What's the difference between rotary vane and screw compressors?

Here is our latest news.

What's the difference between rotary vane and screw compressors?
1st October 2020

If you are thinking about buying a brand-new compressor, it's essential to understand these prevalent types; the rotary vane compressor, and the rotary screw compressor.

Both of these can be very helpful at compressing air at an optimal rate; however, we've taken the time to detail the features and capabilities of each, so that you can better understand the type that is right for your needs.


What is a rotary vane compressor?

A rotary vane compressor includes a rotor with longitudinal slots, which house individual sliding vanes. The rotor is offset within a cylinder (better known as a stator) allowing for seamless rotation. As the rotor turns on its axis, the vanes are pressed against the stator wall using centrifugal force, compressing the air. Lubrication is key as it keeps the vanes moving freely with the cylinder’s internal surface, ensuring a perfect air seal. With clearances between the rotor, stator and end cover nicely sealed, you have yourself a very energy-efficient compressor that will serve you well for many years to come, especially if it’s well-maintained and professionally serviced.


What is a rotary screw compressor?

Screw compressors feature two parallel rotors which intersect along their sides. The roller bearings are fitted into a stator to maintain the rotors’ minimum clearance, and during rotation, the intermeshing rotors compress the air. With this continuous sweeping motion, there is very little pulsation or surge of flow, which is common with piston compressors, whilst they run quietly too. 


What’s the best option?

It’s difficult to say without understanding what you need out of your compressor, however, the vane principle is more established, having been introduced almost a century ago. It’s said that when a rotary vane compressor is well looked after in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines, the operating life of its airend can extend to over 100,000 hours without wear — even in relatively dusty environments.

That said, rotary screw compressors provide many advantages in terms of performance and compatibility. For example, they are far better at conserving energy. They not only generate less heat than normal air compressors, but they help to ensure a reduction in day-to-day running costs, driving maximum operational efficiency.

If you’re unsure on the type of machine that’s right for your needs, we would be glad to help. We supply a wide range of fixed and variable rotary screw compressors, as well as leak surveys and system utilisation datalogs, so we can provide unbiased, honest advice that’s tailored to your needs. Having been supplying compressed air solutions for more than 50 years, we can quickly identify the best solution for your particular applications whilst helping you make your processes more energy efficient.

If you’d like to learn more about us and how we can help you, or you wish to explore our complete range of compressors, please send us a message or call us on 01933 222 000.

Ready for an unbeatable experience? Contact us today
01933 222 000
Independent Feedback SEE MORE HERE

We use cookies to provide you with a better website experience. Close this popup to carry on browsing, or click here to find out more about cookies