Posted on Sep 13, 2017

Differences Between Conventional and Diaphragm Gas Compressors

A conventional reciprocating and screw gas compressor utilizes a piston to directly displace gas. It requires the system to be manually unloaded to reduce the pressure in order to start the machine. This means a technician has to be present to re-prime the compressor between applications.

Metallic diaphragm high pressure compressors utilize a piston to push hydraulic fluid to displace the gas. An automatic unloading system that has higher suction pressure eliminates the expense of a technician. It also means expensive transition assemblies have been eliminated.

Other Advantages

Large surface areas and water-cooled heads result in higher compression ratios than conventional compressors. The metallic materials make the diaphragm compressors contamination-free and leak-free. They are ideal for several industries including chemical companies, glass manufacturing, food and beverage processing, gas producers, and mass transit, among others.

This design does not have to be vented, so no gas is leaked into the atmosphere, making it environmentally safe. Safety also extends to operators with interlocking systems that shut down the machine in certain conditions. When suction, oil, water coolant, and diaphragm levels become low, when high discharge occurs, and when O-rings fail, detectors activate the safety features.

Lower Costs

The elimination of expensive components, the overall design, and parts specially treated to extend the life of the compressor, this model is less expensive to purchase than conventional gas compressors. Operating and maintenance costs are considerably lower as well.


A wide selection of basic diaphragm compressors is available, as are custom designed turnkey systems that are fully automated. Single stage, two stage, and duplex configurations are offered to accommodate any need. Systems have been designed for global companies and installed worldwide.

All major components of the compressors are manufactured at one location. This situation improves quality assurance. It also allows the company to be flexible when accommodating needs and designing new systems. Turnaround times are as short as possible for client convenience.

It is important to note that these differences only apply to metallic diaphragm compressors. Those made of rubber or silicon are used for low-pressure applications because they cannot handle higher pressures. The design is often considered to be an off-shoot of conventional gas compressors.