What is an oil-free air compressor? All air comp […]
What is an oil-free air compressor?
All air compressors contain moving parts, and the pistons and rotors they use to compress generate a lot of heat and friction. Without proper lubrication, air compressors can quickly suffer severe internal damage or become dangerously overheated.
In order to avoid the problems of excessive friction and heat, conventional air compressors use lubricating oil, which covers the piston, rotor and other moving parts inside the compressor. These oil films need to be replaced regularly to remain effective.
In oil-free air compressors, the moving parts of the compressor are glued to the surface with a strong low-friction coating (usually PTFE, more commonly known as Teflon). These coatings can reduce working friction like lubricating oil, but only need to be applied once.
Why choose an oil-free air compressor?
Not sure if an oil-free air compressor is right for you? Discover some of its advantages.
Easy to maintain
Most refueling air compressors are very reliable machines, but the premise is that their lubricating oil must be regularly replenished and applied to the moving surface correctly. Keeping the refueling compressor properly lubricated can be cumbersome and time consuming, especially if the compressor is in constant or near constant use.
Compressors that never need to be refueled are generally easier to maintain. Except for all air compressors that require valve check valves to maintain their function and regular oil drain, most oil-free compressors require very little maintenance.
The forgiving maintenance plan for oil-free compressors can significantly reduce downtime, making it ideal for use in urban construction sites and other high-intensity commercial environments. However, they are also useful for home users, who may not want to spend time maintaining compressors that are used only occasionally for DIY.
Keep the compressed air clean
When the compressed air passes through the compression piston or rotor of the refueling air compressor, a small amount of lubricating oil droplets follow. Therefore, the air supply of the refueling air compressor is almost always contaminated with trace amounts of lubricating oil.
If you use an air compressor to power equipment such as sandblasting machines or pneumatic drills, you can safely ignore these small amounts of oil. However, compressed air used for sensitive applications (such as cleaning computer components or powering dental equipment) must be oil-free to prevent contamination and hygiene issues. Oil-free air compressors are ideal for these purposes.
Cheap and lightweight
Oil-free air compressors are mechanically simpler than most oil-containing air compressors, so they are cheaper and easier to manufacture. Oil-free compressors usually cost much lower than equivalent oiled models. Since they do not have a built-in fuel tank, they also tend to be lighter than refueling compressors.
In some cases, oil-free air compressors are not ideal. Found some shortcomings of this particular air compressor.
The low-friction coating that protects high-quality oil-free air compressors is very durable, but not invulnerable. If used in large amounts, these coatings will begin to degrade and lose efficacy, causing the compressor to lose efficiency and generate more waste heat.
Unlike lubricants, which can be simply reapplied with lubricant when necessary, oil-free coatings are not renewable. Therefore, the service life of oil-free compressors is usually much shorter than that of most refueling compressors, although high-quality models can still provide years of faithful service.
More likely to overheat
PTFE and other low-friction solid materials are excellent in reducing friction, but they are less effective in preventing heat buildup compared with liquid compressor oil. Certain oil-free air compressors may overheat more easily than other types of compressors, especially when used for a long time in high-temperature areas with poor ventilation.
When choosing your next air compression system, make sure to make an informed choice. If you have more questions about oil-free air compressors, please feel free to contact us for professional advice and suggestions.
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