Oil-free air from a compact unit

Paul Boughton

Atlas Copco has updated its SF compact, oil-free scroll compressors

The new SF Mono 1-6 and SF+ 2-6  ranges are complete compressor packages that unite the element, drive motor, aftercooler and starter in a super silent acoustic enclosure to provide 100% oil-free air for critical applications such as R&D laboratories, hospitals, universities, dentistry and food and beverage manufacturing.

The distinguishing feature of these new compressors is the near silent operation – the slow speed of the air-cooled scroll compression elements ensures that the SF compressors are exceptionally quiet, enabling units to be installed close to the point of use. This proximity helps minimise the size of the air distribution system, reducing pressure loss and any potential for leakage.

The new SF Mono features a ‘cool canopy’, designed for optimal ventilation and sound insulation - down to 53 dB(A). It provides more breathing space for core components and better cooling flow, which results in lower outlet and element temperatures for improved operational lifetime. The extra internal space also means easier accessibility for component maintenance.

Other features include a totally enclosed air-cooled IP55 Class F insulated motor, complying with IE3 premium efficiency standards and capable of coping with the harshest of operational conditions. The air circuit comprises an oversized cooler for improved performance, aluminium pipework and a vertically oversized check valve to ensure a reliable delivery of high quality compressed air. Unloaded power consumption is eliminated thanks to the simple automatic stop that operates when the required working pressure is reached, thereby avoiding unnecessary energy costs.

Another important feature of the SF+ models is the Elektronikon advanced control and monitoring unit that displays an intuitive navigation system with clear graphics to provide warning indications, maintenance scheduling and online compressor status visualisation via standard Ethernet connection.

The SF Mono 8bar/10bar range, comprising SF 1-6 (1.5-5.5kW) and SF+ 2-6 (2.2-5.5kW) models with outputs from 2.9 to 7.6l/s (6.1 to 16.1cfm) FAD, is offered in pack, floor-mounted and three receiver-mounted options. A Full Feature variant is also available with integrated refrigerant air dryer to ensure the delivery of dry air, preventing rust and corrosion in the installed compressed air network. The dryers are pre-wired to the compressor power supply, so only a single electrical connection is required. A range of optional equipment includes an electronic drain air receiver and a 500-litre receiver upgrade.

The new SF Mono compressors, which are easy to operate and maintain with a minimal footprint to save production space, are designed to provide 100% pure, clean air, complying with ISO 8573-1 CLASS 0 (2010) certification. CLASS 0 means zero risk of contamination; zero risk of damaged or unsafe products; zero risk of losses from operational downtime; and zero risk of damaging end products and company reputations.

Air compression is achieved by the interaction of a fixed and an orbiting scroll. Air at inlet pressure enters the compression chamber at the exterior side of the scroll element. Once air is drawn in, the orbiting scroll seals off the inlet port. As the scroll continues to orbit, the air is progressively compressed into an increasingly smaller ‘pocket’. A continuous flow of compressed air leaves the scroll element through a discharge port in the centre of the fixed scroll. This process is continuously repeated, resulting in the delivery of pulse-free compressed air.

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