Comparing CFM to SCFM: What is the Difference?

What is the difference between CFM and SCFM? Comparing these two terms, many people may not know. Air compressors are one of the most important pieces of equipment in your home or business when it comes to general maintenance and upkeep. An air compressor is a machine that compresses air, usually from outside, and pumps it into an area where you need more pressurized air to run tools or for other purposes. The two measurements for this device are how much cubic feet per minute (CFM) can be pumped in a given time period verses how many standard cubic feet per minute (SCF).

The first measurement is CFM: which stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. This type of measurement tells how much volume of air per minute can be moved.

The second measurement is SCFM: which stands for Standard Cubic Feet per Minute and this type of measurement tells how much volume of air per hour can be moved. The higher the number the more air that will flow during a given time period, so you need to consider both when making your decision on what size compressor or pump you want in order to get the best results.

A general rule of thumb is 20 CFM at 90 psi will do about ten hours worth if work but may require larger tanks than an 80 CFM unit at 40 psi because it operates less efficiently.

Units for Evaluating an Air Compressor

CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute, and this type of measurement tells how much volume of air per minute can be moved. The second measurement is SCFM: which stands for Standard Cubic Feet per Minute and this type of measurement tells how much volume of air per hour can be moved.

A general rule of thumb is 20 CFM at 90 psi will do about ten hours worth if work but may require larger tanks than an 80 CFM unit at 40 psi because it operates less efficiently.

Since the compressor must operate all day in order to meet demand, these units can help you decide what size compressor or pump you want in order to get the best results. If your application requires a higher CFM rating then consider a SCFM rating as the CFM will not have enough time to do its work.

To get a better idea of what your compressor needs, you may want to look at similar applications or project size for guidance on how much air is needed and from what pressure it can be delivered. You also need to consider if you are going to use it in an enclosed space like in a car garage where there isn’t any ventilation because that could make things really hot inside when using higher cfm ratings.

If unsure about which type of unit would be right for your application give us a call so we can help! We are always happy to answer questions or provide some guidance!

Cubic Feet per Minute – CFM

A CFM rating is just how many cubic feet of air that the compressor can produce per minute. This does not take into account pressure, so you need to determine if this type of unit will be enough for your project and consider a SCFM or PSI as well when deciding which size to purchase.

Standard Cubic Feet per Minute – SCFM

SCFM stands for Cubic Feet per Second. It looks at the air flow capacity over time duration instead of space like with CFM ratings! With a higher SCFM, it means there are more seconds in one minute where there’s airflow being produced than on units with lower SCFMs. So what’s the difference? Higher cfm ratings may have less

Role of CFM and SCFM in Evaluating an Air Compressor

CFM and SCFM are two different ratings for how well an air compressor can perform. The higher the CFM rating, the more quickly it will be able to produce compressed air – but keep in mind that a high cfm rating does not automatically mean that you’re getting better performance or efficiency from your unit! Air compressors with lower CFM ratings may have a longer-lasting motor which means they may end up costing less money over time. A good rule of thumb is to calculate airflow requirements based on PSI required plus ten percent; this will give you either your SCFMs (in seconds) or CFMs (cubic feet per minute). After calculating these numbers, go ahead and compare them side by side so you can see which compressor is the best fit for your needs.

The Air Compressor CFM vs SCFM blog post content will continue here when it has been written.

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