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Axial and Centrifugal Fans: A Comparison

By In Blog On May 13, 2020


Industrial fans perform a vital function in large buildings like factories, mines, processing plants, and laboratories. Efficient use of industrial fans allows you to increase airflow, which leads to controlled temperatures and cleaner air. If you want to keep your employees and customers safe and comfortable in your facility, you’ll need to make good use of these fans, and to do so, you should understand them.

Industrial fans come in many varieties, each of which offers different benefits and different drawbacks. Read this blog to learn about some of the most common types of industrial fans on the market and how they can help your business.

Centrifugal Fans

Traditional industrial fans use centrifugal force to control airflow. In a centrifugal fan, a central disk rotates, and blades attached to the disk push air and gas away from the fan. As air is pushed away, more air is drawn in, which allows the fan to channel air continuously. While all centrifugal fans follow this basic principle, many different sorts of centrifugal fans are available, each with different features.

Airfoil Fans

Airfoil fans have specially designed blades with a rounded leading edge and a thin trailing edge. This splits the air stream in half as the blades spin.

Airfoil fans are highly efficient because they combine a large volume of airflow with relatively low energy consumption. This is accomplished through Bernoulli’s Principle, which dictates that the faster air at the tips of the fan blades create a pocket of low-pressure air. Surrounding air will rush in to equalize the pressure, which creates great airflow without much energy.

Radial Blade Fans

Radial blade fans have more blades than most, and these blades are tightly packed together, often reinforcing each other with metal bracing. This offers unmatched strength, which comes in handy in tough or rugged conditions. They’re also fairly low-maintenance due to their sturdy construction.

Radial blade fans tend to be less efficient than other centrifugal fans, a necessary trade-off for the power that it offers. That said, radial blade fans are more efficient than other fans in harsher environments, as the blades easily cut through air that may pose a problem for airfoil fans. 

FRP Fans

Fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) fans are made from corrosion-resistant fiberglass and plastic, as opposed to traditional metal. These fans are vital in environments where corrosive or toxic materials are used, such as fabrication centers or manufacturing plants. Instead of increased power or reduced energy consumption, FRP fans focus on resisting harsh chemicals during ventilation.

FRP fans don’t have any exposed steel parts, which sets them apart from other fans. They require special techniques for cleaning and maintenance, but they are nonetheless durable, reliable, and efficient.

Axial Fans

Axial fans differ from centrifugal fans in the direction they move the air. While centrifugal fans push the air away from the fan perpendicular to the fan, an axial fan pushes the air parallel down the shaft using a dense cluster of blades. This means you can easily establish an inlet and outlet without the need for complex ductwork.

Axial fans allow for a huge volume of air to travel through the shaft. The drawback is that axial fans generate relatively little pressure. This is helpful for processes that don’t require much pressure, such as air conditioning. High-pressure airflow isn’t always vital or even ideal, so axial fans are often a great choice for businesses of all types.

Compressor-Pump & Service, Inc., has provided industrial fans to companies all across the West for more than 35 years. We’ll provide you with everything you need to ensure that your facility’s air is clean, fresh, and comfortable. Visit our contact page to get in touch with a representative.


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