Mini air compressors are generally powered by rechargeable batteries or electricity because gas tanks add weight and bulk to the machine. Some are 12 volt air compressors that can be powered by a 120 volt AC outlet or 12 volt DC batteries. Many are portable and can be plugged in to a vehicle’s cigarette lighter to be used or charged. The tanks, frame, fittings and motor of miniature air compressors are usually constructed out of stainless steel, aluminum or cast iron. The hoses and other accessory parts are made from plastic.
Most come with an air hose, a power cord, a pressure regulator and a pressure gauge. There are some specialty kits, like those used for airbrushing and cake decorating, which also come with a nozzle tool. A safety valve automatically opens when the pressure reaches maximum levels in order to protect users and equipment. Handles or mounting kits are standard, and anti-vibration measures reduce noise and shaking.
This product can be purchased new or used, depending on the budget of the buyer. Other uses for mini air compressors include filling tires, pumping up sports balls and powering craft or hobby tools. Industrial mini air compressors are also available with increased outputs and higher pressures.
Miniature air compressors are able to pressurize air by compressing it inside a tank. The air molecules move faster as more air is forced inside and the pressure rises. When a valve opens, the air rushes towards it in an attempt to expand back to its normal size. The burst of air is channeled through hoses and into the attached apparatus or instrument.
Air compressors and pumps are similar in that both machines increase the pressure for a gas or liquid; since liquids cannot be condensed, though, they are transported by the mechanical movement of the pump. Compressors are classified according to how they create pressure. The two main kinds are positive displacement and dynamic compressors.
Positive displacement compressors work by filling and emptying a chamber. The most common version is a reciprocating compressor that uses a piston in a cylinder to draw in and compress air. Dynamic compressors use a rotor to accelerate and decelerate air. The same result is accomplished with a spinning impeller by a centrifugal compressor.
Another way to identify air compressors is whether or not they require oil to operate. Mini air compressors are generally oil free because oilless air compressors have half the moving parts of regular compressors, therefore making them more reliable with less maintenance.