Compressor is a mechanical device that increases the pressure of gas by decreasing its volume. This increase in pressure enables it to transport a fluid from one point to another point.
Pump vs compressor:
Compressor and pumps are utilized for same purpose i.e to transport fluid from one point to another by increasing its pressure. As gases are compressible its volume reduces due to increase in pressure. For liquids an increase in pressure does not affect volume much, because liquids are relatively uncompressible. There are pumps which are designed to handle high percentage of gases entrapped in liquid for e.g liquefied gases such as LPG and highly volatile liquids without showing major problem such as cavitation. So theoretically we can say pump can work on both fluid and gases. But practically a pump handling 100% gas like air is rare. Then there is naming issues, like a bicycle pump or a foot pump which is used to pressurize rubber tire. For these we should not be confused with names, because these are actually air compressors forcing air inside a closed volume.
So now can a compressor handle both liquid and gas? The answer is no.compressors can handle only gas, It cannot handle liquids because they are very hard to compress.
Types and classification of compressors:
Please see below illustration Fig-1A for the types of gas compressor. P.s Looking at it you can find the similarity it bears with the category of pumps.
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