Types of Air Compressors Used for Diving

Types of Air Compressors Used for Diving
You may have the air tank, but you won't last long scuba diving without an air compressor to fill the tank. There are a number of different models of air compressors but they all fulfill the same purpose: to compress air in a tank for use later when the air can be decompressed. You can use almost any kind of air compressor to fill your air tank prior to a dive.


This style of compressor is the most commonly used today. They compress air by filling a chamber and then compacting the chamber through the use of pistons in almost the exact opposite way a combustion engine in a car works.

Rotary Screw

Similar to the piston/reciprocating compressor, the rotary screw compressor fills a chamber with air and compresses the air with two helical mated screws, which reduce volume and increase air pressure.

Rotary Sliding Vane

A rotor, stator and eight blades comprise the compression section of this type of compressor. The rotor makes revolutions in a crescent-shaped motion and compresses the air in a chamber.


This type differs from previously mentioned types because rather than using mechanical force to compress air, it uses spinning impellers to accelerate air, condensing the molecules using the physical properties of inertia.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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