I read that this is true, but I cannot understand why. Conversely, I heard that Axial fans are better for low pressure systems where large volumes of air need to be moved.

More info on centrifugal vs axial:

Because of the high pressure they create, centrifugal fans are ideal for high pressure applications such as drying and air conditioning systems.


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So how does each type work? What do you think lends them to specific apllications? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 18, 2023 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ Updated with a link, which represents my understanding so far. $\endgroup$ Jun 18, 2023 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ Much better material exists than that. Try Engineering thermodynamics Work and Heat transfer by Rogers and Mayhew but there are many other suitable references $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 18, 2023 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I will look into text books. $\endgroup$ Jun 18, 2023 at 17:35

1 Answer 1


If a fan has a shroud, only axial motion contributes to flow through the fan.

If the fan is missing a shroud, notice that the area as you move radially increases. This increase helps convert energy into pressure, much like a diffuser. If you want flow rate, even mass flow rate, spending energy on pressure is not as beneficial as spending it on acceleration.


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