Air compressors, like many other types of mechanical equipment, require adequate lubrication to ensure maximum longevity and optimum performance. The piston, in particular, needs to be able to draw and compress air with minimum frictional resistance. In this regard, air compressors are available in two primary configurations: oil vs oil free air compressor systems.
oil-lubricated compressors, oil is used to reduce the friction between the
piston and the walls of the piston chamber. Oil may even be splashed onto the
walls and bearings of the cylinder by means of an oil bath. This type of
compressor is also referred to as oil-flooded.
the other hand, oil-free compressors, as their name suggests, do not require
lubrication oil. Instead, the piston is pre-lubricated with a Teflon (PTFE)
coating. Teflon has one of the lowest coefficients of friction among any solid
due to its layered structure, which possesses relatively weak intermolecular
bonding forces. These layers easily slide past each other with minimal effort,
significantly reducing the friction between the coated elements.
While many compressors in use today are oil-lubricated, oil-free compressors are quickly gaining popularity among various industries. Oil-free compressors are less expensive and capable of achieving the same level of performance as their oil-lubricated counterparts in most applications, making them ideal for myriad industrial purposes.
However in the case of oil vs oil free air compressor machines, which one does your business need?
Oil Vs Oil Free Air Compressor: Which One Is Best for You?
of the defining features of oil-free compressors is the absence of interaction
between the lubricating oil and the compressed air. In oil-lubricated
compressors, the air inevitably comes into contact with the oil, introducing a
degree of contamination.
droplets, vapors, mist, or liquids can make their way into the output
compressed air. This problem is eliminated in oil-free compressors, leading to
a better quality compressed air supply. This is especially valuable in
applications where air quality is paramount, such as in dentistry or cleanroom
compressors are also significantly lighter than oil-lubricated compressors,
making them ideal for commercial applications that require portability, such as
tire inflation, jackhammering, medical air supplies, and roadside assistance
compressors, on the other hand, are bulkier, heavier, and often require
mounting. This makes them better suited for situations where the equipment does
not require frequent relocation.
to Maintain an Oil-Free Air Compressor
compressors are especially renowned for their minimal maintenance requirements.
The absence of lubricating oil combined with the self-lubricating nature of the
Teflon coating means that the cylinder requires no further lubrication, eliminating
the need for scheduled oil changes.
oil-free does not translate to maintenance-free. These pumps must still undergo
routine maintenance to ensure safe and efficient compressor operation and
optimal service life. Oil-free air compressor maintenance usually consists of
checking the following components:
When inspecting the compressor safety valve, first ensure
that the compressor is plugged in and allowed to reach its shut-off pressure.
Next, remove the safety valve ring to release the pressure from the tank and
observe the valve. If the air is not discharged, or if the valve does not close
automatically, then the valve may need to be replaced.
Condensation can cause water droplets to build up inside the
tank. Ensure that that tank is adequately drained after each use by locating
the drain valve and allowing the tank to drain completely.
Be sure to inspect the filter for dirt build-up and wear.
Depending on the compressor model, the location, and type of filter (paper,
felt, or foam) may vary. Paper or felt filters with significant contamination
buildup need to be replaced. Foam filters can be cleaned with soap and water
and replaced upon drying. All damaged or worn filters should be replaced
an overall inspection of the compressor should be routinely conducted. Inspect
various components such as hoses, valves, power cords, fittings, and seals for
damage and signs of wear. The tank’s exterior should also be checked for rust
damage, pinholes, or other weak spots. It is important to note that damaged
tanks should be replaced immediately. Never attempt to weld, drill, or
otherwise repair the compressor tank.
Energy Machinery, we offer a comprehensive range of oil-free compressors for
almost any industrial application. If you would like to find out more about our
line of oil-free compressor solutions, feel free to view
our equipment catalog or request a free