Air compressors, like many other systems, require oil to maintain peak performance. Oils help reduce friction between components and decrease energy consumption while increasing service life. However, not all oils and air compressors are compatible, so it’s important to understand the various types to ensure you make the proper selection.
What Is Air Compressor Oil?
Air compressor oil is a type of specialized fluid used for cooling, lubrication, and sealing the internal components found in air compressors. The type of oil for air compressor systems is either natural or synthetic, and it can vary in terms of viscosity and the additives it may contain. Unlike motor oil, air compressor oil contains less carbon and sulfur and completely lacks detergent.
The two primary functions of air compressor oil are:
- Lubrication. Air compressor oil minimizes friction between wearing parts, especially areas involving metal-to-metal contact.
- Cooling. Air compressor oils cool components by absorbing the compression heat and using a heat exchanger to expel it from the compressor package.
When looking for air compressor oil, it’s important to consider the following properties:
- Longer service life
- Oxidation resistance
- Anti-foaming capabilities
- Viscosity in cooler temperatures
Synthetic vs. Standard Air Compressor Oil
To find the right oil for your air compressor systems, you need to know what to look for in terms of oil type and properties. The first factor you want to consider is synthetic vs. standard air compressor oil. Synthetic oil offers numerous benefits that make it ideal for use with reciprocating air compressors as well as rotary screw compressors.
The following are some items to keep in mind when deciding between synthetic and standard oil:
- Standard mineral oil is less expensive than synthetic oil.
- If you use your compressor frequently, synthetic oil is the better option.
- Synthetic oil facilitates better lubrication, keeping air compressors quieter and more efficient.
- Synthetic oil provides more protection against overheating and can hold up in a broader temperature range.
If you use rotary screw compressors, the following are some added advantages of using synthetic oil for these systems:
- Fewer deposits
- Longer life span
- Reduced oil consumption
- Cooler temperatures
What Viscosity Should I Use?
Depending on your needs regarding viscosity, you can choose between 20-weight or 30-weight compressor oil. The oil’s viscosity refers to its thickness, with most air compressor oils featuring 20- or 30-weight options. 20-weight oil is thinner and better for colder temperatures, whereas 30-weight oil is thicker and works best in warmer conditions.
Additionally, 20-weight oil enhances engine efficiency, while 30-weight coats your engine better. It’s important to note that the differences between these two options are relatively minor, and each oil type can function effectively in various climates and conditions.
Ask Airmatic Compressor About Air Compressor Oil
Choosing the right type of oil for air compressor systems will help keep them working properly and maximize their lifespan. If you need help determining the best air compressor oil for your application, contact the experts at Airmatic Compressor. As compressed air specialists, we have the knowledge to recommend the proper air compressor oil based on your specific needs.
To learn more about our air compressor offerings, or to get started on your compressor oil solution, request a quote today.