As the name suggests, there is oil injected in this type of screw compressor. But where is it injected, why and how? Let me explain..

The screw element is the most important part of the air compressor. But it can’t function by itself. There are a lot of other parts that make up the air compressor. Although there are some differences between manufacturers, the basic parts and principles are the same.

How it works

Outside air

Air is sucked in by the screw element (air-end) through the air inlet filter. The inlet filter makes sure that all the dust en dirt stays outside. It protects the screw element (which is very expensive and can be damaged.

It’s also the first step in making sure that the compressed air is clean: all the dust that is sucked in will eventually end up in the compressed air system.

Load/unload control

Before the air enters the screw element, it passed the inlet valve or unloader valve. This valve opens and closes the air supply to the screw element.

When it’s open, the compressor is in ‘loaded’ condition: it is actually compressing air and pumping it into the compressed air system. When the valve is closed, is shuts off the air supply to the compressor element: the motor and screw element are turning, but the compressor is not sucking any air in and is not pumping any air to the system.

The screw compressor element

When the inlet/unloader valve is open, the air enters the compressor screw element.

The screw element works like a pump and it compressed the air. During this process, oil is injected in the element. The oil is there to cool the air, as the air gets very hot during compression. It’s also there for lubrication and sealing off the clearances between the screws.

More detailed information can be found on our screw air compressor element page.

Now we have a mixture of compressed air and compressor oil.

Compressed air/oil mixture

This mixture leaves the screw element through a one-way valve. This valve makes sure that the oil cannot flow back into the compressor element through the exit pipe (this could happen when the compressor stops).

The oil separator

Now we need to separate the oil and the air.

This is done in the separator tank. Most of the oil is separated from the compressed air by centrifugal force (just like what happens in a clothes tumble dryer). The remaining oil (mostly small droplets and oil mist) is separated by the separator element which looks like a big filter.

The air with oil flows through the separator element. The element separates the oil from the compressed air. The separated oil is collected at the bottom of the separator and is removed by the scavenge line. It sucks the collected oil back to the compressor element.

The now clean compressed air is almost ready to leave the compressor. But first is passed the minimum pressure valve and the after cooler.

The minimum pressure valve

The minimum pressure valve is a spring-loaded valve that opens at a certain pressure, about 2.5 bar. The minimum pressure valve makes sure that there is always a minimum pressure inside the compressor (hence the name).

This pressure is needed for the corrected operation of the air compressor (for pumping the oil around).

The after cooler

The compressed air is still very hot at this point, about 80 degrees Celsius. The compressed air is now cooled by the after cooler before it leaves the compressor. The air temperature after the cooler is around 25 – 40 degrees Celsius.

Because of the cooling down of the air, a lot of water vapor has condensed against the inside of the after cooler. This water is carried with the compressed air towards the air outlet of the compressor.

Of course we don’t want all this water in our compressed air system.

Moisture trap

For this reason, a water trap (also called a moisture trap, moisture separator or condensate traps).

This can be a mechanical or an electrical version. The condensate trap basically separates the water from the compressed air. The water is drained through a small hose.

The compressed air now finally leaves the compressor.

Oil flow

But what about the oil? Remember the compressed air/oil mixture was separated by the separator?

The separated oil is hot. Is absorbed the heat of the compression and can be as hot as 120 degrees Celsius (anything more and the compressor will shut down).

The oil is cooled by the oil cooler. The amount of cooling is controlled by a thermostatic valve. If the oil is still cold, the oil cooler is completely by-passed. If the oil is very hot, all the oil is led through the oil cooler. The thermostatic valve regulates the oil temperature.

The Oil filter

Finally, the oil flows through the oil filter. The oil filters removes all the dirt and dust that has collected in the oil.

Too much dirt in the oil will damage the screw element. The oil filter has an internal by-pass valve which opens when the pressure difference over the filter becomes too high (when the filter is vey dirty or when the oil is still very cold).

The oil is now again injected in the screw element to do its job again.

Engineered Products need protection & regular servicing:

Every part in a compressor has been meticulously engineered, so it’s important to find a lubricant that will protect and maintain its performance. Our compressor oils promote system efficiency by suppressing foaming, releasing trapped air and rapidly separating out condensed water. They also help reduce wear, so your compressors can continue working as their designers intended.

