Basic overview of the different types of air compressors and their benefits

When it comes to the types of air compressors that are available on the market, there are as many kinds as there are uses for an air compressor. The choice of which air compressor is right for you largely depends on the industry that it is being used in, whether it’s a compact, relatively silent scroll air compressor for the workshop you’re after, or the centrifugal, which is used in large industrial facilities, petrochemical and utilities. Here at Cleveland Compressed Air Services, our wide selection of quality air compressors include:

Oil Lubricated Compressors

  • Boge Screw Compressors
  • SolidAir Screw Compressors
  • Boge Piston Compressors

Oil Free Compressors

  • Boge Piston Compressors
  • Boge Screw Compressors
  • Cameron Turbo Compressors
  • LENTO Water Injected Screw Compressors

High Pressure Compressors

  • Cameron High Pressure Compressors
  • Boge Piston Compressors

Piston (also called reciprocating) compressors and screw compressors are the most commonly used types today, and these come in oil lubricated and oil free models. The benefits of oil lubricated compressors include durability, capability to work in extreme environments, longer life spans and better protection against interior rust; however, they do have what is known as “oil carryover”, where a portion of the lubricant comes out with the compressed air. Also, oil lubricated models require re-oiling, oil changes and are heavier.

For industries where the air that comes out needs to be completely oil free, oil free compressors are used. These compressors are more expensive to procure and do require more energy to produce the same amount of air; however, the lower maintenance of filtration and no oil change requirement do offset some of the costs. The oil free screw compressors also have a limited life and drop in efficiency overtime owing to the Teflon coating required on the rotors for self-lubrication. Water injected screw compressors do not suffer from the same problem, as water is a very good replacement for lubricating oil. Oil free compressors are also noisier but water lubricated machines have a lower noise output due to the dampening effect of water.

Piston compressors, which start up quickly and can be left idle for long periods of time, are usually used in smaller factories and workshops with some use in specialised high pressure applications. Small piston compressors are easy to maintain and cheaper than many of their counterparts, the bigger range being very expensive to maintain and operate. Screw compressors, on the other hand, are used in situations where there is a larger air demand. They are known for their durability, consistently high output and acceptable operating volume level. Although they are generally more expensive than piston compressors, screw compressors do use less energy, are more reliable and, if properly maintained, can be left to run constantly.

Centrifugal compressors are dynamic in nature and, therefore, are continuous flow units that are able to cater for large flow rate requirements in oil free and plant air applications. The centrifugal technology was originally limited to low pressure applications but these days medium to high pressure ranges are also catered for. The advantages of going with centrifugal compressors include oil free air production, low specific energy requirement, low maintenance and high reliability.

The versatility of air compressors, and the high quality of our compressors in particular, make them especially reliable pieces of equipment that can be used in a variety of industries. These include:

  • Heavy industry
  • Medical
  • Mining
  • Oil and gas
  • Workshop
  • Food and Beverage

Of course, these are only some of the uses of air compressors, which have gone from being staple pieces of equipment in power stations, oil and gas rigs, and manufacturing plants to home workshops and garages.

Speak to us today

We know that your business looks for every competitive edge in a tough marketplace. Reducing the cost of energy overhead is a challenge and we offer quality solutions through high calibre products and services. At Cleveland Compressed Air Services, we believe that your success is our success. That is why we provide top notch solutions and support to businesses using our quality products, whether through purchase or hire. After purchase or hire, our stellar customer care draws from a nationwide network of manufacturer trained technicians, ready to serve you 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

Ready for solutions to compressed air or energy problems?  Please call us at +61 8 9452 3669, email us at or contact us online.