery of the gas. When handled and operated correctly, reciprocating compressors are fast, efficient, and bring optimal results.
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