Piston compressors

Piston compressors


Piston compressor technology

A piston compressor consists of one or more cylinders with pistons driven by a motor. The air
is sucked into the cylinder and compressed in one or more stages to the operating pressure. After compression,
the compressed air flows through the aftercooler to the compressed air tank.


Oil-lubricated or oil-free compression?

The cylinders, pistons, and cranks of an oil-lubricated compressor are lubricated with oil that circulates in the compressor
. The compressed air of an oil-lubricated piston compressor contains a certain amount of residual oil, normally
10-15 mg/m³. Most versions of oil-free piston compressors have permanently lubricated bearings. The
pistons have grease-free piston rings, usually made of Teflon or carbon fibre. Replacement of
the bearings and piston rings is usually required more frequently with this type of compressor than with oil-lubricated versions. However, the compressed air
is free of oil residues.


Areas of application

Piston compressors are particularly suitable for lower compressed air requirements:

  • Single-stage compressors for pressures up to approx. 8-10 bar

  • Multi-stage versions can deliver up to 30 bar

  • They should only be used for short periods.

  • The capacity utilisation of an air-cooled piston compressor must not exceed 60%.

  • After 2 minutes of compression, the compressor must rest for at least 1.5 minutes.

  • The total compression time per day should be limited to a maximum of approx. 4 hours.

Christoph Siegetsleitner
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Product Manager
Christoph Siegetsleitner