The lubricant you choose for your compressor plays a critical role in protecting internal metal parts, preventing corrosion and wear, and sealing.
Requirements vary considerably based on compressor type, the environment in which it is used, and the type of gas that is being compressed.
Lubrication Engineers can help by recommending lubrication reliability best practices – including the right oil – for most compressor types, whether they are centrifugal compressors, reciprocating compressors, rotary screw compressors, rotary vane compressors or dry screw compressors. We have years of documented success helping our customers maximize uptime while reducing costs. When looking for the right oil, it is imperative that a high-quality oil suitable for the application and environment is used.
Qualities of High-Performance Oil for Use in Compressors
- Turbine quality premium oil
- High viscosity index
- High-quality oxidation package exceeding 5,000 hours, per ASTM D943
- Rust and corrosion resistant
- Nonfoaming in use
- Demulsibility properties (ability to shed water)
- Filterable without additive depletion
Once the right oil has been selected – including matching the ISO grade to the OEM spec – the next step is to put the other lubrication reliability pieces in place. Add oil analysis to begin predictive trending of the oil and asset condition, and filtration to keep the oil clean and dry. With these solutions, you can safely extend the life of the asset and the oil – saving time and money.
Identify Suffering Points
Move forward with LE’s proven solutions for extending equipment life.
A strong antioxidant package is essential in a compressor oil. Oil life is reduced by half for every 10°C (18°F) in temperature increase. As oil oxidizes, its viscosity increases, varnish forms, sludge and sediments begin to plug filters, acid increases, and rust and corrosion form. (See photo for progression from new to fully oxidized oil.) All of this is detrimental to the effectiveness and lifespan of the oil and the equipment.
LE’s high-performance oils are designed to combat the effects of high temperatures, water, contaminants and heavy loads. These long-lasting oils – listed below – are nonfoaming and offer superior resistance to heat, oxidation and moisture; they outperform conventional compressor oils, with many exceeding the standards required by OEMs.
Unnecessary Oil Changes
If you are changing oil based on a time interval, you may be getting rid of perfectly good oil and spending money unnecessarily on excess downtime, maintenance and lubricant.
Transitioning from time-based to condition-based oil changes will maximize uptime, save money, and make your operation more efficient. A good oil analysis program is integral to any successful lubricant reliability program. With consistent accurate monitoring of the condition of your oil, you can improve your bottom line with less lubricant to purchase, fewer parts to keep in inventory, less used lubricant requiring disposal, less labor and less downtime. LE’s oil analysis program monitors oil samples for mechanical, operational and environmental factors that can affect equipment and oil life.
The U.S. Department of Energy states that for an average industrial facility, approximately 10 percent of the electricity consumed is for generating compressed air and can be as high as 30 percent or more of the consumed electricity. Compressed air is one of the most expensive sources of energy in a plant, with the efficiency of a typical compressed air system rated as low as 10 to 15 percent.
By reducing friction, you reduce the amount of energy consumed as well as the heat of the equipment. Even between highly machined metal surfaces, contact occurs. The greater the amount of contact, the greater the friction. As a result, more energy is required to move the surfaces. The use of high-performance lubricants can reduce this friction, thus requiring less electricity. It is not uncommon for factories adopting a lubrication reliability program to save 5 to 20 percent on electricity.
Lubrication Engineers can help put together a lubrication reliability program for your compressors to help them last longer, eliminating downtime and reducing maintenance costs. Our certified lubrication experts can be onsite to help put together a program that will bring lubrication excellence to your operation. Get started by finding your local LE consultant or registering to purchase online.