REDwire Lessons in air compressor lubricants

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Choosing the correct lubricant for your air compressor can prolong the life of your air compressor.

Extend the life of your air compressor by selecting the correct lubricant to ensure the smooth and effective operation of your machinery.

The land of air compressor lubricants is a place that is wide and vast. Different compressors require different compressor lubricants, which are recommended based on the manufacturer’s specifications.

Choosing the right lubricant is based on bearing speed, gears and the operational temperature of the unit.

Have a rise in production output and a drop in repeated maintenance and repair. Maintain an air of cleanliness inside and out of your air compressor by choosing the proper oil.

If you want your compressor to execute like an all-star, you have to treat it like one.

The squeaky air compressor gets the oil

Lubricants act as emollients that seal and protect the bearings and joints inside an air compressor. In addition to eliminating harmful carbon build up, lubricants provide a safeguard in reducing corrosion of the machinery.

Selecting the right lubricant to help oil the wheels, so to speak, ensures that the compressor runs more efficiently, keeps engines cooler, and thereby consumes less energy. A win-win situation for both your wallet and your business’ bottom line.

Through thick and thin: oil by the numbers

The kinematic viscosity, or thickness of the oil or lubricant, is categorized by a specific identification number that correlates to a specific type of machinery the fluid must be used in.  

Compressor oil viscosity ranges from as low as 32, which has greater fluidity (or thinner consistency) to as high as 264 (a thicker texture). Different compressors require different oils.

Screw compressors use a normal grade of viscosity that falls between 32 and 46. While centrifugal compressors work best with oil grades of 220 and 264, reciprocating compressors take oil grades of 68, 122 and 220. Rotary compressors are compatible with oil grades on the higher end of the scale using oil grades of 122 and 264. 

Don’t burn the midnight oil – seek advice from a professional compression lubricator specialist

While compressor oil grades vary, quality should always remain constant. Look for lubricants that have properties that provide corrosion, foam and rust protection.

Optimize your ROI and the performance of your compressor by not sacrificing quality.

The short-term pain of spending more money upfront on high quality lubricants translates into long-term gain of having your all-star compressor stay loyal on your team for years to come.

At NCA, we’re all-stars in the industrial compressed air systems industry with top-of-the-line compression products, accessories and parts, including compression air audits, repair and service. We also know a thing or two about industrial grade cooling systems, heating exchanges and vacuum pumps.

Come say hello at one of our three offices, located in Cambridge, London or Mississauga. We’re also just a click away to help you with all your compressor and lubricant needs


NCA Ltd.

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