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is air which is kept under a certain pressure
Pressure is the force per unit area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of an object. Gauge pressure is the pressure relative to the local atmospheric or ambient pressure.- Definition :...
, usually greater than that of the atmosphere. In Europe, 10 percent of all electricity used by industry is used to produce compressed air, amounting to 80 terawatt hours consumption per year.
Compressed air is regarded as the fourth utility, after electricity, natural gas and water. However, compressed air is more expensive than the other three utilities when evaluated on a per unit energy delivered basis.
Compressed air can be used in or for:
Pneumatics is a branch of technology, which deals with the study and application of use of pressurized gas to effect mechanical motion.Pneumatic systems are extensively used in industry, where factories are commonly plumbed with compressed air or compressed inert gases...
, the use of pressurized gases to do work. See compressed air energy storage
Compressed Air Energy Storage is a way to store energy generated at one time for use at another time. At utility scale, energy generated during periods of low energy demand can be released to meet higher demand periods....
- vehicular transportation using a compressed air vehicle
- energy storage
- scuba diving
Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater....
, for breathing and to inflate buoyancy devices. See also: Breathing gas
Breathing gas is a mixture of gaseous chemical elements and compounds used for respiration.Air is the most common and only natural breathing gas...
Refrigeration is a process in which work is done to move heat from one location to another. This work is traditionally done by mechanical work, but can also be done by magnetism, laser or other means...
using a vortex tube
The vortex tube, also known as the Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube, is a mechanical device that separates a compressed gas into hot and cold streams. It has no moving parts....
- gas dusters for cleaning electronic components that cannot be cleaned with water.
- railway braking systems
An air brake is a conveyance braking system actuated by compressed air. Modern trains rely upon a fail-safe air brake system that is based upon a design patented by George Westinghouse on March 5, 1872. The Westinghouse Air Brake Company was subsequently organized to manufacture and sell...
- road vehicle braking systems
Air brakes are used in trucks, buses, trailers, and semi-trailers. George Westinghouse first developed air brakes for use in railway service. He patented a safer air brake on March 5, 1872. Originally designed and built for use on railroad train application, air brakes remain the exclusive systems...
- Diesel engine
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...
Paintball is a sport in which players compete, in teams or individually, to eliminate opponents by tagging them with capsules containing water soluble dye and gelatin shell outside propelled from a device called a paintball marker . Paintballs have a non-toxic, biodegradable, water soluble...
Airsoft is a sport in which participants shoot round non-metallic pellets launched via replica firearms.Gameplay varies in style and composition but often range from short-term skirmishes, organized scenarios, military simulations, historical reenactments, to competition target shooting events...
- air tools
- cleaning electronic
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...
components and assemblies