6 Features of Rotary Screw Air Compressors

Are you in the market for a new air compressor for your facility? Depending on your industry and application, a rotary screw air compressor might be the best fit for your operation. Gardner Denver produces rotary screw air compressors in a variety of types and sizes to help meet the needs of multiple applications and industries.

Likewise, rotary screw air compressors offer exciting features over other types of air compressors.

What is a Rotary Screw Air Compressor?


If you haven’t ever seen a rotary screw air compressor, imagine two giant screws with interlocking threads. On the absolute most basic level, as the screws (rotors) spin, they draw air through the compressor.

In general, there are two common classes of rotary screw air compressors:

  • Oil-injected. These rotary screw air compressors are typically used for industrial and manufacturing processes. With oil used to lubricate and seal the rotors, these compressors use single-stage compression to create high-pressure air.
  • Oil-free. Typically used in food, medical, and pharmaceutical plants., oil-free rotary screw air compressors use 2-stage compression to generate high pressure. Oil-free compressors are typically used exclusively for applications where oil cannot enter the airflow. On average, oil-free compressors are generally  more expensive than their oil-injected counterparts.

Types of Rotary Screw Air Compressors

C&B Equipment specializes in two types of rotary screw compressors from Gardner Denver. Let’s take a look at these compressor

Fixed speed rotary screw air compressors

Fixed speed rotary screw air compressors feature the ability to turn on and off as needed and provide a consistent flow of air while operating. Typically, fixed speed rotary screw air compressors are less expensive and have fewer maintenance and repair costs throughout their lifespans. If your application requires a consistent demand of air over a long period, fixed speed air compressors are typically the way to go.

Variable speed rotary screw air compressors

Variable speed rotary screw air compressors maintain consistent air pressure but can fluctuate the motor speed depending on the demand.

They offer energy and cost savings when air demands are inconsistent. At lower demands, variable speed rotary screw compressors are also quieter. Since they have more advanced capabilities, variable speed compressors are more expensive upfront and can be more expensive to maintain and repair than fixed speed compressors. However, depending on your application, the energy savings from variable speed compressors may offset the up-front purchase cost over the compressor’s lifetime.

Features of Rotary Screw Air Compressors

Rotary screw air compressors offer many benefits over other types of compressors, including:

  • Continuous airflow. Rotary screw air compressors can provide a continuous flow of air for an extended duration.
  • Safety. In applications that require operating under extreme conditions, rotary screw air compressors can function safely without electrical overloading or temperature-related breakdowns like overheating and seizing.
  • Efficiency. Energy expenses are one of the biggest long-term costs with air compressors. Rotary screw air compressors offer relatively efficient operations, with variability between compressor types. More advanced compressors feature automation tools for even more efficient operations.
  • Long lifespans. Efficient production means longer lifespans. Rotary screw air compressors have low-impact internal parts as well, enhancing the lifespan of the machine.
  • Noise. Rotary screw air compressors tend to operate much more quietly than other types of compressors due to the way the pumps are constructed and compress air.

Are You Interested in a Rotary Screw Air Compressor?

C&B Equipment is a factory-authorized distributor of Gardner Denver rotary screw air compressors, specializing in providing, maintaining and repairing compressors in Gardner Denver’s L series and Electra-Saver series lines of pumps.

To learn more about the benefits of rotary screw air compressors, contact our compressor expert at 1-800-362-3222.

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