Gas and Vapor

A gas is defined as the state of matter distinguished from solid and liquid states by very low density and viscosity, relatively great expansion and contraction with changes in pressure and temperature, and the ability to diffuse readily, distributing itself uniformly throughout any container.

A vapor is defined as a substance that exists below its critical temperature and that may be liquefied by application of sufficient pressure. It may be defined more broadly as the gaseous state of any substance that is liquid or solid under ordinary conditions.

Many of the common "gases" used in compressors for process plant service are actually vapors. In many cases, the material may change states during a portion of the compression cycle. Water is a good exam pie, since a decrease in temperature at high pressure will cause a portion of the water to condense. This is a common occurrence in the first inter cooler of a plant air compressor. Conversely, lowering the pressure in a reservoir of liquid refrigerant at a fixed temperature will cause the vapor quantity to increase.

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