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centrifugal compressor[‚sen′trif·i·gəl kəm′pres·ər]
A machine in which a gas or vapor is compressed by radial acceleration in an impeller with a surrounding casing, and can be arranged multistage for high ratios of compression.
A compressor in which compression is obtained by the use of a centrifugal pump.
A compressor in which the airflow is radial—air flows to the center of the impeller and is slung outward by the centrifugal force into the diffuser, where its velocity is decreased and its pressure increased. A centrifugal compressor is robust, is relatively simple to manufacture, has a reasonable efficiency over a substantial range of operating conditions, and is comparatively small in size and weight. Its compression ratio is, however, less than that of the axial-flow type of compressors. It is normally used to produce a single-compression stage; however, two impellers can be interlinked to produce a two-stage, single-sided arrangement.