Nasta Compressed Air Services

How Do Air Compressors Work?

Air compression is basically a twofold process where the pressure of air will rise while the volume will drop. Most commonly, compression is accomplished with reciprocating piston technology, which is what makes up the vast majority of compressors on the market.

The following parts are on all compressors with reciprocating pistons:

  • Piston
  • Crankshaft
  • Cylinder
  • Valve Head
  • Connecting Rod

Air compressors are most commonly powered by either electric or gas motors, this varies by model. At one end of the cylinder you will find the inlet and the discharge valves. They are shaped like metal flaps, and these two valves appear at opposite sides of the cylinder’s top end. The inlet sucks air in in order for the piston to compress. The compressed air will then be released through the discharge valve.

In some air compressor models, the pressure is produced with rotating compellers. However, some models that are often used by construction workers, mechanics and crafts people, usually tend to run on positive displacement, in which the air is compressed within compartments that will reduce its space. Even though some smaller air compressors could consist of merely a pump and motor, the vast majority have air tanks. The air tank is used to store amounts of air within the specified ranges of pressure until its needed to perform. In succession, the air is then used to power the pneumatic tools that are connected to the unit supply lines. Meanwhile, the motor starts repeatedly and stops to keep the pressure at the desired consistency.

With the back and forth movement, what the piston effectively does is create a vacuum. As the piston starts retracting, the space in front will get filled up with air, which is then sucked through the inlets from the outside. When the piston then extends, this air is compressed and therefore it is given the strength to push through the discharge valve, while it holds the inlet shut, and then pushes it into the tank. The pressure gains intensity as more air is sent into the tank.

At Nasta Compressed Air Services we are equipped to handle any type of repair, service or refurbishment on any compressor. For more information, visit our website on

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