Atlantic Blowers Blog

Centrifugal Vs. Axial Fans: Explaining the Differences

Posted by Kasey Kessler on Nov 5, 2018 7:51:37 AM

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If and when you need to purchase industrial fans from your local air blower manufacturers, you may not know exactly what type will best suit your business's needs. In today's post, we'll compare and contrast two of the main types of fans: centrifugal air blowers and axial fans. Our centrifugal fan vs axial fan facts should help you to decide which type of fan will work for you.


Centrifugal Fans

In order to make a decision between these two blowers, you'll first need to understand how each one operates. These blowers contain a fan wheel that consists of fan blades that are attached to a hub. These blades can be arranged in one of three different ways: radially, forward-curved, or backward-curved. They take air in and discharge it at a 90-degree angle, and blow it out using centrifugal force (hence, their name). In other words, the direction of the air flowing out is shifted from the direction of the air that comes in. This shift in airflow occurs thanks to the blower housing that create a system of high-pressure airflow. These are used for air that is directed through piping to achieve a particular goal.


Generally speaking, centrifugal blower suppliers will tell you that these fans are highly efficient. They provide a steady flow of air and are used frequently in filtration and pollution prevention systems. They do require more power to operate, but these systems are typically larger. They're also extremely durable and are able to operate in tough environments. As a bonus, they're quite easy to maintain and are extremely versatile.


Axial Fans

In making the centrifugal fan vs axial fan decision, it's helpful to understand common applications of each. While centrifugal fans may be found quite readily in HVAC systems, you'll typically see an axial fan used for manhole fume ventilation or factory machinery and personnel cooling. Axial fans are named for the manner in which their blades rotate -- around an axis. These blades bring air in parallel to that access and force the air out in the same direction, unlike the 90-degree shifts shown in many centrifugal blowers. Axial fans do create a large volume of airflow, but that airflow has relatively low pressure. On the plus side, they don't need a high power output to operate. That does mean, however, that they're more effective in large spaces than they are in small ones. These are typically used to move air over a general area rather than through piping, like the centrifugal blowers do.


The important thing to keep in mind with this centrifugal fan vs axial fan debate is that one design is not inherently superior to the other. It's merely that each type of blower is better suited to certain applications. To find out more about how our blowers can help make your organization more hygienic, safer, or more comfortable, please contact us today.