Compressed Air Applications: Where is compressed air used?

Compressed Air Compressed Air Wiki Basic Theory

Look around you, what do you see? Do you have some sort of computer in front of you? Probably. You might be sitting at your desk and on it, there might even be some paper. What are you thinking about? Your next vacation maybe? You might go skiing with the kids or have some alone time in the Caribbean, you could do some of that diving you always wanted to do. Whatever holiday you choose, compressed air is involved in some way. However, that’s not all, compressed air is also used in everything else mentioned above and so much more.

What is compressed air used for?

When you think about the examples above, you might wonder how compressed air is used in these situations. In the industry, it is used in two ways: as energy and as part of a process. These two types are referred to as Energy Air and Active Air respectively.


First of all, Energy Air is used for storing and transmitting energy in order to do mechanical work. More specifically, it is used to power pneumatic production equipment, air operated lathe chucks, pressure clean parts and to convey or cool components during production.


Active air, on the other hand, is required as an active and integral part of a certain process. In this case, the air comes in contact with the product therefore the air quality is very important. The clean, dry air quality, or CDA quality for short, can be enhanced by utilizing oil-free compressors and by treating the air using one of the many quality air tools available. This type of compressed air is used in the following industries:

a few of the applications compressed air is used for


  • Chemicals 

  • Pharmaceuticals 

  • Food & Beverage 

  • Aeration and Agitation 

  • Semiconductor & Electronics 

  • Medical Breathing Air

Some compressed air applications

Have you been to a theme park lately? Chances are you came across some compressors without even knowing it. In roller coasters for example, they power the gates, brakes and other crucial safety features like the passenger restraint system. They are also present in the launch systems on certain rides and in the drivers that make props and animatronic figures move. Compressed air is also used for maintenance, power washers and other cleaning tools are a big help in keeping the park and its attractions looking their best.

Maybe you haven’t been in a theme park in a while, but on your way to work today, you might have seen a school bus driving by. You guessed it, compressed air has a big impact on its workings too. Initially, you might think air compressors are only used to inflate the tires. However, it doesn’t stop there. They are used in the production of these tires, the fabric on the seats and the sanding of the metal exhaust pipes. More importantly, compressed air is at the center of the bus’ safety system. A compressor is at the heart of the air brake system and suspension, it also makes sure the airbag gets deployed in the event of a crash.

Related articles

an illustration about compressed air in the atlas copco air wiki.

What is Compressed Air?

Compressed air is all around us, but what is it exactly? Let us introduce you to the world of compressed air and the basic workings of a compressor.