Monday, February 12

Commonly Used Compressed Air Acronyms

There is a lot of terminology and acronyms to learn in the compressed air world. We created this blog to help you learn and better understand what these commonly used acronyms mean.

ACFM: Actual Cubic Feet per Minute: The flow rate of air at a certain point at a certain condition at that point.

ADP: Atmospheric Dew Point: The water content in the air at the ambient pressure

BHP: Break Horsepower: Horsepower required at the compressor shaft to perform its job.

CFM: Cubic Feet per Minute: A unit of measurement used to measure the volumetric air flow rate.

DC: Duty Cycle: A measure of the length of time a compressor can run before resting.

DUTY CYCLE (DC): Run time/ (run time + rest time)

DP: Dew Point: The temperature at which condensation occurs.

FAD: Free Air Delivery: The quantity of gas actually compressed and delivered at the standard discharge point at atmospheric conditions and a set speed.

HP: Horsepower: A unit of power used to measure how much power the compressor motor produces.

PSI: Pounds per Square Inch: A unit of pressure used to measure the operating pressure of air compressors.

PSIA: Absolute Pressure: Gauge pressure plus atmospheric pressured measured from zero.

PSIG: Gauge Pressure: Pressure determined by an instrument or gauge.

ICFM: Inlet CFM: The volumetric air flow rate as it flows through the air compressor inlet filter or inlet valve under rated conditions.

kW: Kilowatt: Unit of measurement measuring how much power something needs to run. 1kW=1000 Watts

kWh: Kilowatt-hour: Unit of energy that measures how much energy is used over a period of time.

MA: Maintenance AgreementZorn Compressor & Equipment's custom-tailored, no-contract, opt-in/opt-out at any time maintenance plans built custom to each unique customer and compressed air system.

PDP: Pressure Dew Point: The water content in the air at actual pressure.

POU: Point of Use: Where the pressurized air is released from the compressed air system to be used in operation.

RH: Relative Humidity: The ratio between the water content to the amount of water the air can hold at the same temperature.

RELATIVE HUMIDITY (RH)= Actual water content/Maximum Water Content

RPM: Revolutions per Minute: Measures the speed of the compressor drive shaft or rotor shaft by how fast it completes full revolutions.

SCFM: Standard Cubic Feet Per Minute: The volumetric flow rate of air at a standard set of reference conditions. 

VSD: Variable Speed Drive: Compressed air technology that allows the speed of the compressor’s motor to be adjusted based on demand to provide energy savings and higher efficiencies.

ZCE: Zorn Compressor & Equipment: Your leading, family-owned, Midwest compressed air distributor. Offering compressed air equipment, parts, and full services including maintenance and repair, emergency service, rentals, installation and plant piping, and air, energy, and system, audits.



Zorn is the Midwest leader of custom, engineered compressed air and vacuum solutions. We provide the best customer experience by understanding your applications and needs and offering an unparalleled commitment to customer satisfaction. 

Our comprehensive product and service solutions keep you running 24/7.

  • Reliable equipment
  • Trusted brands
  • Seamless, easy installation
  • Post-sales support
  • Local, 24/7 service

Our compressed air experts look forward to meeting you to discuss your equipment and support needs. Please contact us directly at (262) 695-7000 with any questions or to schedule service for your system moving forward.

work with the compressed air experts