Air Compressor Oil – A Comprehensive Overview
Air compressor oil plays a vital role in the efficient performance of the compressors. Oil helps air compressors to seal and cool the engine lubricants and reduces the chances of wear and tear. It also reduces friction and heat, resulting in the decrease of the compressor’s consumption energy and the overall energy cost. However, to gain the full benefit from air compressor oil, it is essential to know about various kinds of air compressor oils and important tips that can help pick the oil that is best for your air compressor. This article presents a comprehensive overview of oil for air compressor and the characteristics you should know about.
Why Oil for Air Compressor?
Air compressor oil is a special lubricant that keeps all the parts, including pistons, screws, and other moving parts of the air compressor friction-free. It extends the lifespan, enhances performance, removes carbon from valves, and reduces corrosion of the air compressor. Oil for air compressor can be either synthetic or natural with different viscosity levels, and additives included. Unlike motor oil, it doesn’t comprise detergent and high levels of carbon and sulfur.
Characteristics of an Air Compressor Oil
There are different types of air compressor oils that provide different unique characteristics. However, here is a list of some of the basic characteristics that are you must look for while selecting the air compressor oil.
- Temperature: You must read the temperature range of the oil on the packaging before purchasing it, as the oil in air compressors reacts differently if the temperature is above 120°F or below the freezing point, especially if the oil is extremely thick. Therefore, while you are selecting the oil for air compressor, you must consider the weather condition of your area and your air compressor’s ability to withstand the oil’s temperature range.
- Thickness: Viscosity is another essential characteristic that you can not neglect. The right consistency of oil will enhance your air compressor’s performance. Otherwise, inaccurate viscosity levels can impede the functions and damage your air compressor in the long run. Usually, the manufacturers prefer SAE20 or SAE30. SAE20 is ideal for colder regions, while SAE 30 offers better protection and coverage to air compressors residing in warm areas.
- Additives: Different kinds of additives are included in every oil, therefore you must carefully analyze the ingredients section on the packaging. Look for the additives that help to reduce friction, improve performance, prevent rusting and corrosion, and extend the lifespan of the air compressor.
Best Oils for Air Compressor
If you are looking to buy the best air compressor oil, then you must know there is no perfect oil for your air compressor. Each air compressor has different requirements, therefore you must always review the manufacturer’s guidelines to find the ideal match for your air compressor. However, below are the three air compressor oils that users loved and are known for making the air compressors perform efficiently and prolong their lifespan substantially.
Powermate PX P018-0084SP: It is a 100% synthetic air compressor oil that helps pump 25% better than other oil blends. It has the feature to withstand low temperatures ranging from 0°F. Besides that, it also works perfectly in warm situations. This oil has a pour point of -40°F and flashpoint of 460°F. You can expect the life of the compressor pump to increase due to a 25% increase in wear and tear protection.
Royal Purple Synfilm Recip. 100: It is an SAE30 100% synthetic oil that is ideal for reciprocating air compressors. This excellent synthetic oil increases the reliability and efficiency of your air compressor. Some of its highlighting features include energy-efficient, great film strength, prolonged life, and synthetic lubricant. Such features make it capable to prevent corrosion and eliminate harmful carbon deposits from valves. It also reduces friction between the piston rings and cylinder walls for better performance of the compressor.
Milton 1002S: This oil comprises a low-temperature feature, allowing individuals to conveniently use it in colder regions. It can perform perfectly at a temperature of -36°F. The characteristics like advanced anti-foaming and moisture-displacing formulas reduce the chances of corrosion, foaming, and rust. It doesn’t allow the sludge to form and eliminates the deposits of carbon from the valves. It is an ideal choice for both centrifugal and reciprocating compressors.
Are there any Substitutes for Air Compressor Oil?
Oil for air compressor increases the lifespan and quality of the compressor but that does not mean there exist no air compressor oil substitutes. It is wiser to follow the guidelines of the manufacturers, but if you are looking for some good alternatives for air compressor oil, then below are some of the alternatives that you can consider.
Motor oil comprises detergent, which is beneficial for internal combustion engines. On the other hand, it promotes the build-up of carbon in air compressors, hence deteriorating the performance significantly. Look out for motor oil without detergent to prevent poor performance. However, it is better to use air compressor oil for maximum efficiency and durability.
Some of the features of hydraulic oil make it a good alternative for air compressors oil. For example, hydraulic oil is immune to oxidation, making it the best option for people residing in colder regions. At low temperatures, hydraulic oil usually has low viscosity, hence enabling the oil in the air compressor to flow appropriately.
Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)
The ability of ATF to diminish wear and tear, prevent breakdowns, and cool running parts make it a decent alternative for air compression oil. The only problem with ATF is that most of them are not compatible with air compressors and permanently damage them.
It is essential to select the right air compressor oil to ensure maximum efficiency, prolonged lifespan, and minimum corrosion. It is ideal to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, as every air compressor has distinct requirements. Along with choosing the perfect oil for your air compressor, it is equally important to monitor and maintain your air compressor oil regularly.
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