Definition of Compressed Air and its Industrial Uses
Air that is kept in a pressure that is higher as compared to the atmospheric pressure is called compressed air. It is an essential method of transferring the energy in various industrial manufacturing procedures and is employed as a power tool like air drills, air hammers, wrenches among others. It is also used to atomise paint, to manage air cylinders for automation as well as to drive the vehicles.
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Air brakes was invented by George Westinghouse to be used in trains in the beginning of 1869 and these brakes significantly boosted the safety of rail functioning.
During the 19th century, Paris had the structure of pipes connection for the public supply of compressed air to power machines as well as to manage generators for lighting. Likewise, in the middle of 19th century, there was a development of the industrial usage of piped compressed air for transmitting power; compressed air can be transmitted through pipe for prolonged distances with no loss of pressure because of the condensation.
Like ordinary air, compressed air comprises largely of oxygen, hydrogen, and water vapour. During the compression of air, a lot of heat is produced, and the gravity of the air is heightened.
To generate compressed air, electricity is utilised and around 10 percent of the industrial electricity is consumed in the production of compressed air. For instance, around 10% of the entire consumption of electricity in European industries is used in the production of compressed air which totals up to 80-terawatt hours consumption annually.
Compressed air is generally found as a clean and dependable source of energy than can be simply employed for several industrial functions. It also has minimal maintenance charges, is easily stored, and transported as well as can be utilised in production procedures that require a great level of sanitation.
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Almost all industries use compressed air on a daily basis. This incorporates everything from food and beverages production, pharmaceuticals to nuclear power and chemical production. With appropriate systems fixed for air compressor, service facilities offer much more effective functioning schedules and proves to be economical throughout the businesses.
Compressed air is a source of energy for various tools and equipment and is generally a critical and well incorporated element of numerous manufacturing processes. It is commonly employed for puffing with air blow guns, air nozzles, and air knives to create movements and lifting, as well as cleaning, moving, and cooling various items.
In addition, compressed air used brakes enabled big trains are safer and more capable to function. Besides, such brakes with compressed air are also useful for bulky highway automobiles.
Moreover, underwater divers use compressed air as a breathing gas which they carry contained in a high-pitched pressure diving cylinder or delivered from the surface at a reduced pressure over an air position or umbilical of divers. Parallelly fire fighters, rescue workers in mine and factories use the same the methods in their breathing device in dangerous atmospheres.
There are several other purposes for which compressed air is employed including Pneumatics, Vehicle propulsion, Energy storage, Air brakes, Refrigeration using a vortex tube, Air-start systems in engines, Ammunition propulsion in air guns, airsoft and paintball, abrasive blasting, injection molding, and airbrushing used by model railroaders.
Compressed air is so extensively put to usage in various industries that it is generally considered as the fourth utility, next to natural gas, water, and electricity. Nevertheless, compressed air is comparatively more costly than other services being used when it is measured on the basis of a per unit energy supplied.
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