Understanding the API 618 Compressor: Industrial Use and Benefits

API 618 Compressor

Pneumatic equipment and compressors are commonly utilized in various industries, including food and beverage production and oil and gas operations. The API 618 compressor, in particular, offers versatility with its customizable configurations and sizes, making it ideal for various applications. In this article, we’ll examine this type of compressor’s use cases and advantages.

API 618 Standard

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is a major trade association for the US oil and natural gas sector, with nearly 600 member companies involved in various aspects of the petroleum industry. API has a long history of developing standards that promote environmental protection, operational safety, and sustainability in the sector. Out of these standards, API Standard 618 specifically focuses on reciprocating compressors used in chemical, gas, and petroleum industry services. The latest edition of this standard was updated on June 8th, 2011, and covers minimum requirements for these compressors, including auxiliary equipment, controls, instrumentation, lubrication systems, and pulsation suppression devices. The compressors covered by this standard operate at low to moderate speeds and can process gas at any pressure and air with a gauge pressure greater than 9 bar.

Applications Of Reciprocating Compressors

Reciprocating compressors, also known as piston compressors, are a popular solution for compressing gasses. They utilize a reciprocating motion of a piston to compress the gas, resulting in high-pressure compression even with a low volume of gas. This compressor has been utilized for over two centuries and has proven to be a reliable compression method. The operating speed governs the performance of the reciprocating compressor, with each cylinder discharging the same volume of gas. Some slight variations may occur due to atmospheric changes, but overall reciprocating compressors are a consistent and effective method for compressing gasses.

Pros Of Utilizing Reciprocating Compressors

Reciprocating compressors are widely recognized for their numerous benefits and advantages in industrial applications. These compressors are designed to produce high-pressure gas, discharge chemicals, or petroleum and can efficiently compress a substantial volume of material. They also can act as refrigerants for a wide range of molecular densities.

In addition to their versatility, reciprocating compressors are known for their high efficiency and flexibility. They also incorporate a rugged design that is cheap and durable, resulting in lower maintenance costs and longer product life. Furthermore, these compressors can be placed close to the point of use, avoiding long piping runs and minimizing pressure drops.

The utilization of the API 618 standard for reciprocating compressors, referred to as the API 618 Compressor, provides additional advantages, such as delivering performance-critical solutions for corrosive, dangerous, and explosive gas mixtures. By following these standards, the operational lifetime of legacy equipment can be extended, leading to greater efficiency and safety for those involved. The API 618 Compressor is designed to ensure that these compressors provide a high performance, reliability, and safety level in a wide range of industrial applications.


Compressors under API 618 are considered low-speed, given that their maximum operating speed is limited to 750 rotations per minute. Despite this classification, it’s important to remember that they are still subject to pulsation and vibration standards established for low-speed compressors.

Conducting a vibration study is crucial to determine design components and assessing potential risks. This study often includes a mechanical and pulsation analysis and other factors based on the intended application.

However, it’s possible to find companies that specialize in producing diaphragm compressors that can meet the API 618 standards, despite featuring unique design elements. These companies can help you find a solution that meets your requirements while incorporating a unique touch into your operation.

In conclusion, API 618 compressors are low-speed machines that still require attention to pulsation and vibration standards. It’s possible to find specialized companies that offer diaphragm compressors that meet the API 618 standards and provide a customized solution to your needs.