Important Notes Regarding Air Compressor Lubrication
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Important Notes Regarding Air Compressor Lubrication
Important Notes Regarding Air Compressor Lubrication
September 04, 2019

Industrial air compressors come in two main types: lubricated and oil-less. As its name suggests, lubricated air compressors require oil in order to function smoothly. Today, we will be discussing some useful tips when it comes to air compressor lubrication.

Since the piston or rotary element of the air compressor is constantly at work pulling in air to be stored inside the compressor, lubrication is needed keep these parts running smoothly.


Because the presence of oil means that the air inside the compressor can get exposed to contaminants, routine maintenance and careful handling is required. The oil has to be changed frequently, and filtration accessories such as separators and coalescing filters will be needed to help remove oil particles from the processed air.

With that said, lubricated air compressors are the more popular type of industrial air compressors due to their ability to withstand more heavy-duty applications. Follow these tips to ensure you get the most out of your lubricated air compressor:

1. Additives

There are different kinds of lubricants meant for general industrial purposes. However, choice of lubrication is dependent on system type and use, and using the wrong type of lubricant for your industrial air compressors could spell disaster. Make sure you read up on the additives that are contained in the lubricant – certain additives work to the advantage of certain applications, but can be harmful to others. Additives that help prevent corrosion or rusting are popular with compressor lubricants, and on the other hand, detergent additives will damage your motor over time.

2. Oil Carryover
If you need to reduce oil carryover, opt for lubricants that have low volatility, vapor pressure, and foaming, as well as high thermal and oxidative stability. All these elements will help elongate the lifespan of the oil and make for smoother operations. One thing to keep in mind is that this does not solve the problem of oil degradation definitively. All oils will ultimately degrade, and the best thing to do is to slow down that process as much as possible to help maintain the longevity of your industrial air compressors.

3. Demulsibility

Demulsibility refers to the ability to release water. It is an important factor when it comes to lubrication because it shows how well oil can separate from the water that is absorbed through thermal breathing. If a lubricant has poor demulsibility, the oil can start to foam or cloud, making it much less effective. Industrial air compressors often operate in humid plant conditions, and will likely produce their own condensation due to all the compressed air. As such, a higher demulsibility potential is more desirable, in order to prevent rust and corrosion.

4. Viscosity

The thickness and texture of an oil is known as its viscosity. Different types of viscosities can have different effects: a higher viscosity lubricant (thicker oil) is more capable of withstanding a wider range of temperatures. It is without a doubt that industrial air compressors will experience extremely high operating temperatures, and as such if you are looking for heavy duty use, try to opt for a lubricant with a viscosity of at least 30, but not too thick. Take note that, sometimes, viscosity is expressed as weight on labelling.

Air Energy carries specialized lubricants for the various industrial air compressors that we supply, so that you can consistently ensure the quality and health of your machinery. Get in touch today to speak to a specialist, who will be able to recommend the perfect lubricant for your needs.

Very useful info, thank you!
Posted by: Frank | September 11, 2019, 8:44 am
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