Air Compressor Lubrication Best Practices
Many industrial plants use compressed air systems to operate a variety of applications. Air compressors serve a critical role in keeping most applications running smoothly. Nearly all industrial air compressors require some lubrication to cool, lubricates, or seal internal components. Correct lubrication in air compressors ensures reliable equipment performance and lowers maintenance and operational costs.
Air compressor systems experience extreme pressure. Hence it is essential to maintain proper levels of air compressor lubricant and oil. Conducting frequent preventative maintenance and system monitoring plays a vital role in elongating the lifespan of the compressor unit. Below are four factors you should consider while selecting your air compressor lubricating fluid.
What to consider for your air compressor lubrication
Proper lubrication ensures effective wear protection as it helps keep the system components in motion, reducing the risk of system breakdowns. This, in turn, reduces the need for air compressor repair services. While wear protection proves essential, protection from rust and corrosion is equally important to prevent damage to the movable parts and minimize filter blockage.
Low oil carryover is also one property you can’t afford to ignore. Looking for low volatility, pressure and low foaming lubricants help to identify lubricants that reduce oil carryover. You can save more money by choosing a lubricant with such properties. While minding this, an excellent lubricant for air compressors should have high thermal and oxidative stability. This helps in extending the oil’s lifespan and enhances the compressors operations.
Air compressors operate under intense temperature hence require a highly viscous lubricant to survive the varying temperatures. Practically, you can adjust the temperature spectrum to determine if a given lubricant conforms to your system’s requirements.
Finally, efficient water separations or demulsibility is another property to consider when looking for a good lubricant. Water often condenses inside air compressors. Hence you need a good lubricant to separate it, preventing rust and corrosion.
Safety aspects of compressor lubricants
Mastering and understanding compressor lubricant properties can be beneficial to you, however, observing the following guidelines should guarantee safe use of compressor lubricants.
- Always use the recommended industry standard by the manufacturer.
- Never be tempted to compensate for wear by using higher viscosity oil.
- Always change the air filters at recommended intervals and always locate the source of solid particles in the filter elements. Rust and finely divided metallic particles are a sure cause for fires.
- You can use the tissue paper test in case you suspect inadequate lubrication. The thin tissue paper should be evenly stained when wiped in internal parts.
- Never use paraffin or tetrachloride to clean the inside of air compressors.
By keeping in mind these factors, you increase your compressor system lifespan, its overall performance and above all, your lubricant’s service life. Correct lubrication allows air compressors operate in a cool moderated temperature and consume less energy. Reduced friction results in reduced heat hence, reduced energy consumption. Many industries can save more on energy costs through effective air compressor lubrication. It is also important to get professional advice from experts near you.