In previous publications we have treated the subject of compressors in an introductory way, we also dealt with some of their practical applications, as well as the subject of the maintenance of these versatile equipment.
On this occasion, we will discuss in detail the best way to choose the compressor adequate, taking into account the work to be carried out and the technical aspects of the instrument.
Technical characteristics of a compressor
There are specific aspects of the operation of the compressors, which must be taken into account when choosing them. These aspects must meet certain criteria, according to the use that will be given to the compressor. In other words, depending on the tasks or work to be carried out with the compressor, its characteristics must comply with certain values and certain information must be taken into account to maximize its use.
Air flow capacity
This is the main aspect to know. According to the work to be carried out, a certain air flow and a certain pressure are needed. The tools or devices that can be activated with a compressor, can consume an air flow of up to 6.6 liters per second (l / s), as is the case with some drills or paint guns.
On the other hand, if it is required to use several tools simultaneously, each output volume must be added together and 25% of the total must be added. This in order to cover the transmission of pressure through the hoses.
The standard unit of air flow is cubic feet per minute (CFM). For example, a 1.9 l / s impact wrench and a 5 l / s riveter, the CFM than the compressor should deliver is a minimum of 6.9 l / s.
This is another important factor to consider. The power of a compressor it can be between 1 and 5 or 6 horsepower (HP) or CV. The compressors with less HP are those used for simple activities such as inflating tires, mattresses, among others. The compressors with 5 or 6 HP are the professional or industrial range models.
In a compressorThe higher the power, the greater the pressure generation capacity and therefore the greater the work capacity. For example, for simple or household tasks 1 HP is sufficient. For activities that require 350 or 400 liters of output, the compressors up to 2 HP. If an output of approximately 1000 liters is required, a 4 or 5 HP compressor is necessary.
This feature will depend on whether you are going to use the compressor in a fixed place, or if it is required to use it in different places. It is very important to be able to count on the ease of transportation of the compressor, in case it is required to use it in different places.
Some models of compressors have a handle and wheels that facilitate their mobility, allowing them to carry out work in different places. Such is the case of compressors used for painting.
On the other hand, there are also models that have a vertical design, which facilitates their storage in small places.
As a complement to the technical data of the compressors, We will describe some tasks and the ideal compressor to perform them.
Inflate or inflate objects
If what you want is to use the compressor For basic tasks such as inflating objects, a device that has 1 horsepower and an air flow of at least 13 CFM is sufficient. This equipment will be more than enough to inflate everything from balls to even tires.
Taking into account the task to be carried out, it would be very convenient to acquire a portable compressor. Being able to transport the equipment outdoors, or inside the vehicle for emergencies, is the most recommended.
It would also be ideal, if the compressor It will have the necessary accessories to carry out its work of inflating objects. It is an additional point that could be verified when selecting the equipment.
In fact, there are currently on the market compressors specifically designed to do the job of inflating objects. These types of compressors generally have a set of accessories that allow you to do your job without problems.
For cleaning in open, enclosed, or equipment and machinery areas, a 1 or 2 horsepower compressor is the perfect helper.
For professional maintenance work on equipment, such as computers and welding machines, to name a few, the use of a air compressor It is ideal for clearing accumulated waste in certain areas, which must be clear for the proper functioning of the equipment. The power of the expelled air must be regulated, on the one hand it must be powerful to expel the residues and on the other it must be soft so as not to cause damage to the appliance during maintenance. Herein lies the importance of choosing the compressor with the appropriate characteristics for cleaning equipment.
DIY and painting
For different home repair and repair tasks, you can opt for a compressor 34 CFM and 2 horsepower. For this type of work, a compressor that has a 24l air storage tank, at least, would be perfect.
As a general rule, repairs and the application of paint in the home are carried out in different places of the installation, that is why a model of compressor transportable.
For repair, remodeling, and general assembly jobs that require the implementation of pneumatic tools, a compressor with higher power and air flow is needed.
With a compressor that has a flow of air of 42 CFM and 3 horsepower, it will be sufficient for activities that require the use of Neumatic tools.
In this case, it is recommended that the compressor Count on a reserve air tank, for continuous and uninterrupted work. A 50l tank represents a perfect option.
On the other hand, since you want to use the compressor For the use of tools, you may want to move this from one location to another, so a portable model might be an option. If the compressor is required for use in a workshop with little space, consider the vertical design models, which also have the criteria already discussed.
Additional factors to consider
Quality: it is very important that you purchase a compressor that it has the necessary quality, regardless of the type of task that is going to be carried out with it. Take into account established and recognized brands and houses when selecting your compressor. Verify that the equipment has the corresponding guarantee, this will be the endorsement of the proper functioning of the equipment and its durability.
Support and maintenance: Another aspect to take into account is whether there are authorized agents in your area who can provide technical support and maintenance to your compressor, in case you require it. Although compressor maintenance is relatively easy for users to perform, expert advice may be required.
Gasoline or electric power source: among the various models of compressorsWe can find those that work with an electrical connection or those that work with gasoline as an energy source. This aspect must also be considered when selecting the compressor. If the area in which you are going to work does not have an electrical connection, it is obvious that the best option is a compressor that works on gasoline. Of course, this type of compressor requires replenishment of fuel from time to time. As for the electric models, although they do not require refueling, perhaps they can limit the portability of the equipment a bit, since they should always be near an electrical outlet.
Regardless of the use or application that is given to the compressor, it is very important that certain steps are taken for its care and maintenance.
- Before you start using the compressor, you must wait for it to warm up, especially if the compressor has not been used for a long time. Giving this time to the equipment allows the compressor oil to be distributed and reach each and every one of the parts of the machine, thus allowing all the parts to function correctly.
- Avoid overheating of the compressor, It is another of the care that must be taken. If the equipment is used extensively, it may overheat, which can cause damage. If you consider that the temperature of the compressor is too high, it is recommended to check the equipment to verify that there is no type of obstruction in the air flow. Another aspect that must be verified in these cases is the oil level which must be adequate.
- One of the elements that must be replaced periodically is the air filter of the compressor. This must be constantly checked to ensure that it is in good condition and that it is not clogged or full of dust or particles absorbed by the equipment during its operation.
- It is good practice to keep a reserve of oil, to use it in case the parts of the compressor begin to generate a noise of how shock, when the equipment is operating.
- After using the compressor, you should clean the filter in order to remove the dust collected during the use of the equipment. In case the compressor has been unused for a long time, it is recommended that the filter be cleaned.
Taking these criteria and aspects into account, you can easily choose the compressor that best suits your requirements.