Whatever your technical needs and operational conditions, there is a CPS Hire sourced compressor oil to help you get the most from your equipment investment. The range includes the latest synthetic oils for enhanced wear protection in high-temperature conditions and extended operations

Keep your compressor in top condition by using the right air compressor oil. Make your compressor run nice and smooth for longer!.

Using the right air compressor oil for your compressor is very important. This is true for both rotary screw compressors and reciprocating piston compressors. You can’t just use your cars oil or hydraulic oil (believe me, I’ve seen it)!Compressor oil isn’t there just for lubrication, it has a few important functions:

It removes heat from the compression (number 1 function)
It works as a sealing to prevent air leakage (which would lower the efficiency of the compressor)
It lubricates all moving parts
It’s used to cool important parts of the compressor element.

Air compressor oil is specifically designed to do the above jobs well. If you would use oil from your car or hydraulic oil (I’ve seen it both) the compressor will definitely die a slow (or quick) death.

Compressors (and the oil) can get very hot.. normal maximum outlet temperature of a rotary screw compressor element is set at 120 degrees Celsius (when it gets hotter, the compressor will shut down). The oil should be able to survive these kinds of temperatures.

Oil failure

If you would operate your compressor on a too high temperature for a too long time, the oil will form a thin layer on the entire inside of your compressor (piping, compressor element, oil cooler). When this happens to your oil-cooler, it won’t be able to cool the oil as effectively as it used to, with as result: even higher temperatures (and in the end an automatic shutdown of the compressor).

When this happens to your compressor, the ‘contaminated’ parts and especially the poor oil-cooler need to be chemically cleaned or replaced by new ones.

So it’s important to prevent this:
Don’t let your compressor run too hot, and use the right kind of oil. Special compressor oil is designed to resist these high temperatures.

Remember to change your oil filter when you change your oil!! Let us know if you need any help or assistance with this.

Protect your compressor from the external environment at the best cost. Atlas Copco Roto-Inject Fluid is specially formulated to protect your rotary screw compressors and neutralize pollution. It guarantees the longest lifetime, trouble free, with constant performance, at the best operating cost.
Years of experience on thousands of types of Atlas Copco equipment have proven Roto-Inject Fluid to match all lubrication demands in varied conditions.
It boasts an extended service interval of up to 4 000 hours for operation in a mild environment. This is critical to achieve the best reliability and reduce the
service lifetime cost.

Air Compressor Lubricants
Lubricants for oil-injected and oil-free compressors

Atlas Copco lubricants are a unique blend of chemical properties that are engineered to have the exact selection of additives to obtain optimal performance for your compressed air system. Atlas Copco lubricants for oil-free and oil-injected air compressors reward you with constant high performance and long lifetime operation of your unique air system.

Lubricants For Oil-Injected Compressors

Roto-Inject Fluid:

Special blend created specifically for single-stage oil-injected rotary screw compressors. Allows for drain intervals of up to 4,000 hours.

Synthetic HD Roto-Fluid Plus and Roto-Extreme Duty Fluid:

Special blend created specifically for single- and two-stage oil-injected rotary screw compressors. Allows for drain intervals of up to 8,000 hours (HD Roto-Fluid Plus) and 12,000 hours (Roto-Extreme Duty Fluid).

Food Grade Fluid:

Special blend created specifically for oil-injected rotary screw compressors for the food industry.
Allows for drain intervals of up to 2,000 hours.

P.A.O. Oil:

Special blend created specifically for oil-injected piston compressors.
Allows for drain intervals of up to 3,000 hours.

Roto Inject Mineral - Standard Rotary Screw Compressor Oil 

Product Code: 20L Roto Mineral         Pricing: $115.29 + GST

Product Code: 5L Roto Mineral            Pricing: $34.73 + GST

Product Code: 20L Roto Synthetic       Pricing: $707.59 + GST

Product Code: 5L Roto Synthetic         Pricing: $189.68 + GST

All currently held in stock.

Description: Rotary Screw Compressor Oil for all makes of compressor. Mineral Oils are changed (depending on conditions up to 4000 Hours). Synthetic Oils are rated for 8000 hours. Other oils including Vacuum, Piston & Oil Free Z fluid also available on request. Price here does not include delivery, which we can arrange at time of ordering at very competitive rates. We send Oils throughout Austrlalia to all states. Please contact us with any queries. Bulk discount also considered.

Compressor & Vacuum Oils

Roto Inject Rotary Screw Compressor available in 20L or 5L. Mineral, Synthetic or Food Grade. Suitable for use in Australian conditions on all compressor brands

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