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Diaphragm Compressor

Principle
Based on a reciprocating compressor frame. In place of conventional cylinders, is a saucer shaped stainless steel head, inside of which is a thin stainless steel diaphragm. The diaphragm oscillates up and down, powered by oil that is in turn pushed up and down by the piston. Gas is drawn in to the top of the head, and pushed out, in a similar manner to a reciprocating compressor, by passive poppet valves. The diaphragm totally insulates the gas stream from the mechanics and lubrication system, and so is often specified for hazardous or poisonous gas applications.
Typical Performance Envelope
  Imperial Metric
Minimum swept volume 6 cfm 10 m3/h
Maximum swept flow 1,800 cfm 3,000 m3/h
Maximum casing pressure 15,000 psi 1,000 bar
Maximum pressure ratio per stage 20  
Advantages

  • High efficiency.
  • Very high pressures possible, with multiple stages.
  • Resistant to corrosive gases and particulate.
  • Totally oil free, with no possibility of lubricating oil contaminating gas stream.
  • Leak free.
Disadvantages

  • Regular maintainance requirement.
  • Fixed speed - not easy to control flow.
  • Out of balance forces mean a special foundation may be required.
  • Complicated - many moving parts.
  • Efficiency drops off between overhauls.
Common Applications

  • Fuel gas boosting.
  • Vehicle re-fueling.
  • Industrial gases.
  • Poisonous gases.
  • Hazardous gases.
  • Gas storage.
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