Among the important ingredients to a high-functioning commercial compressor is using the right lubricant. Oil protects compressors, and without it, they can quickly break down. The trouble is that numerous different kinds of compressor oils are available to buy, so you must understand how to pick the right sort for your system.
How do commercial compressor oils work?
Compressor oil is engineered to serve three core functions inside equipment.
First of all, it must lubricate all moving parts enabling them to work with one another without wearing or binding.
It must also cool equipment, transferring heat away while the oil cycles. Internal components can become extremely hot even during standard use, causing them to contract and expand. Without the oil acting as a coolant in place, the parts would end up seizing up against each other.
Finally, compressors need oil to make sure they have tight seals. This prevents gaps around gaskets and O-rings. This makes certain that systems are operating at peak efficiency without losing any pressure. Users may find compressors become less efficient when their oil starts to break down, as it can no longer provide the correct levels of lubrication, sealing and cooling a system needs. This creates hotspots and gaps where damage can potentially occur in the future.
Picking the correct lubricant
A problem faced by many equipment users is that, at least at face value, many lubricants seem similar. As mentioned, you’ll need an oil that is able to both lubricate and cool equipment. Traditional oil products often lack the proper additives needed to handle the job of cooling. They either provide no relief from heat, or separate and degrade under extreme temperatures. This means users need to constantly change their oil to ensure compressors run smoothly.
Generally, you must select an oil that is formulated for specific use with the dedicated refrigerant used in the commercial compressor. These lubricants are typically labelled distinctly, informing users that their additives are designed for cooling, sludge control, foam control and so on. Oils should also state that they possess high oxidation stability as this prevents corrosion and rust. While many commercial compressors utilise refrigerants that have been engineered to run with natural mineral oil, modern refrigerants will often need a synthetic oil instead. Always select a compressor oil that matches the type of refrigerant used to guarantee proper lubrication.
Remember that if a commercial compressor is operating with specialised refrigerants or gases, you may need a product that is non-reactive to prevent unwanted chemical reactions or water formation within your system. A wise move is to consult the manufacturer of your model of commercial compressor, or a certified refrigeration expert if you are not sure of the best product for your equipment onsite.
By following these basic rules, you can ensure that the compressor oil you have selected will be compatible with the equipment you use. You can also make sure that your chosen product can be counted on to lubricate, cool and act as a sealant within your commercial compressor.