Glossary

The chemical process by which a hygroscopic desiccant, having a high affinity with water, melts and becomes a liquid by absorbing the condensed moisture.

Quantity of air or gas actually compressed and delivered to the discharge system at rated speed and under rated conditions.

A heat exchanger used for cooling air discharged from a compressor. Resulting condensate may be removed by a moisture separator following the after cooler.

Require no operator attention and automatically purge water, oil, dust, rust, metals and other debris to increase performance and decrease downtime.

Diverting the pump’s compressed air to atmosphere.

Volume or rate of air flow the compressor will deliver in Cubic Feet per Minute.

Air receiver PSI at which the pump starts or goes out of bypass.

Air receiver PSI at which the pump stops or goes in bypass.

Tubing, pipe or hose from the pump outlet to the air system.

Tubing, pipe or hose from the pump outlet to the air system.

The rate at which dead air is replaced by compressed air.

These units are designed for jobs that require lower PSI and CFM ratings.

A lubricator ensures proper lubrication of internal moving parts of pneumatic tools.

All ports are at equal pressure.

These units are designed for jobs that require average levels of PSI and CFM.

Dividing the total pressure among two or more cylinders by feeding the exhaust from the first cylinder (low pressure) to the inlet of the next cylinder (high pressure).

Compression is accomplished in two steps, passing through a low pressure cylinder through a cooling coil to a second stage high pressure cylinder for final compression.

As the compressor cuts out, the unloader relieves pressure from the machine. This ensures that the compressor will not be loaded when the motor/engine starts.

The actual volume capacity compared to the piston displacement. The efficiency of the pump drops as the pressure goes up.

Drains moisture from the air receiver. This should be done after each use to reduce corrosion to the tank.

The maximum safe operation pressure.

A device that removes moisture from compressed air. Typically accomplished by cooling the air through refrigerant or a desiccant bed.

Compression chamber on a rotary screw compressor where air is compressed.

Filters out moisture, dust, rust, etc.

The air receiver is simply the air storage tank.

Atmospheric air is circulated to cool the unit and /or the compressed air.

Allows the user to adjust the PSI on the compressor.

Filter designed to remove oil from compressed air in a rotary screw compressor.

The air around or surrounding you.

The measure of strength of an electric current.

An additive that minimizes wear caused by metal-to-metal contact during conditions of mild boundary lubrication.

Temperature above ambient.

The measured ambient pressure for a specific location and altitude in PSI (pounds per square inch).

An air compressor with this feature automatically starts and stops when required, making it more economical than a constant run unit.

Minimum temperature at which a combustible fluid will burst into flame without an extraneous ignition source.

A device which operates compressors in sequence according to a programmed schedule.

Chemical attack on bearing metal or on one of the metals in a bearing alloy caused by acids evolved during chemical deterioration of the oil.

The Pump is powered by a belt wrapped around the motor.

Increase air pressure (usually four times inlet PSI).

The amount of air flow delivered under specific conditions, usually expressed in cubic feet per minute (CFM).

A gauge that measures air flow as a percentage of capacity, used in rotary screw compressors.
Compression of air/gas through turning impellers.
Cubic feet per minute.
A valve which permits flow in only one direction.
1/4 turn fitting that can connect hose to a compressor or extend the length of hose used to flow gases.
Tubing, pipe or hose from the pump outlet to the air system.
An auxiliary volume that may be opened to the clearance space to reduce the volumetric efficiency of a reciprocating compressor.
A factor expressing the deviation of a gas from the laws of thermodynamics.
The ratio of the absolute discharge pressure to the absolute inlet pressure.
Compression in which no heat is transferred to or from the gas during the compression process.
Compression is which the temperature of the gas remains constant.
Compression in which the relationship between the pressure and the volume is expressed by the equation PVn is a constant.
Liquid discharged from compressor and /or air treatment equipment.
A system in which the compressor is run continuously and matches air supply to air demand by varying compressor load.
An air compressor with this feature will not stop automatically and will therefore run regardless of whether it is needed or not.
The chemical change in the mechanical elements caused by the interaction of fluid or contaminants or both, more specifically related to chemical changes in metals.
The limiting value of saturation pressure as the saturation temperature approaches the critical temperature.
Naturally occurring hydrocarbon fluid that contains small amounts of nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur derivatives and other impurities.
A measurement of the rate of flow of gas leaving the air compressor.
Respectively, the minimum and maximum discharge pressures at which the compressor will switch from unload to load operation (cut in) or from load to unload (cut out).

