Reciprocatory Compressor vs Rotary Compressor: Things you Should Know

When it comes to compressors, the main type of compressors are the reciprocatory and the rotary. In characteristics and operational systems, they both act in different ways. When you’re willing to buy a compressor for yourself it’s pretty tough to decide which one is the best option for you.

What is a rotary compressor?

A compressor that works with a rotational mechanism is called a rotary compressor. It has a motor installed and a fan that works in a decent way.

What is a reciprocatory compressor?

Compressor with a complicated mechanism, a bunch of parts like connecting rod, pistons, shafts, that operates in a complicated way but provides extreme pressured air is called a reciprocatory compressor.

Now, there are a lot of differences as well. In this article, we’re going to compare these two types. This is a reciprocatory compressor vs rotary compressor article. We’ll try to cover everything step by step. Let’s get started!

Reciprocatory compressor facts and characteristic

Reciprocatory compressor

  • Outlet pressure

The outlet pressure for a reciprocatory compressor is pretty high. As the air gets in and it gets compressed, the outlet brings the air back and the pressure is extremely high for a reciprocatory. In some cases, the maximum pressure can be 1000 bar for a reciprocatory compressor.

This pressure is pretty high for a reciprocatory compressor. When you need a little amount of air and not continuous, you can go for a reciprocatory compressor.

  • Compressor capacity

The compressor capacity for a reciprocatory compressor is pretty low. It refers to the fact of air delivery rate. The delivery rate for a reciprocatory compressor is pretty low and it doesn’t provide you with a huge air.

  • Nature of discharge

A reciprocatory compressor air discharge nature is pulsating. It stops in between operations. It means you can get air for one stroke one time only.

  • Compressed air quality

The compressed air quality for a reciprocatory compressor is contaminated. It contains a lot of oils and lubes inside it. The air passes through the cylinder and the cylinder contains those oils and lubes. There the air gets mixed with lubes and oils. That’s why the compressed air quality is contaminated.

  • Maintenance requirements

The reciprocatory air compressor requires high maintenance. It has different parts inside it. Connecting rod, crankshaft, pistons, all of them require separate maintenance.

  • Operating speed

The operational speed of a reciprocatory compressor is pretty low and it operates slowly.

  • Compressor design

The design of a reciprocatory compressor is complicated. It is big and it has a different mechanism. You can tell the design is bulky.

  • Lubrication

The lubrication process for a reciprocatory compressor is complicated. It has different parts and all of them require separate lubrication. Lubricating this machine is tough as well. There are specific lubes for different manufacturers and models.

  • Vibration and operation effects

A reciprocatory compressor vibrates a lot. When the pistons move, the machine vibrates a lot as the pistons compress air inside the cylinder. It also makes a sound that’s embarrassing.

  • Mechanical efficiency

The mechanical efficiency is pretty low for a reciprocatory compressor. As there are different parts in a reciprocatory compressor, there’s friction between them. That reduces the mechanical efficiency of a reciprocatory compressor.

  • Suitability

A reciprocatory compressor is suitable for home jobs or one-man jobs. When you’re buying a compressor for yourself to work with it in your own workshop you can get a reciprocatory compressor. It does fine and it gives you high-pressure air.

  • Initial cost

The initial cost for a reciprocatory compressor is pretty high. It costs a lot.

Rotary compressor facts and characteristic

Rotary compressor

  • Outlet pressure

The outlet pressure of a rotary compressor is lower than a reciprocatory compressor. It can deliver you with 10 bar of air pressure at its maximum.  It can be awful for some projects at the same time.

  • Compressor capacity

The compressor capacity is pretty high with a rotary compressor. It gives you a huge amount of compressed air through the outlet.

  • Nature of discharge

The nature of discharge for a rotary compressor is continuous. It works continuously and gives you a constant flow of compressed air.

  • Compressed air quality

The compressed air quality of a rotary air compressor is clean. It’s simple and works simply and it doesn’t contain lubes and oils like a reciprocatory air compressor. That’s why the air that comes from a rotary compressor is clean.

  • Maintenance requirements

The rotary compressor requires low maintenance as it’s pretty solid and comes up with a motor and a fan only. It doesn’t require separate lubrication as well.

  • Operating speed

The operational speed for a rotary compressor is high. It works faster and operates quicker than a reciprocatory compressor.

  • Compressor design

The compressor design is simple for a rotary compressor. It’s compact and solid as well. The shape and size are smaller than a reciprocatory compressor.

  • Lubrication

The lubrication process of a rotary compressor is easy and simple. It doesn’t require spate lubrication like a reciprocatory compressor.

  • Vibration and operation effects

It vibrates less than a reciprocatory compressor. As reciprocatory compressor has different parts and they move separately to compress the air, they vibrate more.

  • Mechanical efficiency

The mechanical efficiency is high for a rotary compressor. There’s no inner friction in a rotary compressor.

  • Suitability

A rotary compressor is suitable for commercial long-term projects where you need a continuous compressed air supply. Rotary compressors are designed to work for a long time and deliver constant airflow.

  • Initial cost

The initial cost for a rotary compressor is low. It comes in handy at price and it costs lower than a reciprocatory compressor.

Conclusion

So, these are the differences between a rotary and a reciprocatory compressor. While you’re dealing with reciprocatory compressor vs rotary compressor, you need to check these characteristics of both compressor types. These will help you decide which one is suitable and perfect for you.

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