Awards & Engraving

August '17

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40 • A&E AUGUST 2017 ETCH MASTERS COMPRESSOR COMPONENTS Piston compressors are the most widely used compressors, so I will concentrate on this type here. These compressors have three basic components: the motor, the pump and the storage tank. All the other miscellaneous parts are related to those three. The motor powers the pump, which pressurizes the air and sends it to the tank, where it is stored until it is used by the blaster; here is more info about the indi- vidual components. THE MOTOR Piston compressors are either pow- ered by electric or internal combustion motors, such as gas or diesel engines. Though gas compressors can power a blaster, they are not the right choice for just any situation. They are more expen- sive than electric compressors, require constant attention to keep the gas level supplied, and are louder. Additionally, they cannot be operated inside in a closed environment since they give off noxious fumes and are less efficient than their electric counterparts. The main application for a gas engine compressor would be the need to blast with an on-site blaster, which requires way more air than a pressure blaster. The unit would have to be placed on the out- side of any building, which is not always possible with any given job due to the noise they generate. Electric compressors are the most logical choice. There are direct-drive and belt-driven motors, which I explain a bit more when talking about the pump in the next sub- section. Electric compressor motors can be powered by 120-volt or by 240-volt single-phase electricity. There are some that run on three-phase electricity, which is only available in commercially zoned areas. Regular household electricity has a range from 110 to 120 volts and can power a small compressor. This is because most household circuits are only 20 AMPS, Here is a cut out of a rotary screw compressor to expose the twin screws that compress the air.

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