High pressure screw air compressors serve a wide range of purposes in industrial, manufacturing and other applications. Quincy Compressor has been manufacturing both low and high pressure machines since 1920. On this page, you’ll find a basic overview of high pressure compressor technology, as well as some advice on what to look for when shopping for a unit.
What Is Pressure?
Pressure is the amount of force produced by an air compressor, relative to the surrounding atmosphere. For most commercial or industrial applications, it is measured in pounds per square inch gauge (PSIG). You may also see it rated in bar, or bar(g), the metric equivalent of PSIG.
Any machine delivering more than 150 PSIG is generally considered to be a high pressure compressor. Most handheld tools are rated at 90 PSIG, meaning a standard pressure machine can easily power them.
Reciprocating and rotary screw compressors are the two main types of compressor design. Rotary screw compressors are best for continuous use, but generally aren’t capable of delivering pressures above 210 PSIG. Reciprocating/piston compressors, on the other hand, can operate at working pressures of 500 PSIG and higher, but are designed for intermittent use only.
Pressure vs. Capacity
One common point of confusion when shopping for a high pressure screw air compressor is the difference between pressure and capacity. Capacity is a separate measurement describing the amount of air a compressor can produce at a given time. We measure this in cubic feet per minute (CFM).
Too often, a user will see a compressor with a high CFM rating and assume it is suitable for high pressure applications. While a high capacity compressor can be useful for running multiple tools simultaneously, CFM and PSIG have no bearing on one another. A high pressure screw compressor can have a low capacity, while a high capacity compressor may only have a PSIG rating suitable for light- or medium-duty use.
High Pressure Compressor Applications
High pressure screw compressors have a number of very specific uses, particularly in industrial and energy applications. You can find them on offshore drilling rigs and remote pipeline settings, where they are used to start engines and motors, or to help convey drilling mud. They are also used to drive turbines and generators in power plants, and for various processes in manufacturing facilities.
Choosing a High Pressure Compressor
The specifics of your application will determine which Quincy compressor is right for you. As one of the leading high pressure screw air compressor manufacturers, we have a full range of products available to meet the needs of any client.
Aside from pressure and capacity, other factors that should be considered when choosing a machine include:
- The overall efficiency of the unit
- Whether or not it is lubricated
- Its operating noise level, expressed in decibels (dBA)
Quincy high pressure screw air compressors are capable of delivering between 150-200 PSIG, with various CFM levels according to the intended application. For heavy-duty industrial use or other specialized applications, Quincy also manufactures reciprocating/piston air compressors, oil-free compressors and other products.
Visit individual product pages for detailed specifications or contact a sales representative directly for assistance choosing the right machine for your purposes.
Learn more about proper screw air compressor maintenance.
Learn more about why Quincy Compressor is a leading rotary screw compressor manufacturer.