The most important consumable of any oil-flooded air compressor is the lubricant. Without lubricant, your air compressor will fail immediately. With the wrong lubricant, you will face unnecessary wear, overheating, contaminated air, low efficiency … and eventually system failure.
Functions of Lubricant
1) Lubricates – The lubricant protects moving parts from unnecessary wear by reducing friction. If your system lacks the proper amount of lube, quality of lube, or fail to follow a maintenance routine, you will not achieve proper lubrication, resulting in catastrophic failure.
2) Cools – The heat produced by the compression of the air is absorbed by the lubricant and carried away to the compressor lubricant cooler. If you fail to maintain the proper level, quality, or type of lubricant, your system will overheat, resulting in long-term damage to your air compressor.
3) Cleans – The lubricant picks of harmful contaminates and carries it off to the oil filter. If you are using low quality lubricant, or fail to follow proper maintenance schedules for changing it, your air supply will quickly become contaminated … additionally, those contaminates will eventually cause unnecessary wear and tear on those vital parts the lubricant was supposed to protect.
4) Seals – The lubricant acts to seal the gaps between the screw elements, helping with the compression process. Using low quality, dirty, or even overused lubricant will result in your air end not maintaining proper seals, and will lower your compressor’s efficiency, resulting in it having to work harder, longer.
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