Air Compressor Lubricants

To properly maintain air compressors in optimum condition, specialist and high-quality lubrication is essential. Often overlooked by users, lubricants are a key element of effective compressor operation. When inferior products are used for maintenance, the results are typically reduced performance and expensive repairs.

Experienced suppliers can provide expert advice and a wide range of different air compressor lubricants designed for specific applications. Consequently, customers can access this knowledge base and catalogue to track down products that protect equipment and improve performance.

Explore our range of Air Compressor Lubricants

The four functions of air compressor lubricants

Oils designed for air compressors have four important roles to perform to facilitate efficient operation. They have cooling properties to maintain correct operating temperatures within the compressor. They must also act as a cleaner. Impurities and particles are held in suspension and effectively migrated to from the “air-end”, which is the point where the air is compressed to the filter for safe removal. Oils also act as a sealant, creating a robust barrier between any open gaps and helping to maintain compression within the system. Finally, oils must also lubricate every moving part of the compressor to limit unwanted wear and protect against the high temperatures caused by friction, which can also result in damage to working parts.

Air compressor lubricants for different compressors

Air compressors are classified as either positive or dynamic displacement based on the internal mechanisms they feature. There are four common types of air compressor that see frequent use today – rotary screw compressors, axial compressors, reciprocating air compressors and centrifugal compressors. Rotary screw air compressors and reciprocating air compressors are categorised as positive displacement compressors, while axial compressors and centrifugal air compressors are classed as dynamic compressors.

Designed for constant use, rotary compressors are used on larger sites and feature two internal rotors, while reciprocating compressors usually serve smaller sites such as home renovations. For compressors used intermittently, they work using a piston fitted within a cylinder.

Axial air compressors are deployed in the highspeed engines used by aeroplanes and ships. They are extremely powerful and efficient, but can be extremely expensive. Centrifugal air compressors are employed in large-scale manufacturing operations. They are typically part of a multistage compressor process designed to produce a high output of energy to serve a relatively smaller machine.

Every make and model of air compressor will have a recommended lubrication solution with a proven record of delivering the properties required by its internal components, whether it features rotors, pistons or cylinders.

Exploring the different types of air compressor lubricants available

With an understanding that different types of air compressor have different components, work demands and operating environments, manufacturers offer an equally diverse range of lubricants to serve them.

The most basic type of lubrication for compressors is mineral oil, a solvent that is essentially refined oil, purified and derived from crude oil. Semi-synthetic air compressor oils are even more refined, and typically take a mineral oil base and chemically alter it with synthetic inclusions to enhance its properties while keeping it affordable.

Synthetic oils are entirely manmade lubricants produced in laboratories. This type of air compressor oil does not originate from crude oil but is completely chemically formulated. While the most expensive type of oil available for compressors, synthetics also provide the highest levels of protection and performance, making them superior products that deliver on their investment. However, the final category synthetic blends offer a balance of the benefits of a full-synthetic oil with the dependable properties of a semi-synthetic product.

How to select the best type of oil for your air compressor?

The different kinds of air compressor lubricants are each specifically formulated to cover a wide spectrum of operating conditions. For instance, oils are available that are non-toxic, specially designed to be food safe for use in manufacturing and processing plants involved in the food and beverage production industry. There are also oils designed for compressors that must work tirelessly for extended operating intervals while retaining their attributes. Lubricants are also available for compressors and are speed regulated with regular cycling conditions.

It is critical for compressor operators to always select the proper oil for their compressor installation. It is always advised that users adhere to the lubricants recommended by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of their air compressor, or seek expert advice from their supplier.

Do you require specific air compressor lubricants for your equipment on site?

To keep your air compressors operating effectively and avoid the expense of unwanted operational downtime and repairs, efficient and correct lubrication is vital. Regardless of the type of air compressors you currently use in your equipment, you can rely on our team at Oil Store for high-quality products that match your OEM specifications.

Get in touch with us today to discuss the air compressor lubricants we currently supply, and start restocking your inventory.

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