Monday, April 4, 2016

Air Compressor Maintenance Hinges on Fluid Selection

Preventative maintenance and choosing the proper fluid are the key practices to follow if you want to maximize the lifespan and performance of your air compressor. A poorly maintained air compressor is less energy efficient and wastes your money. Preventing a problem before it can occur is common sense. By using the right amount of the right fluid, you will be protecting all the inner parts of your air compressor.

There is a large variety of  air compressor fluid types such as mineral, ester-based, polyol-ester, PAO synthetic and PAG and they all have their ideal uses and benefits. So, it is very important that you thoroughly research which fluid best suits your air compressor. The first place to start should be the fluid recommended by the original equipment manufacturer since they know the specific fluid requirements for each type of compressor. Aside from the manufacturer's recommendations, when choosing a new air compressor fluid the crucial factors for determining which ones to use are heat load and  gas compression versus air compression.

Here are a few tips for maintenance and fluid selection that can help you make the right decisions to ensure optimal performance of your air compressor.

  • Make sure the type of oil is compatible with your air compressor. Have in mind that not all compressor oils are suitable for your compressor and may not be compatible with the fluids already in the system. Unless you are completely flushing out the fluids from the system, the new fluids you add need to be compatible with the ones already in your compressor. Also, they need to be compatible with the manufacturer's specifications so that they satisfy your compressor's operational needs.
  • Set the right oil sampling frequency. Again check the original equipment manufacturer's specs for preventive maintenance frequencies to determine whether sampling is based on time elapsed or the number of hours the compressor has been running. Samples can provide important information about the health of the oil and potential problems with oxidation or wear before they do more damage.
  • Frequently check air hoses. A leak in your hoses causes your compressor to malfunction because it puts extra strain on your machine. Check your compressor for any leaky or cracked hoses and replace them on the spot.
  • The fuel tank needs to be cleaned at least once per year. If your compressor is gas powered is is important to vacuum out the fuel tank at least once a year to remove debris and fuel residue.
  • Change your air filters and clean the intake vents every 6 months. This is particularly important if your compressor operates in a dusty environment. Clean vents and filters make sure the compressor won't strain itself while taking in air.
  • Heat exchangers should be kept clean. Besides selecting the compatible oil for the heat loads of your compressor, you should make sure that you keep the heat exchangers clean so that heat transfer efficiency doesn't drop, thus costing you more money.
  • Remove moisture from the receiver tanks. Air compression accumulates moisture which is collected in the receiver tank so you need to drain it regularly, especially if your compressor operates in a humid environment. This helps release air pressure from the tanks.

1 comment:

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