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Technology, Oil-Free Compressors

Compressed Air is Where?!


Compressed air is found in many places, from your hand-held bike pump to the centrifugal compressors that power electronics production. But it’s also found in between in many processes we interact with everyday. Let’s take a look at a few. 

Dry cleaning: Since the 1850s, dry cleaning has been a way to chemically clean clothes that are too delicate for traditional washing methods. Today it is still a popular way to treat delicate textiles, albeit with more advanced processes and equipment. After going through a “wash” cycle with a treatment of chemical solvents, clothes are then “dried” in a cycle with dry, pure compressed air.

This is an essential part of the dry cleaning process, and it’s imperative that the air used is completely dry and free of any contamination that could adversely interact with any traces of solvent.

Refrigeration: Every fridge contains a small compressor that powers the cool contraption. The compressor raises the pressure of the refrigeration vapor, causing it to heat up and rise through a coil outside of the fridge. The hot vapor cools down as it enters the fridge, absorbing heat from the surrounding air and effectively lowering the internal temperature. The compressor continues the cycle to keep the temperature low and stable. 

Glass production: When you think glass production, artisanal shops may come to mind. But the jars storing jam, mayo and pickles in your fridge aren’t hand-blown. This type of glass is often mass-produced with the assistance of compressed air. 

In the blow and blow method, compressed air is used to form molten glass into narrow-neck bottles. Jars are usually made with the press and blow method, but both require forming machines powered by compressed air. Glassworks often have multiple compressors and can use tens of thousands of cfm each day. Next time you twist open a bottle of beer or a jar of jelly, think about the compressed air that went into making that container.

Rollercoasters: Okay, so you probably don’t interact with a rollercoaster everyday — we think. Whether you’re the one screaming for joy — or dear life — compressed air keeps you safe from the moment you buckle in until the brakes bring you smoothly back to the deck.

Air gates and air brakes are crucial to rollercoaster safety, and both are powered by compressed air. Air gates keep thrill-seekers safe and off the rails when the coaster is moving. Pneumatically controlled from beneath the tracks, reliable compressed air ensures that these gates only open when it’s time to get on or off the ride. Air brakes use air to create friction between the coaster and the rail. Other break systems, like magnetic breaks, still need compressed air to control the process.

So, there you have it.  Even if you don’t notice it, compressed air and gas makes its way into your life each day. Want to stay up to date on the latest from The Compressed Air Blog? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and never miss a post.

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