The Difference Between Air Compressors and Air Pumps

When air is required for a particular system or application, it is common to use a device such as an air compressor or air pump. While each device has its own distinct role and method of operations, one unfamiliar with such equipment may find themselves at a loss as to which is necessary for their particular needs. As such, we will discuss the structure, application, and maintenance of air compressors and pumps, ensuring that you have a good idea of when and where each may be used.

While air compressors and pumps both work with air, the way in which they do so is quite different. With an air pump, gasses and liquids can be moved through a system as needed, such as when an increase of velocity is required or when fluids need to travel against gravity. With an air compressor, instead of focusing on moving gasses through a space, the device serves to increase their pressure. To do this, the compressor decreases the volume of a gas before it is transferred to another space. Despite these differences, one can note that both air compressors and pumps utilize pressure to carry out their operations. Additionally, while pumps may be used for gasses and liquids alike, air compressors are only suitable for gasses.

In order for each device to carry out its operations, a different set of parts is used. For the air compressor, functionality is made possible with an assembly featuring a motor, intake filter, valves, storage tanks, a drain, casing, and other such parts. For an air pump, assemblies will feature a motor, casing, impeller, volute, and shaft. With these general sets of components, one should note that air pumps are easier to maintain over time. Additionally, manual pumps or compressors are easier to maintain than their digital counterparts as a result of the increased complexity of electronics.

While we have discussed what air pumps and compressors can do, it is useful to have an understanding of their actual applications. As pumps can carry liquids and gasses between spaces, they find use in application within homes and manufacturing plants alike. Various examples of their specific implementation include within washing machines, bike pumps, aquariums, and much more. With air compressors, everyday applications and industrial processes benefit, their uses including nail guns, water sprinklers, spray paint cans, and much more.

Despite the two devices being different, it may potentially be useful to have a comparison of their overall costs. While we have mentioned that air compressors are more expensive to maintain as a result of their more complex assemblies, this is not the only cost one will face. For example, air compressors are also more expensive than air pumps when initially purchasing such devices. As even digital air pumps are more simplistic than a basic air compressor, they will generally be cheaper on average.

If you are in need of an aircraft air compressor, aircraft air pump, compressed air tools, aircraft engine tools, or other such products, you should look no further than Limitless Purchasing. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we present customers access to an unrivaled inventory containing over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items that have been sourced from leading manufacturers we trust. As you explore our offerings, make sure to fill out and submit a Request for Quote form for any items of interest so that you may receive a customized quote from one of our representatives. If you have any questions or concerns and wish to speak with a representative, you can give us a call or email at any time. Get started on the purchasing process today and see why so many customers steadily rely on Limitless Purchasing for their needs.


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