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The similarity of Compressors and Pumps

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The creation of the structures that are encountered in nature is at the heart of new materials such as polymers.

Compressed air can execute many jobs such as moving objects, cooling and heating, and in braking systems of vehicles. Air is present all around us in the atmosphere, acting on us and the world at all times. Air has weight and exerts a corresponding pressure which is termed as atmospheric pressure. When the pressure is low at a point, air from the adjoining regions flows into the area of low pressure, causing rough weather. The mass of the atmosphere and the mass of the earth are in a proportion of one to 1,200,000. The mass of the atmosphere has been calculated to be 5.2480 x 1018 Kilograms. Air can be compressed by driving it into a chamber and then using a piston to increase the pressure.The volume of the air is reduced leading to increased pressure. The process can be accomplished through a centrifugal action that drives the air to the rim of the impeller. During the compression, heat is produced which can also be retained to create an efficient process. If the heat is released into the atmosphere, it represents a waste of energy. When the compressed air and the heat are stored, it is a reservoir of energy that can be put to work at a later time. The construction industry makes use of compressed air in hammers, compactors and conveyor systems for transporting construction material. Hammers and drilling machines that are used in mining also make use of compressed air. In the chemical industry, compressed air plays a role as a raw material for oxidation processes. Oxidation involves the addition to other elements to create compounds known as oxides. When oxygen is added to carbon, we get carbon dioxide. Other methods to produced compressed air use helical screws to force the gas into a restricted space. The mechanism of a membrane known as the diaphragm is also one of the methods used to create compressed air. The same membrane mechanism is put to use for the movement of fluids by the application of air to the membrane. In a Double Diaphragm Pump, air is used to move the membrane creating the pumping action that moves fluids. A compressor and a pump utilise the same mechanism of creating pressure on the gas and fluid respectively. While a compressor creates the pressure by reducing the volume of the gas, a pump uses the created pressure to drive the fluid into a pipe for the purpose of moving it elsewhere.

The type of compressor that pushes the air into a restricted chamber is referred to as a Positive Displacement compressor. In a Negative Displacement Compressor, the air is accelerated and then decelerated, creating the required rise in pressure. A piston, screws or vanes can be used to force the air into a smaller chamber in the process of Positive Displacement. When the compressed air is made to act on a piston, it represents the reverse process where the energy is put to use. Such an action of compressed air on a piston is used in air braking in automobiles.

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The similarity of Compressors and Pumps The creation of the structures that are encountered in nature is at the heart of new materials such as polymers.