Compressed air is employed in a wide range of industrial applications, from the manufacture of windows and doors to the textile and construction industries.
But have you ever stopped to think about the more unusual uses of compressed air?
Here are a few of our favourites.
You’re probably aware that compressed air is used widely in automotive production lines and in garages to pump tyres full of air or for powering air tools.
But if you fancy customising your car with a Superman logo, making your motorbike stand out with a flaming skull or transforming your transit into Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine, the most effective way to create your design is with an airbrush powered by compressed air.
The dairy industry has long used air compressors to power milking machines and operate cleaning systems that flush waste out of the milking parlour.
But some modern dairies also use robots driven by compressed air to attach teat cups to a cow’s udder. This automation of the milking process allows cows to decide themselves when they want to be milked – and apparently they join the shortest line when queuing up!
Paintballing has been around for more than 30 years; it’s a sport that can be enjoyed indoors and out, for fun or competition.
Driven by compressed air, the paintball gun fires gelatin capsules containing dye to mark the opponent – which is why they tend to sting when they make contact.
Fish farming uses pneumatic conveyor systems to deliver feed to the fish and the smart fish farmer will invest in channel blowers to reduce damage and loss of feed.
However, vacuum nozzles driven by compressed air can also be used to gut and clean fish during processing. Which, let’s face it, must be quicker, easier and a lot less messy than doing the job by hand.
There’s nothing that can ruin a ski-ing holiday quite like no snow, which is why ski resorts sometimes need to bring in the big guns in the form of snow cannons. Powered by – you guessed it – compressed air. These are also used for snowmaking at indoor ski slopes.
Smaller snow machines can bring a festive air to Santa’s grotto or Christmas celebrations at a club – after all, who wouldn’t love to boogie in a blizzard?