A scroll is an involute spiral which, when matched with a
mating scroll form as shown, generates a series of crescent
shaped gas pockets between the two members.
During compression, one scroll remains stationary (fixed
scroll) while the other form (orbiting scroll) is allowed to orbit
(but not rotate) around the first form.
As this motion occurs, the pockets between the two forms
are slowly pushed to the center of the two scrolls while
simultaneously being reduced in volume. When the pocket
reaches the center of the scroll form, the gas, which is now
at a high pressure, is discharged out of a port located at the
During compression, several pockets are being compressed
simultaneously, resulting in a very smooth process. Both the
suction process (outer portion of the scroll members) and the
discharge process (inner portion) are continuous.