The Differences Between Pumps and Compressors

Pumps and compressors are both used to move hydraulic fluids through a system. Despite this, both do so through differing methods. Pumps are able to move both liquid and gas. Compressors generally only move gas, due to its natural ability to be compressed. This blog will explain pumps, compressors and their differences.

A pump is a hydraulic machine that transfers mechanical energy from an engine to the fluid flowing through it. They are used to transport fluids that are otherwise incompressible. Depending on the connection, often the machine can work as a pump or engine - these machines are considered to be reversible. Electric motors are frequently used for pump operation and, in the case of mobile hydraulics, internal combustion engines are used.

Pumps are separated in two categories: positive displacement pumps and centrifugal pumps. Positive displacement pumps transport fluid by reducing the volume of the chamber in the pump, and are used at high altitudes for relatively small flows. Centrifugal pumps give power to the fluid in the rotor so the mobile blades provide pressure to the fluid. Centrifugal pumps are not used in hydraulics, instead being used for relatively large flows and low supply levels. Examples of positive displacement pumps include piston, rotary, and diaphragm pumps.

Compressors are very similar to pneumatic motors. They do not differ in principle and structurally vary only in details. Very often, the same machine can operate as both a compressor or motor, spending on the installation. Compressors are divided into two types: positive displacement and turbochargers. Positive displacement compressors are used almost exclusively in pneumatics. Their operation is based on a variable volume operating chamber. Reduction of the volume in the operating reduces the amount of air in it, causing an increase in air pressure, or compression. Compressors are either considered rotary or reciprocating, depending on their structure and function.

There are three main differences between pumps and compressors: operating principle, structure, and application. In a pump, the fluid is moved from one place to another. In a compressor, the volume of gas is compressed before (usually) being pumped elsewhere. Furthermore, while pumps can use liquid or gas, compressors generally only work with gas, as liquids are extremely difficult to compress. The structural differences between pumps and compressors are a bit more complicated, mainly because there are so many differences. The basic parts of a pump are the hosing, impeller, motor, shaft, and volute. The basic makeup of a compressor is the motor, storage tank, drain, intake filter, valves, etc.

The final difference between pumps and compressors is in their uses. Both commonly used machines, you will find pumps and compressors through industrial factories and in many households. The most common use of domestic pumps is in washing machines where they are used to drain the water from the appliance into the sewerage system. Automobiles, ships, and aircraft also have pumps, such as cooling, oil, fuel, and servo device pumps. Compressors also have a range of uses, and are often applied in refrigeration technology, such as in refrigerators and air conditioners. They also have uses in the processing industry where they are found in breweries, refineries, technical gas plants, and more. Regardless of what it is used for, it’s important to ensure you are getting your pumps and compressors from a trusted source like Aerospace Buying.

Aerospace Buying provides all types of pumps and compressors as well as aircraft standard parts, aircraft bearings, aircraft fasteners parts, NSN parts, and connector parts for various military and civilian applications. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of unique parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. Our dedicated account managers are standing by and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-714-705-4780.

  1. Posted on October 29, 2020
  2. aviation

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