Using the right oil in your air compressor and air tools can prevent unnecessary damage and ensure you get the best performance out of your equipment. Many modern air compressors come with specific oil recommended by the manufacturer. But can you use a different type of oil, like air compressor oil? Read on to learn more about using air compressor oils in your air tools.
Air compressor oils are specifically formulated lubricants designed to withstand extreme pressure and temperatures while providing efficient wear protection for engine components.
These oils provide various benefits, such as improved seal wear, better piston ring sealability, superior oxidation stability, and longer service life when used in reciprocating and rotary-type air compressors. Additionally, these types of lubricants also reduce friction between moving parts for smoother operation and reduction in overall energy consumption.
Types of Air Compressor Oil
The type of air compressor oil you use in your air tools is very important, as it can affect the performance and longevity of the tools. There are a variety of compressor oils available, with each having its specific properties and recommended applications.
Synthetic air compressor oil provides better performance and greater protection in extreme temperatures, including hot and cold conditions. Synthetic-based lubricants are designed to resist oxidation, meaning they will last longer before it needs to be changed or topped up. Synthetic air compressor oil also resists foaming and aeration better than traditional mineral oil.
It also has excellent lubricity properties, which creates a thin layer of lubrication for the moving parts of your air tools, protecting them from wear and tear. Using synthetic oil can extend the service life of your compressors, saving you time and money in maintenance costs.
Non-synthetic air compressor oils are those traditional mineral-based lubricants that have been used in air compressors for years. The main advantage of using non-synthetic oil is its low cost over synthetic options.
However, it is important to note that the viscosity of non-synthetic oil can be affected by extreme changes in temperature; this is further compounded by the fact that the oils may contain impurities from use and settlement.
As such, it is important to maintain a regular maintenance schedule for your non-synthetic air compressor oil to ensure proper lubrication and minimize wear on your air tools. Non-synthetic options include petroleum (30), mineral (40), naphthenic (40), and glycol (50) based options.
Benefits of Using Air Compressor Oil
Air compressor oil can lubricate air tools such as air compressors, nail guns, and air guns. This oil helps reduce wear and tear on the tools while also improving their performance. Air compressor oil can help increase your tools’ life, improve their efficiency, and reduce noise levels. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of using air compressor oil in air tools.
Protection from Wear and Tear
Using the right air compressor oil in your tools is essential to ensure longevity and performance. The oil helps protect your tools from wear and tear caused by friction, particularly between the piston and cylinder walls of the compressor.
It also helps keep the tools cool, reducing heat damage as metal components rub against each other. The air pressure created by a running air compressor can cause the metal to expand, putting further strain on any moving parts, so good lubrication is critical in reducing time spent on repairs due to wear and tear.
The oil helps reduce vibration, resulting in a smoother operational tool with less potential for damage. With regular oil changes, you’ll be able to maintain high-performance levels while also extending the life of your equipment.
Using air compressor oil helps improve air tools’ performance in several ways. It provides lubrication to the tool’s internal components, which helps reduce friction between moving parts. This reduces wear and tear, potentially increasing the life span of your tools.
The oil also helps protect parts from damage caused by moisture and dirt in the compressed air. In addition, it lowers sound levels which can be especially beneficial for pneumatic devices that operate at high speeds or produce loud noises. Finally, most oils have anti-corrosion properties that help keep parts from corroding or rusting over time.
Disadvantages of Using Air Compressor Oil
Using air compressor oil in your air tools can have its disadvantages. Air compressor oil is made specifically to lubricate and reduce friction in the inner workings of an air compressor, but it can have a few drawbacks when applied to air tools. Before using air compressor oil in your air tools, here’s what to consider.
When considering whether to use compressor oil, it’s important to consider the cost of purchasing and regularly replacing it. Compressor oils come in various types, and depending on what type you need for your compressor, the cost per liter can range from as low as 5.59 up to 63. The cost of oil should be factored into the overall cost of operation for any air compressor.
Regular oil changing is recommended to keep it functioning optimally, which can add up in terms of time and money if done frequently. Additionally, some manufacturers may require only specific types or grades of oil for certain compressors, so you’ll need to know what type and grade they require before making a purchase.
Risk of Contamination
Using air compressor oil in air tools can carry certain risks that should be considered. Firstly, a major concern with oil-based compressor systems is the risk of contamination of the compressed air flow. Over time, the oil molecules can tend to break down, resulting in sludge formation and varnish inside the compressor tank.
This increases the risk of clogging up the internal components, particularly if filters are not regularly changed and maintained. Similarly, these contaminants may even enter downstream products, leading to potential device failure or performance degradation. In addition, it should also be noted that unauthorized use of unapproved oils can potentially lead to workers suffering from dermatitis over prolonged periods of exposure due to a lack of skin protection provided by factory-made lubricants.
It is recommended that only air compressor oil specifically formulated for air compressors be used in air tools and compressors. While standard petroleum-based motor oil might seem like a suitable substitute, factors such as viscosity and compatibility with non-lubricated plastics used within the compressor can greatly affect the longevity of the parts and the efficiency of its operation.
Other specialty lubricants, such as light machine oils (not to be confused with petroleum oils) are also available for specific applications. Still, these should always be checked first against the manufacturer’s recommendations for best results. Specific air compressor oil is designed to perform better to keep your system in peak health, so it’s best practice to stick with what you know works.
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