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Screw Air Compressor: Understanding the Working Principle

Screw Air Compressor: Understanding the Working Principle
September 26, 2023

A screw air compressor, also known as a rotary screw compressor, is a versatile and widely used device in various industries.  It operates based on a simple yet effective mechanism that ensures efficient compression of air.

The primary components of a screw air compressor are two interlocking rotors, usually referred to as the male and female rotors.  These rotors are designed with helical lobes or screws that mesh together when the compressor is in operation.


When the compressor starts, the male and female rotors rotate in opposite directions.  As the rotors turn, the air is drawn into the space between the lobes.  The helical shape of the rotors allows for a gradual reduction in the volume of the air pocket.  Simultaneously, the air is compressed and pushed towards the discharge port.


The compression process in a screw air compressor occurs in three stages: inlet, compression, and discharge.  During the inlet stage, the air is drawn into the compressor through the inlet filter.  The air is then trapped between the rotor lobes as they rotate, creating a sealed area for compression.


In the compression stage, the volume of the trapped air reduces as the rotors continue to rotate.  This reduction in volume leads to an increase in air pressure.  The compressed air is then forced towards the discharge port.


Finally, in the discharge stage, the compressed air reaches the discharge port, which is connected to the air receiver or the system where the compressed air is utilized.  The pressure of the discharged air can be regulated using an integrated control system, ensuring it meets the specific requirements of the application.


One notable advantage of screw air compressors is their continuous operation.  Unlike reciprocating compressors that operate in cycles, screw compressors provide a continuous supply of compressed air.  This feature is particularly beneficial in applications where a constant and reliable source of compressed air is crucial.


Furthermore, screw air compressors are known for their efficiency and reliability.  The design of the helical lobes, along with the minimal clearance between the rotors, ensures a smooth and efficient compression process.  This results in reduced energy consumption and increased durability of the compressor.


In conclusion, the working principle of a screw air compressor revolves around the interlocking rotation of two helical rotors.  This mechanism allows for the gradual reduction of air volume, leading to the compression and subsequent discharge of compressed air.  With their continuous operation, efficiency, and reliability, screw air compressors have become an essential component in various industries, enabling the effective utilization of compressed air.

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