PetroCanada Tech Tip – Compressor Lubrication
Compressor Lubrication & Updates to the Petro-Canada Lubricants Product Offering
Customers in a variety of industries utilize different types of compressors manufactured for a variety of purposes. Compressors can also serve as blowers and vacuum pumps.
The Lubricant requirements vary based on the compressor type, the environment of the compressor and the type of gas that is compressed.
Most factories and manufacturing facilities have compressed air systems. The customers use compressed air like an energy source powering equipment and tools for a more reliable and efficient utility. A few examples of applications where air compressors are used are:
- Pneumatic drills and hammers on construction sites
- Operating Pneumatic material handling equipment in manufacturing
- Bottling and packaging products in pharmaceutical plants
- Closing and checking devices in the food and beverage industry
The two most common types of air compressors you will see in manufacturing:
- Reciprocating Compressors
- Rotary Screw
Reciprocating compressors have many of the same components an internal combustion engines. The specific function of the lubricant is to minimize wear on cylinders and rings and to reduce or eliminate carbon formation on the valves, helping to prevent overheating.
Oil Flooded Rotary screw compressors lubricate bearings, provide good sealing properties, provide rust and corrosion protection and absorb compressor heat that is dissipated in the oil cooler.
We will focus on the Petro-Canada Lubricants branded Air Compressor fluids that are specific for Reciprocating and Rotary Screw Compressors, the most common types of air compressors.
It is important to confirm the condition and operating environment of the compressor when converting to a Petro-Canada Lubricants Compressor Fluid. Traces of old oil or varnish can detract from the life of a fresh oil fill; cleaning and flushing is recommended. The compatibility of the fluids is important to understand if the fluids are not compatible cleaning and flushing of the compressor is required. Our Newest compressor fluid Compro E can help with both of these issues, consult your TSA for details. There will be an updated Technical Bulletin available on the Hub as well.
Compressors vary in design, type and severity of service, choosing the correct type and viscosity of lubricant, combined with regular maintenance can go a long way towards avoiding failure.