Types Of Air Compressor Tanks: The Basics

Air compressor tanks are the most important part of air compressors. Without an air tank, your compressor can’t work. It is vital to buy the best air tank for your needs. Air compressors are instruments that can provide air pressure for air tools.

They are vital when working on metal or wood. Without compressed air, your work would be incomplete. Whether you work in carpentry, plumbing, or auto repair, an air compressor is a must-have tool. But choosing the right air compressor tank can be an intimidating task.

You need to understand the different types of air compressor tanks and their differences. Only then can you make an informed decision on whether to go for a centrifugal air compressor or an axial air compressor tank for your air compressor needs. Let’s take a closer look at the various types of air compressor tanks and how they differ from each other.

Types Of Air Compressor Tanks

What Is An Air Compressor Tank?

An air compressor tank is a pressure vessel that stores compressed air at high pressure. This helps to provide a steady air signal to the compressor’s controls, making it easier for the operator to accurately control the machine’s output. It can also act as a heat exchanger, transferring heat from the air to the tank and providing a constant source of warm air for the system.

The tank can be stationary or portable and comes in a range of sizes and both vertical and horizontal configurations. An air compressor tank contains oil to keep the compressed air cool and lubricate the pump. The oil is generally made of synthetic oil, which has high-temperature resistance and anti-corrosion properties. This makes it ideal for keeping the compressed air clean and safe to use.

4 Types Of Air Compressor Tanks

4 Types Of Air Compressor Tanks

Air compressor tanks are a vital part of an air compressor. The tank holds the compressed air and is the component that provides the pressure needed to run the compressor. There are four common types of air compressor tanks, each with its unique features and benefits.

1. The Pancake Tank

is the most prevalent type of air compressor tank. It is made up of a series of thin, circular plates connected to a central support. Air is pumped into the tank through a valve, and as the tank gets full, the valve closes and the air is forced out through another outlet valve. This type of tank is usually made of steel and can withstand higher pressures than other types of tanks.

2. Twin-tank Air Compressors

are similar to pancake air compressor tanks, but they have two separate compartments instead of one large one. Each compartment holds a different amount of air so that when one compartment fills up, the other can still provide sufficient pressure for operation. Twin-tank air compressors are commonly used in household applications such as dryers and vacuum cleaners.

3. Horizontal Air Compressor Tanks

have one large tank that slopes downward at the bottom. The tank contains compressed air and any liquid or debris that may have accumulated in it during use. They are commonly used with industrial air compressors or those used for sanding wood or snow removal.

4. Vertical Air Compressor Tanks

have scoops on top for easy access to the compressed air inside them. These scoops also help prevent any liquid from entering the tank during use. Because they don’t have a horizontal surface, vertical air compressor tanks take up less space than their counterparts and can be more easily stored or transported between different locations.

Centrifugal Air Compressor

Centrifugal Air Compressor

A centrifugal air compressor is a type of air compressor that uses a high-powered diffuser to pressurize cooled air. This type of compressor is commonly used in large applications, such as chemical plants and manufacturing centers. They work by forcing air into a chamber whose volume is decreased to compress the air.

These air compressors are generally stationary, as they don’t tend to tip over as easily as other air compressors do. Additionally, centrifugal air compressors are most often used to power chemical plants and manufacturing centers, as they require compressed air at higher pressure levels than other types of air compressors.

Axial Air Compressor

Axial Air Compressor

Axial air compressors are used in a wide variety of applications, including air conditioning and refrigeration, pressure generation, ventilation, and air-to-air and air-to-water transfers. They are typically installed at the top of a building or in a ship’s engine room to provide compressed air for various functions. These compressors use rotating airfoils that transport highly-pressurized gas. They are typically manually or automatically controlled, depending on the application.

The air compressor tank must be large enough to store the compressed air produced by the compressor’s pump, normally between 150 and 300 psi. This compressed air is then used to perform various tasks such as cooling the internal components of a building or vehicle or generating pressure for a water system.

The oil contained in the air compressor tank helps keep the compressed air cool and lubricates the compressor’s pump. Axial compressors are powerful yet efficient pieces of machinery that play an important role in many industries across the globe.

Rotary Air Compressor

Rotary air compressors use positive-displacement compression to match two helical screws that guide air into a chamber, reducing its volume as the screws turn. Rotary screw compressors are available in either single-stage or two-stage designs, depending on the required pressure and flow rate.

They are generally more efficient than vane compressors because they do not need to move air through a variable orifice. This type of compressor is also known as a positive displacement compressor, which works by forcing air into a chamber and compressing it until the desired pressure is reached.

