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Comparing Oil-Lubricated and Oil-Free Air Compressors

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Whether you run a workshop or a food manufacturing operation, there is now such a vast range of air compressors available that it can be hard to decide just which air compressor is right for you and the job at hand. One of the options to consider when you go to purchase a new air compressor is whether you should choose an oil-lubricated air compressor or an oil-free air compressor.

While both types of air compressors serve the same purpose – to produce compressed air and transfer this air to power different types of machinery, just which type of air compressor you use will come down to the application that you’re using it in. Different industries will have different requirements for compressed air, and more specifically, the purity level of air that’s being produced.

Read on to find out the main differences between oil-free and oil-lubricated air compressors, and why you would choose one compressor over the other.

The differences between oil-lubricated and oil-free air compressors

Oil-lubricated air compressors and oil-free air compressors each have their own significant benefits which can make all the difference to your workshop or factory, depending on what you will need to use the air compressor for. In essence, an oil-lubricated air compressor uses oil to lubricate the compressor, seal the air, and also keep it nice and cool. An oil-free air compressor is the opposite in that it doesn’t use oil to lubricate the different parts inside the air compressor. An inter-cooler is then used to keep the heat down (instead of oil).

Benefits of an oil-lubricated air compressor

As an oil-lubricated air compressor uses oil to operate, it naturally needs regular checks and oil changes to ensure that everything is working correctly. This type of regular checking will mean that naturally, oil-lubricated compressors will receive more maintenance than oil-free compressors. This can prove beneficial in the long run as regular maintenance could mean the difference between your air compressor running efficiently or breaking down. For reliable air compressors service, this regular maintenance is crucial.

Another benefit to oil-lubricated air compressors is that they generally produce less noise as well as heat. This is simply down to the fact that the air compressor is lubricated with oil so naturally won’t be as noisy. Oil also helps to draw heat away from the compression while the air compressor is running which ensures that the machine is as cool as possible.

Benefits of an oil-free air compressor

One of the main benefits of an oil-free compressor is that it doesn’t cause any contamination. Businesses that operate in food and beverage and medical industries rely on clean compressed air for manufacturing purposes, so having access to an oil-free air compressor that produces clean air is an essential component. The medical and dental industry also further relies on oil-free compressed air when it is being used for human consumption. You don’t really want a lung-full of oil-contaminated air when you visit the dentist!

The air purity classes

As we know, compressed air is used to help manufacture a wide range of products which includes products from the food and beverage, medical, and even electronics industries. These types of products, in particular, cannot be contaminated during the manufacturing process as this would then have adverse effects on the end result of the product which could then result in lost money and business. Manufacturers cannot risk even the smallest amount of a foreign substance (like oil) getting into their products so need to ensure that from the outset, they’re using the best products to ensure no contamination. This is where air compressors service and compressor repairs become crucial.

Traditional air compressors that are oil lubricated simply won’t cut it for these types of manufacturing processes, which is why an oil-free compressor is required. Oil-free air compressors must still meet a certain standard, however, and ensure that the compressed air produced is oil-free.

The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has created a set of international standards specifically for compressed air. Depending on the purity level of the compressed air, compressed air free from oil will receive an ISO rank between 0-5. Class 0 being the cleanest and most pure class of air.

Due to its use in industries that manufacture things like food and pharmaceuticals, an elevated level of filtration is required so that no contamination from oil occurs. If you operate in these industries, it’s recommended that you use an oil-free air compressor and filtration to produce the cleanest air possible to safeguard against any possible contamination.

Looking for an industrial air compressor in Sydney? Well, you better look no further. Because All Air Compressors is here to help. We can supply you with the latest technology in energy efficiency and lowest oil carry over in our industrial air compressor range. We have both oil-lubricated and oil-free air compressors for industrial purposes available for you. So, don’t hesitate to contact All Air Compressors for your air compressors service, air compressors repair, and compressor repairs needs! Additionally, if you are looking for compressor servicing or compressor repairing near me, All Air Compressors is your one-stop solution for all air compressor service repair requirements.