Rotary Screw Air Compressors: Analyzing With a Fine-Toothed Comb

Rotary screw air compressors are one of the most popular choices of industrial air compressors. They are known as positive displacement compressors, and are a good choice for industrial applications, many the majority of the rotary screw compressors are 50 hp and below. To find out if rotary screw air compressor is the rind kind of compressor for your plant, it’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages that it offers.

Rotary Screw Air Compressors
As I had described in my previous blog on Rotary Screw Air Compressor Basics, rotary screw air compressors use two rotors or helical screws to compress air. The shapes of these rotors are unique and designed such that when they turn in the opposite directions, they offer very limited clearance in-between. Air is sucked in from one end, trapped between the rotating rotors and then pushed through to the other pressure-side end, thereby producing compressed air.

The two types of rotary screw air compressors are lubricated and oil-free rotary screw air compressors. Of them, the lubricated rotary screw air compressor is the most preferred because it’s relatively cheaper than the oil-free one. Oil-free rotary screw air compressors are only used when the compressed air required should be free of oil. Look out for oil-free screw compressor for sale at Compressor World.

Advantages
Similar to the reciprocating compressor, the rotary screw air compressor also features a simple design. It has a low to medium initial cost, and a fairly low maintenance cost, making it an economical choice. It’s also easy to install with a two-stage design that offers greater efficiency, and has few movable parts. Moreover, the rotary screw air compressors design with manual controls and system performance regulators assures owners of being efficient at both high and low output levels along with higher reliability.

Disadvantages
However, rotary screw air compressors do present limited airend life, some compressor brands have airends that last 20,000 (which is low), the major brands such as Compressor World, Quincy, ELGI and Ingersoll Rand have airends that last 50,000+ years, ask which ones are the best! If you have a failed airend, they are not field serviceable. They would need to be taken back to the service shop and rebuilt.

When are rotary screw air compressors the right fit?
Taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of rotary screw air compressors is important in determining if it’s the right choice for your plant. Largely, rotary screw compressors make for the best choice when the application requirement is 15 hp or above, the environment in which it will be used isn’t harsh and extreme, and the client is looking for an economical air compression technology. However, buyers may also want to consider a few other factors such as maintenance, lubrication, installation, etc., which I have spoken about in my earlier blog Demystifying the Dilemma: Rotary Screw or Reciprocating Air Compressors – a quick Air Compressor Guide for air compressor buyers.

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