Reciprocating Air Compressor

Reciprocating Air Compressor

A reciprocating air compressor is a type of air compressor that uses a piston to pressurize air, which is then discharged into an outlet system. The two primary pump settings used in reciprocating air compressors are single-stage and two-stage. Single-stage compressors can reach pressures as high as 150 psi and have a higher CFM value than two-stage compressors.

Two-stage compressors can reach pressures of up to 400 psi and have higher CFM values. Reciprocating air compressors can come in both horizontal and vertical tank configurations, depending on the user’s needs. They can be used for a variety of applications in industries including construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, and healthcare.

The Benefits Of Using An Air Compressor Tank

The Benefits Of Using An Air Compressor Tank

Air compressor tanks are a vital part of air inflators and compressors for air-based applications. They help to ensure that the airflow is constant and steady, which helps to prevent the depletion of the air tank and provides a continuous source of air supply. This is beneficial in situations where peak demand needs to be met, such as during power-ups of an air compressor.

With an air compressor tank, there are fewer chances of the inflator or compressor turning on and off repeatedly, saving energy. Air tank sizes vary based on the job at hand. Larger tanks are better suited for larger tasks that require sustained airflow, such as automotive work and remodeling projects. Their size also affects air capacity and performance.

Choosing The Right Air Compressor Tank For Your Needs

Choosing The Right Air Compressor Tank For Your Needs

Different sizes of air compressor tanks are available to meet your needs, ranging from a gallon to a gallon and a half.

  • The size of the tank will depend on the air pressure and CFM requirements of your tools. The larger the tank, the more air it can hold. A common size is 10 to 20 pounds of air pressure and 2,000 to 3,000 cubic feet per minute.
  • When selecting an air compressor tank, consider the tank size, compressor design, and configuration. – As with any piece of equipment, you should do your research before making a decision. Look at reviews from other customers and analyze the features that are important to you. Consider factors such as capacity, durability, size, materials used, and price.
  • Bigger air compressor tanks are more difficult to store, so it’s important to choose the smallest model possible that meets your requirements.

Additionally, be sure to consider your current workspace and overall tooling needs when making your final selection.

Maintenance Tips For Air Compressor Tanks

Maintenance Tips For Air Compressor Tanks

Air compressor tank maintenance involves checking the air receiver tank for oil and air leaks, changing the oil in the compressor when necessary, and using vibration pads to absorb vibrations from the motor. You can also install an air receiver tank to provide a steady stream of air to the controls.

These steps will help extend the life of your air receiver tank and prevent damage to the equipment and components within it. Additionally, you should regularly check the over-temperature parking device and clean heat transfer surfaces. By taking these steps, you can ensure your air receiver tank is functioning efficiently and effectively.


Air compressor tank types can range from the usual air tank to a tank with a built-in air system that is portable and easy to use. Regardless of your air compressor tank type, the most important factor is that it be of high-quality and durable material.

To ensure your air compressor tank is working efficiently, it’s important to maintain the system and the tank. A full tank of compressed air ensures a constant supply of air for your air tools. The more compressed air that flows through your system, the longer it will last between refills and the better your efficiency will be. You can also opt for air tank accessories such as air hose couplings, air hose adapters, air pressure gauge sets, and air hoses.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Why Do Air Compressors Have Two Tanks?

Ans: Two tanks of air compressors provide a larger volume of air reserve to meet peak demands and prevent unnecessary motorcycles, wear of the motor, or condensation.

2.What Is The Main Air Supply Tank Called?

Ans: The main air supply tank is called an air compressor tank or an air receiver tank. An air receiver tank is a type of pressure vessel that receives compressed air from the air compressor and stores it for future use.

3.What Is The Difference Between A Wet Receiver And A Dry Receiver?

Ans: A wet receiver tank is located before the air dryer, and air flows through it before entering the dryer. This increases the efficiency of the air dryer as excess water and lubricants can be condensed out and filtered.

4.Is A Bigger Tank Better For An Air Compressor?

Ans: When it comes to air compressors, a tank of bigger size is generally better for sustained airflow. This means that for tasks like automotive work and remodeling projects, contracting work where air flow is needed regularly, and even for commercial purposes, a larger tank will usually provide smoother airflow and be more effective in terms of airflow.

5.What Features Should Be Included In A Good Air Compressor Tank?

Ans: To ensure continuous air delivery and meet peak demand, air compressor tanks need to have the following features: The tank should be able to keep up with demand and provide continuous airflow. The compressor should not overwork and cause the tank to overheat

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