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Precise information on compressed air system terms is always valuable.

Glossary of terms for
people who work with compressed air solution.

Absolute Pressure: The total pressure measured from absolute zero.

Ambient Air: Air or Temperature surrounding you.

Absolute Temperature: Temperature calculated from absolute zero on the Kelvin scale or on
Rankine scale.

Absolute Zero: Temperature at lowest possible point. The temperature at which kinetic energy
is of atoms & molecule are at minimal.

Aftercooler: The heat exchanger unit which helps cooling the air or gas discharged from
compressor before it enters the system.

Actual Capacity: Quantity of gas actually compressed & delivered to the discharge system at
given rated speed of machine & under given pressure conditions.

Adiabatic Compression: A type of compression where no heat is transferred to or from the gas
during the compression process.

Air cooled compressor: Compressors are cooled by atmospheric air by circulating them around
the cylinders or casings.

Air Receivers: A vessel designed to store the compressed air & to permit pressure to be stable
in the system.

Air Dryer: Devices which will help absorb water vapour from compressed air.

Automatic Sequencer: A device which operates compressors in sequence according to a
programme schedule.

Atmospheric Pressure: The pressure exerted by the atmosphere.

Bar: A unit of pressure used in industry field, which is approximately equal to atmospheric
pressure.

Base Plate: A metallic structure on which a compressor or other machine is mounted.

Booster Compressor: A machine which helps compressing air or gas from an initial pressure to
much higher pressure.

Boss hose fitting: Threaded fitting which connects hose from compressor or extended hose for
flow of gas.

Capacity: The amount of air flow delivered from compressor under specific conditions & is
usually expressed in cubic feet per minute (CFM).

Casing: The pressure containing stationary element that encloses the rotor & associated
internal components of the compressors, and it includes integral inlet and discharge
corrections.
Check Valve: A mechanical device which allows the flow of liquid or gas in one direction.

Condensate: Liquid formed in compressor from water vapour due to decrease in temperature
&/or increase in pressure.

CFM: Volumetric air flow rate.

Compression Ratio: The ratio of the discharged pressure to the inlet pressure.

Constant Speed Control: A system which runs continuously & matches air supply to demand, by
varying compressor load.

Cycle: The series of steps that a compressor performs.

Cut In/Out Pressure: A setting on a pressure discharge used to either load or unload the
compressor on a content speed application to either start or stop the machine.

Compressibility: A factor expressing the deviation of gas from the laws of hydraulics.

Compression, Adiabatic: A compression where no heat is transferred to or from the gas during
the compression process.

Compression, Isothermal: A compression in which the temperature remains constant. For
reversible process the equation PV is constant for perfect gases.

Compression, Polytropic: A graphical relationship between the pressure & volume for various
values of specific-heat ratio in a compressor equation pVn = K.

Compression Ratio: The ratio of the discharged pressure to the inlet pressure.

Critical Pressure: It is the saturation pressure at the critical temperature.

Critical Temperature: The highest temperature at which well defined vapor & liquid state
exist.

Dew Point: The temperature at which the air gets saturated & changes from vapour to liquid at
a given pressure.

Dew Point Suppression: Temperature below ambient.

Desiccant: An adsorption type material which attracts & remove water vapour from the air.

Discharge Pressure: It is the pressure generated on the output side of a gas compressor.

Discharge Temperature: The temperature existing at the discharged port of the compressor.

Dynamic-type Compressors: Air or gas compressed by rotating vanes or impellers.