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The Theory of Air Compressors

Theory of Air Compressors


What’s the difference between PSI and CFM?

The difference between PSI and CFM are what they measure. PSI measures pressure, while CFM measures volume. PSI and CFM are often used as performance specifications for air compressors. Together, they indicate the maximum air volume and pressure produced by an air compressor to power air tools. To better understand the difference between PSI and […]

Calculating time to fill

How To Calculate Vessel Depressurization Time With Quick & Simple Logic

VMAC recently received a message from a process engineer in London who had a great question after reading our How to Work Out ‘Time To Fill’ Type Questions Using Simple Logic article. The process engineer asked: “I was wondering if you have a similar calculation that you could share for “How to Calculate the Depressurization […]

Did you know

What are Dual Tower Regenerative Desiccant Air Dryers (and how do they work?)

Heaterless Type (Pressure Swing Dryers) Dual tower desiccant air dryers are used to produce dewpoint temperatures below the freezing point of water, as well as reduce the moisture content of compressed air used in critical process applications. Typical dewpoints produced by these types of dryers are -40° F to -100° F, although lower dewpoints are […]

Gas Drive working at Elevation

Gas combustion engines at elevation

Small CFM gas driven air compressors won’t perform as well at 5,000 feet of elevation as they do at sea level. They may fail, bog down, or supply less air power. But why is this? It all comes down to the physics of gas combustion engines.

impact gun

ACFM (Actual Cubic Feet per Minute) vs. SCFM (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute)

The air compressor industry loves to use acronyms, especially when measuring airflow and air consumption. Two common acronyms, representing measurements, are ACFM and SCFM. CFM—or Cubic Feet per Minute—is an important metrics when choosing an air compressor and related pneumatic equipment. Pneumatic tools and equipment require a specific minimum air mass, or CFM, to perform […]


Most Common Compressed Air Drying Methods

As mentioned in previous articles, when compressing air, liquid is also brought into the air stream.  When cooling, that liquid condenses and is delivered with the compressed air to your tool or application.  There are a number of ways of removing or reducing the amount of liquid in the air stream.  These include: Storage Tank […]

Keeping your compressor cool

Keeping Your Cool: Managing the heat rejection requirements of your air compressor system

If you’ve determined what size of compressor you need and the engine requirements to power that compressor the next important step is to ensure that the combination is going to operate optimally in your working environment.  In the case of mobile compressors this may include high altitudes, dirty environments and large ambient air temperature fluctuations.  […]


How inlet temperature affects air flow

It is important to consider where your compressor air intake is located. Some factors to consider are: particulates in the air (dust which can plug filters), ingestion potential (can the intake become plugged with snow or mud) and the temperature of the air when it enters the compressor.  If you are mounting an air compressor […]

Calculating time to fill

How to work out “Time to Fill” type questions using simple logic

Say you have an air tank or some other suitably pressure rated vessel and you want to figure out how long it will take to bring the pressure up to a certain level using a compressor of known capacity (CFM) and you want to do it using common sense, not a lot of formulas.

Gas Drive working at Elevation

Why does my compressor system perform differently at higher altitudes?

Anyone who has had to use a compressor at a high altitude knows how frustrating it can be. Compressor performance is degraded and it can take a lot longer to complete tasks. People who move to or work in areas that are at a higher altitude are often surprised when their compressor seems to be […]