Brief History of The Air Compressor 

Spread the love

The air compressor was used as a blowing cylinder that was powered using a water wheel, this was accomplished in 1762. Before that a German scientist Otto von Guericke created a single piston cylinder in 1650. He used this to experiment with compressed air and vacuums. It was not till 1799 that George Medhurst who lived in England created the first motorized version on an air compressor to be used in the mining industry. The evolution the air compressor went from a ‘billowing’ air bag to a fine tuned, scientific machine is very fascinating. 

Classifications And How It Works 

There are specific classifications for air compressors depending on what level of pressure they deliver they can also be classified by the design and purpose. The amount of PSI (pounds per square inch) delegates the range in which they will fall in. The low ratio is 150 psi or below, the medium level is 151 psi to 1,000 psi, and the high is a discharge of above 1,000 psi. There are several designs and what they are used for such as a centrifugal compressor, single-stage reciprocating compressor, scroll compressor, etc. 

There are positive displacement types and dynamic displacement types of air compressors. The first works by forcing the air into a chamber where volume is decreased to complete the compression of air. Once the pressure reaches maximum a valve or port will open to released the air into the outlet system. The dynamic type is used in larger operations and it uses kinetic energy, there is usually a rotating mechanisms that causes this energy. This dispelled energy eventually becomes pressure energy. The centrifugal force generated by a spinning propeller captures the air and pressurizes it for use. 

Industry Usage of The Air Compressor 

If you have ever seen an assembly line you will see air hoses going to different hand tools, in the industry of building modular homes and recreational vehicles you will most certainly see the use of an air compressor. The air compressor is important to us today as it is used for a variety of manufacturing jobs like those listed above. When you are airing up your tires this air is coming from an air compressor. Divers use the compressed air in their tanks to breathe, and even the pneumatic tools must have an air compressor to work. There are even large scale applications for air compressors that even help jet engines work. There are even mobile air compressors that are used by contractors and city workers to power their jack hammers. Checking out air compressor st george ut would be a great research term if you are in the St. George area of Utah.


The state is on a fast track for the use of equipment in the manufacturing field. It is ranked as one of the highest for states showing promise in the field. The air compressor had humble beginnings, however, how our world would be hard pressed to make do without them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *