How does a reciprocating compressor work

Piston compressors: structure, function & manufacturer

Reciprocating compressors are a type of compressors. A piston compresses the air or gas in the pressure vessel. This reduces the volume and at the same time increases the pressure of the medium. The compressed delivery medium is then released in a certain direction or in one direction Compressed air tank collected. This industrial compressor is divided into Reciprocating compressors and Rotary piston compressors and belongs to Compressed air technology. Piston compressors or Reciprocating compressors among other things in the filling of gas tanks and in the production of PET bottles.

Synonym (s): reciprocating compressor, reciprocating compressor

Piston compressor function and structure

When the piston compressor is active, the piston in the cylinder moves either linearly or in rotation. A seal seals it to the cylinder wall so as not to reduce the efficiency and to achieve the maximum pressure. When the piston is withdrawn, the inlet valve opens at the same time and the air or gas enters the boiler. As soon as the piston retracts into its starting position, the valve closes again - the piston compresses the air in the chamber. The compressed medium settles through the outlet valve in the adjacent compressed air tank Print side free or will be saved. So piston compressors have one condensing Function. Plastic guide rings are used to prevent metallic contact between the components PTFE built-in. A manufacturer of PTFE plain bearings, PVDF-Plastic accessories and FEP ElringKlinger is made of staff Bietigheim-Bissingen.

Reciprocating compressors can be powered in many different ways. One of them is propulsion by an electric motor. The engine output is very dependent on the compressor. Some have an engine output of 6 to 10 kW, others 25 kilowatts.

Compressed air installations consist of a traditionally metallic, sealing, Whitworth pipe thread. The exact sizes can be found in the Thread table for G and R threads.

Comparison of oil-free and oil-lubricated piston compressors

Piston compressors are made of stainless steel and brass as well as malleable cast iron and can work with both oil and oil free to run. Oil-free piston compressors run completely without oil injection. If oil is not used, the compressed air produced cannot be contaminated with oil. This property is particularly important in the chemical and food industries. In addition, piston compressors are oil-free processing better for the environment, with low maintenance costs, as the parts do not touch and therefore there is no wear and tear, and particularly quiet. Oil-lubricated Piston compressors, on the other hand, have the advantage that they can withstand higher operating pressures and have a long service life thanks to the lubrication.


To that kind of Industrial compressors once belong the reciprocatingcompressor and the rotary lobe compressors. For all of them, a space is formed between the housing and one or more rotating rotary lobes. The air or gas is sucked in and expelled through slits which the pistons release and close during the rotating movement. Rotary piston compressors work, just like reciprocating piston compressors, on the positive displacement principle, but require less space, weigh less, deliver pulsation-free and do not need any valves. High levels of efficiency can only be achieved with great precision and constant purchase quantities. Rotary piston compressors can also be found in the Vacuum generation.

Reciprocating compressors

At a Reciprocating compressor the medium is sucked into the cylinder by a piston moving back and forth, compressed and then pressed out again. This type of industrial compressor work cyclically, with low volume flows and with high pressure ratios. The movement of the piston causes the intake and exhaust valve plates to open and close automatically.

Rotary lobe compressors

The following types belong to the Rotary lobe compressors, also rotary compressors:

  1. Roots blower
  2. Vane compressors
  3. Scroll compressors
  4. Screw compressor

application areas

Now that we know how a reciprocating compressor works, even air pumps fall into this category. But reciprocating compressors don't just fill air pumps. This type of industrial compressor is suitable for all vessels that are to receive pressurized gases and air. Including, for example Tanksin which gases are to be stored or transported. Also the production of PET bottles relies on piston pumps. In addition, even in Car engines Reciprocating compressors are used to deliver more air to the combustion chambers to increase performance. And don't forget - the piston compressor is also used in the hobby DIY sector Pneumatic tool, for example in the form of a Pneumatic nailers, around Nails without putting a lot of effort, indispensable. Pneumatic tools can be used in trade, in the DIY sector and in industry. Despite the versatile application of this industrial compressor, it must be noted that this type of compressor is not intended for permanent use. In contrast to the Screw compressor can only be used temporarily.

Compressor compressed air

If compressed air is only needed at certain points in production, a booster is needed more economical and less complicated than converting the entire production to high pressure. You can choose between individual compressors, which can be easily connected to the existing compressors, and ready-to-use compact solutions.

Manufacturer & Dealer

The following are Specialized trade, Manufacturers and service providers of reciprocating compressors listed in detail:

The company FLACO offers, among other things, solutions and systems for oil disposal, supply and processing and compressed air technology, as well as individual fluid systems. FLACO relies on cooperation with strong partners and is considered the largest German service partner and dealer of Atlas Copco. The KAZ series of the oil-free reciprocating compressors are especially useful for trade and commerce. To the offered Tank technology belong sometimes Gas pumpsequipped with conveyor technology, display and delivery. FLACO also provides workshop equipment (e.g. Service devices) for stationary and mobile Media supply. The stationary media supply includes hose reels, suction lines and feed pumps, while the mobile media supply includes simple hand pumps and electric transfer pumps. Tank container, abbreviated with TCI and Milking systems complete their portfolio.
ALMiG is a system provider for compressed air technology that values ​​energy saving potential through Heat utilization lays. With the warm exhaust air flowing through the Exhaust vents escape from the compressor, water can pass through a Heat exchanger heated to 70 degrees. Heat exchangers transfer heat from one medium to another without the two media being in direct contact with one another. For heat utilization, ALMiG offers original piston compressors of the AP and AT series, which are mobile, have a direct drive, generate oil-free compressed air and are modular Modular system are available. Kaeser also takes care of Controls. In addition, ALMiG offers the AirCare insurance package for a further 5 years warranty for its products as well as an online calculation tool for determining the standard volume of the compressors.
Kaeser is the world's leading supplier of products in the compressed air segment and offers, among other things, mobile and stationary piston compressors KCT series 401 with integrated Refrigeration dryer, Screw compressors with Quick start and Dental compressors as well as all kinds of Hoses at. Dental compressors are the heart of every dental practice and must compress compressed air as hygienically and purely as possible. Complete systems are also available. Refrigeration dryers reduce production costs and improve the productivity of industrial compressors in the long term. Further information on accessories, controls and drawings of the products are on the Kaeser website and in the Brochures and brochures to find.
Renner offers stationary and mobile piston compressors of the original series REKO at. REKO piston compressors can be mobile and stationary and cover medium and small compressed air requirements. If necessary, there is one expert advice possible.
The company BOGE with Location in Bielefeld, clean, oil-free compressed air, especially for food production, has made it its business. Sometimes develop and produce for this Turbo compressors, Piston compressors and compressed air solutions with pressures between 8 and 40 bar and suitable controls.
ALUP from near Stuttgart has established itself in compressor technology with its compressed air solutions. Compressed air solutions include screw compressors, oil-free compressors, and quality air solutions.
PREBENA supplies large industries and professional craft businesses as well as hobbyists with pneumatic nailers, compressors with integrated refrigeration dryers and fasteners.
Schneider is a partner for compressors, Compressed air stations, Compressed air systems, which includes stationary piston compressors, stationary screw compressors and the necessary accessories. Compressed air systems provide pneumatic auxiliary energy through expandable compressed air.

Buy used piston compressors

There are numerous suppliers of used reciprocating compressors with various Delivery quantities to find. One of them is Machineseeker. Most of the compressors are not old and some come with built-in ones Impact wrench.

Rental systems

There are also numerous providers on the Internet for rental systems. and are just two of the many possibilities.