The series of steps that a compressor with unloading performs; 1) fully loaded, 2) modulating, 3) unloaded, 4) idle

Amount of time for a compressor to complete one cycle.
A cylinder in which pressure can be applied to the movable piston rod in either direction.
A cylinder in which pressure can be applied to the piston in only one direction.
A measurement of noise.
The difference in air or gas temperature between the outlet of the intercooler and the inlet of the compressor.
Melting and becoming a liquid by absorbing moisture.
Flow of air at specific conditions required at a point or by the overall facility.
Test time required for a specified oil-water emulsion to break, ASTM D 1401.
A material having a large proportion of surface pores, capable of attracting and removing water vapor from the air.
An additive in lubricants generally combined with (and confused with) dispersant additives.
The temperature at which moisture in the air will begin to condense if the air is cooled at constant pressure. At this point the relative humidity is 100%.
Temperature below ambient.
A stationary element between the stages of a multi-stage centrifugal compressor.
A method of removing heat from the flowing medium by circulation of a coolant in passages built into the diaphragm.
A stationary passage surrounding an impeller, in which velocity pressure imparted to the flowing medium by the impeller, is converted into static pressure.
The pump is powered directly by the motor.
Air pressure produced at a particular point in the system under specific conditions measured in PSI (pounds per square inch).
The temperature at the discharge flange of the compressor.
The volume swept out by the piston or rotor(s) per unit of time, normally expressed in cfm.
These motors will have all of its cooling vents situated so that any dust or moisture will not be able to contaminate the innards of the motor.
Compressors in which air or gas is compressed by the mechanical action of rotating impellers imparting velocity and pressure to a continuously flowing medium.
Any reference to efficiency must be accompanied by a qualifying statement which identifies the efficiency under consideration, as in the following definitions of efficiency:
Ratio of theoretical power to power actually imparted to the air or gas delivered by the compressor.
Ratio of the theoretical work (as calculated on a isothermal basis) to the actual work transferred to a gas during compression.
Ratio of power imparted to the air or gas to brake horsepower (bhp).
Ratio of the polytrophic compression energy transferred to the gas, to the actual energy transferred to the gas.
Ratio of actual capacity to piston displacement.
A compressor driven by an electric motor.
How efficiently the motor turns electrical energy into mechanical energy.
The housing around the motor available in drip-proof, totally enclosed, and explosion proof.
The configuration on the baseplate of the motor.
Multi-speed motors are designed for two or more definite rates of speed remaining practically constant regardless of load changes.
The amount of additional horsepower over and above a motor’s listed rating that it can deliver when necessary as a protection against overload.
The speed at which a motor will operate if the rotor turns at exactly the speed of the magnetic field that drives the rotor.
A mechanical mixture of two mutually insoluble liquids (such as oil and water).
Ratio of actual capacity to piston displacement.
May occur when a liquid is intimately mixed with air.
An additive which causes foam to dissipate more rapidly.
Minimum temperature of a petroleum product or other combustible fluid at which vapour is produced at a rate sufficient to yield a combustible mixture.
The means of connecting a compressor inlet or discharge connection to piping by means of bolted rims (flanges).
Devices for separating and removing particulate matter, moisture or entrained lubricant from air.
A term sometimes applied to a compressor in which the inlet pressure is less than atmospheric pressure.
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A compound generally formed by the reaction of an alcohol with an organic acid. Esters were among the earliest types of synthetic lube oils; they are still widely used in this application.
Air at atmospheric conditions at any specified location.
Air compressor operation at full speed with a fully open inlet and discharge delivering maximum air flow.
One of the three basic phases of matter. While air is a gas, in pneumatics the term gas normally is applied to gases other than air.
The pressure determined by most instruments and gauges, usually expressed in psig. Barometric pressure must be considered to obtain true or absolute pressure (PSIG).
Compressed air above 150 PSI
A measurement of power output. Combined with the CFM, this gives an idea of performance.
Horsepower delivered to the output shaft of a motor or engine, or the horsepower required at the compressor shaft to perform work.
The horsepower calculated from compressor indicator diagrams. The term applies only to displacement type compressors.
The horsepower required to isothermally compress the air or gas delivered by the compressor at specified conditions.
The relative humidity of a gas (or air) vapor mixture is the ratio of the partial pressure of the vapor to the vapor saturation pressure at the dry bulb temperature of the mixture.
A compound generally formed by the reaction of an alcohol with an organic acid. Esters were among the earliest types of synthetic lube oils; they are still widely used in this application.
