As altitude increases, the density of air gradually decreases. For aircraft, this means that less power can be generated through the combustion of fuel-and-air mixtures, necessitating equipment such as compressors that can increase the pressure of drawn-in air. The air compressor of a jet engine is a key reason for why such apparatuses are so powerful and useful, allowing for atmospheric air to be compressed prior to use. While compressed air is indeed beneficial for the combustion process, it is not the only use. In this blog, we will discuss the purpose of an air compressor for aerospace applications, allowing you to better understand their applications in aviation settings.
In their most basic form, air compressors are simply pneumatic devices that convert power into potential energy that is stored within compressed air. Depending on the setting, there are two major types of air compressors found in aerospace applications, those of which are rotary screw and reciprocating compressors. While rotary compressors are beneficial for motion that is more long-term, reciprocating air compressors best serve intermittent operations. With either form of compressor, one can guarantee clean air that is free of contaminants.
While there are many applications that an air compressor may serve, one of the most common roles is working together with the fuel injection system to provide balanced mixtures for combustion. As the aircraft is traversing the sky at high altitudes, the engine will draw in large amounts of atmospheric air into the compressor, allowing for it to be pressurized prior to entering the combustion chamber. Once the density of air has been increased, the fuel injection system will mix aviation fuel into the air at a controlled amount, and the resulting mixture is ignited to create powerful exhaust gasses for powering the turbine system and driving the aircraft forward.
While much of the compressed air will be used for combustion, some will be redirected to the pressurized cabin for the means of managing an optimal cabin environment. To do this, a small amount of the airflow will be redirected from a bleed port while being readjusted for pressure, and air conditioning packs will cool and condition the bleed air so that it is suitable for the cabin. By drawing air from the engine air compressor for the cabin, pressurization, ventilation, temperature, and recirculation can all be upheld.
Beyond such common examples, there are many other general aviation applications where air compressors find use. For example, air compressors may be relied on for metal finishing, aircraft wing structural testing, engine manufacturing, air break powering, and much more. By using air compressors instead of other related equipment types, one can better guarantee cost-efficiency, safety, and performance. If you are in need of top-quality air compressor components for your operations, let the experts at Limitless Aerospace save you time and money on all your sourcing.
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