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Axial Air Compressor Overview

Axial compressors are rotating compressors that increase pressure by increasing the air’s velocity. Unlike other types of rotating compressors, the air flows parallel to the axis of rotation.

Axial compressors have a wide variety of uses. They are used in gas turbines, such as jet engines, steam turbines, small power stations and other industrial applications.

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Axial Air Compressor Pros

  • Efficiency - Axial compressors have a very high peak efficiency. They are also capable of attaining higher pressure ratios.
  • Air flow - Axial compressors consume more air than centrifugal compressors, even with the same-sized frontal area.

Axial Air Compressor Cons

  • Cost - Axial compressors are more expensive than other types of compressors, mostly because they have more parts and are more difficult to manufacture.
  • Complex design - With more parts than other types of compressors, there are more parts that can fail.
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Centrifugal Air Compressor Overview

A centrifugal compressor is another type of rotating compressor that increases pressure by increasing the air’s velocity. But instead of the air flowing parallel, it flows perpendicular to the axis of rotation.

Centrifugal compressors are also used in turbines, mostly for smaller jet engines. They also have applications in auto and diesel engines for turbocharges and supercharges; pipeline compressors; oil refineries; air conditioning and refrigeration; and chemical plants.

Centrifugal Air Compressor Pros

  • Cost - Centrifugal compressors are easier to manufacture, resulting in lower costs.
  • Durability - Centrifugal compressors are rugged. They can operate for a long time without requiring maintenance.
  • Speed range - They are efficient over a wider range of rotational speeds than axial compressors.
  • Starting power - Centrifugal compressors have lower starting power requirements than axial compressors.

Centrifugal Air Compressor Cons

  • Efficiency - Centrifugal compressors are not as efficient as other types of compressors.
  • Air flow - Centrifugal compressors consume less air, even with the same-sized frontal area. This is important for airline engine turbines, in particular, because it determines the amount of thrust.

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Author: Ashley Smith


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