The weight of water vapor in an air vapor mixture per pound of dry air.
A curved inlet section of an impeller.
A pressure-volume diagram for a compressor or engine cylinder, produced by direct measurement by a device called an indicator.
Power as calculated from compressor indicator diagrams.
The part of the rotating element of a dynamic compressor which imparts energy to the flowing medium by means of centrifugal force. It consists of a number of blades which rotate with the shaft.
The time lag in responding to a demand for air from a pressure regulator.
Cfm flowing through the compressor inlet filter or inlet valve under rated conditions.
The actual pressure at the inlet flange of the compressor typically measure in PSIG.
Treated compressed air from an oil-flooded compressor (after-cooled, filtered).
The intercooler cools the compressed air as it travels from one stage to the next higher stage.
The removal of heat from air or gas between compressor stages.
The difference in air or gas temperatures between the inlet of the compressor and the outlet of the intercooler.
When the temperature of the air or gas leaving the intercooler is equal to the temperature of the air or gas entering the inlet of the compressor.
An unintended loss of compressed air to ambient conditions.
The time lag in responding to a demand for air from a pressure regulator.
A compressor in which a vaned rotor revolves in an elliptical stator, with the spaces between the rotor and stator sealed by a ring of liquid rotating with the impeller.
Ratio of average compressor load to the maximum rated compressor load over a given period of time.
Time period from when a compressor loads until it unloads.
An air compressor with this feature will shut down when the oil level is low, preventing any damage to the unit.
Control method that allows the compressor to run at full-load or at no load while the driver remains at a constant speed.
Compressed air 150 PSI or lower.
A moderate load-carrying ability over and above that indicated by an oils viscosity.
Measurement used to define particulates in the air stream (one micron = one millionth of a meter, about one eighth the thickness one human hair).
System which adapts to varying demand by throttling the compressor inlet proportionally to the demand.
Support both ends of the motor shaft allowing it to rotate smoothly with a minimum of wear and friction.
Two or more compressors, each with a separate casing, driven by a single driver, forming a single unit.
A dynamic compressor having two or more rows of rotating elements operating in series on a single rotor and in a single casing.
A dynamic compressor having two or more impellers operating in series in a single casing.
Compressors having two or more stages operating in series.
Short for neutralization number: the specific quantity of reagent required to “neutralize” the acidity or alkalinity of a lube oil sample.
A unit described as ‘oil-free’ does not require oil to run, greatly reducing maintenance costs.
An ‘oil-lubricated’ air compressor keeps the pump cooler, allowing it to run for longer.
Device used to remove oil from air compressor condensation.
Compressed air produced by a compressor that utilizes lubricating oil in the compression cycle.
Compressed air produced by a compressor with no oil present in the compression cycle.
A form of chemical deterioration to which petroleum products like most other organic materials are subject.
Chemical added in small quantities to a petroleum product to increase its oxidation resistance and, hence, to lengthen its service or storage life.
Any solid material, such as dirt, rust, weld fines, pollen, etc., that is in the air stream.
The condition when the temperature of air leaving the intercooler equals the temperature of air at the compressor intake.
Usually a plot of discharge pressure versus inlet capacity and shaft horsepower versus inlet capacity.
Term applicable to crude oil and the hydrocarbon products and materials that are derived from it.
The volume swept by the piston; for multistage compressors, the piston displacement of the first stage is the overall piston displacement of the entire unit.
Tools that operate by air pressure.
A widely used low-temperature flow indicator and is 5 degrees above the temperature to which a normally liquid petroleum product maintains fluidity.
Compressors in which successive volumes of air or gas are confined within a closed space and the space mechanically reduced, resulting in compression.
The mechanical power required to compress poly tropically and to deliver, through the specified range of pressures, the gas delivered by the compressor.
Parts per million, measurement of the oil present in compressed air.
Force per unit area, measured in pounds per square inch (PSI).
For a given pressure, the temperature at which water will begin to condense out of air.
Loss of pressure in a compressed air system or component due to friction or restriction.
Difference between minimum and maximum pressures for an air compressor. Also called cut in-cut out or load-no load pressure range.
The difference between discharge pressure and intake pressure.
A pressure switch has preset cut in/cut out pressure points to control engine/motor.
The total pressure measured from absolute zero (i.e. from an absolute vacuum).
The pressure at the discharge connection of a compressor.
The absolute total pressure at the inlet connection of a compressor.
The pressure measured in a flowing stream in such a manner that the velocity of the stream has no effect on the measurement.
