An air compressor does just that -- it compresses air. Air compression is achieved by an increase of air pressure. This pressure can then be used for its kinetic energy and released incrementally to provide a reactive function. Take for example, a nail gun. When a nail gun is connected by a hose to an air compressor and you pull the trigger, the pressurized air in that storage tank is released. This release allows the pressure built up in the storage tank to shoot out like popping a pimple. Much the same, a pressure washer and pressure washer parts create the same effect with water.
The composition of atmospheric air is made up of 3 main kinds of gas molecules, 78% Nitrogen, 20-21% oxygen, and 1-2% water vapor, as well as carbon dioxide and other gases. These gases naturally space themselves out and fill up the volume available to them. When air is compressed, forcing these molecules closer together, an increase in air density results. When the density of air becomes big enough to cause pressure and push against its confined space, pressure is created and can be stored.
Centrifugal compressors operate using dynamic compression. This is achieved by creating high pressure through the use of centrifugal compressor parts like rotating impellers. A reciprocating compressor operates by creating pressure by the use of pistons within a cylinder. Reciprocating compressor parts work together to pump air into a chamber until it elevates pressure to ample storage needs.
This is when a vacuum pump comes into play. Essentially a vacuum pump is a device that removes gas molecules from a sealed space in order to create a partial vacuum within that space. When an air compressor creates a storage of pressurized kinetic energy, a vacuum pump allows for that pressure to be released in incremental amounts, which creates a vacuum in the storage tank that is then filled up with the remaining air.
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