What Types of Machinery Use Compressed Air?
The use of compressed air in industrial applications is universally so widespread that it is considered the fourth utility alongside electricity, water and gas.
A machine that produces compressed air is usually powered by electricity and provides air that is stored at a much higher pressure than that of the atmosphere. The compressed air can be released when required to power a variety of tools and machinery.
Most people will be familiar with the use of pneumatic drills, presses, and other power tools in construction and other areas of public work; these are driven by compressed air. Similarly, the use of air brakes, which use compressed air, in larger goods road vehicles and railway rolling stock is also very familiar. In industry, typical types of machinery using compressed air will include:
- all kinds of tools for drilling and moving weight and volume
- presses to form materials
- lifting equipment
- High-pressure air jets for cleaning heavy equipment
The applications are so widespread it would be a lengthy process to list most. Compressed air is used in all industries, from manufacturing, processing, food, transport including shipping, and construction. It is also utilised in the medical world, for example, some dental equipment is powered by compressed air systems. More domestic and everyday uses of compressed air will be found in:
- public transport systems such as railways, buses and heavy goods road vehicles for operating brakes and doors
- fitness equipment that produces resistance through use of compressed air
- construction work in the operation of tools and plant such as diggers and lifting vehicles
- underwater breathing apparatus
- pressure jet washing equipment
- sprinkler systems