Pounds per square inch (unit for pressure of compressed air).
The total pressure minus the static pressure in an air or gas stream.
The pressure that would be produced by stopping a moving stream of liquid or gas. It is the pressure measured by an impact tube.
The mechanical device that compresses air within the unit.
Manufacturer of rotary screw and reciprocating air compressors.
A coupling which can quickly join or separate a fluid line without the use of tools or special devices.
The time from cut in to cut out at no load.
Volume rate of air flow at rated pressure at a specific point.
The maximum flow that the power supply system is capable of maintaining at a specific operating pressure.
The operating pressure at which compressor performance is measured.
A vessel or tank used for storage of gas under pressure. In a large compressed air system there may be primary and secondary receivers.
Compressor in which the compressing element is a piston having a reciprocating motion in a cylinder.
The ratio of the partial pressure of a vapor to the vapor saturation pressure at the dry bulb temperature of a mixture.
Compression is produced by the positive action of rotating elements.
Cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air required at the inlet to the distribution system.
The rotating element of a compressor.
A normally closed valve that opens when the pressure is greater than the valve rating.
Compression from initial to final pressure is completed in a single step or piston stroke.
Standard cubic feet per minute.
This compressor has two intermeshing helical rotors enclosed in a housing with an inlet port at one end and a discharge port at the other end.
Devices used to separate and minimize leakage between areas of unequal pressure.
The order in which compressors are brought online.
The range of pressure in the pressure tank during the pumping cycle, usually expressed in pounds per square inch gauge.
A device mounted on the drive shaft between the impeller or airend and the inside pump housing which creates an air tight chamber within the housing.
The part by which energy is transmitted from the prime mover through the elements mounted on it, to the air or gas being compressed.
A valve which operates fully open or fully closed.
A pad, usually metallic and embedded in concrete, on which the compressor and driver are mounted.
The ratio of the specific weight of air or gas to that of dry air at the same pressure and temperature.
The weight of water vapor in an air-vapor mixture per pound of dry air.
A measure of air compressor efficiency, usually in the form of bhp/100 acfm.
Weight of air or gas per unit volume.
The speed of a compressor refers to the number of revolutions per minute (rpm) of the compressor drive shaft or rotor shaft.
A series of steps in the compression of air or a gas.
Air at a temperature of 68F, 14.70 PSI atmospheric pressure, and relative humidity of 36% (per ASME). In the gas industry, temperature is 60F.
Untreated compressed air from an oil-flooded system (not after-cooled or filtered).
A system in which air supply is matched to demand by the starting and stopping of the unit.
A unit that cannot be moved & is usually electric driven.
A phenomenon in centrifugal compressors where a reduced flow rate results in a flow reversal and unstable operation.
The capacity in a dynamic compressor below which operation becomes unstable.
The ratio of the computed isentropic temperature rise to the measured total temperature rise during compression.
The temperature of air or gas measured from absolute zero. It is the Fahrenheit temperature plus 459.6 and is known as the Rankin temperature.
The total temperature at the discharge connection of the compressor.
The total temperature at the inlet connection of the compressor.
The actual temperature of a moving gas stream. It is the temperature indicated by a thermometer moving in the stream and at the same velocity.
The temperature which would be measured at the stagnation point if a gas stream were stopped, with adiabatic compression from the flow condition to the stagnation pressure.
The power required to compress a gas isothermally through a specified range of pressures.
A torsional moment or couple. This term typically refers to the driving couple of a machine or motor.
The total electrical power input to a compressor, including drive motor, belt losses, cooling fan motors, VSD or other controls, etc.
These motors will be used in applications similar to drip-proof motors and are recommended for any outdoor use.
Compressors of 30 bhp or less, generally combined with all components required for operation.
(No load) Compressor operation in which no air is delivered due to the intake being closed or modified not to allow inlet air to be trapped.
Compressors which operate with an intake pressure below atmospheric pressure and which discharge to atmospheric pressure or slightly higher.
Devices with passages for directing flow into alternate paths or to prevent flow.
Measure of liquid’s volatility.
A measure of the internal friction or the resistance of a fluid to flow.
Measure of the rate of change of viscosity with temperature.
Voltage is the measurement of electrical force. It is the force that delivers current when electricity is applied to an electrical device.
The pressure which overcomes the resistance of the working device.
Compressors cooled by water circulated through jackets surrounding cylinders or casings and/or heat exchangers between and after stages.
Stationary, spiral shaped passage which converts velocity head to pressure in a flowing stream of air or gas.