Air compressors are very useful tools, and can be applied to many different projects. Those who are looking to purchase one will have to decide whether they want a compressor which is oiled or oil free. Oil-Less Air Compressors are those with a cylinder that is pre-lubricated (usually by Teflon), which gives it permanent lubrication. Its Teflon coating shields the pump.
How Air Compressors Work
Air compressors will draw in air through a piston. The air will then be subject to compression within the storage tank. To increase efficiency, a piston chamber requires sufficient lubrication, and oil is applied for this purpose. However, this is only needed in air compressors which are oiled. In compressors that are oil free, the cylinder is already lubricated.
Differences Between Oiled And Oil Free Compressors
Oiled compressors need additional maintenance in comparison to their oil free counterparts. The reason for this is because its oil must be changed periodically, and the frequency is dependent on the design and level which is being used. User manuals will typically state how frequently the oil within a compressor should be altered. However, compressors which are oil free don’t require this. Furthermore, oiled air compressors tend to weigh more than oil free compressors. There is also a difference in cost; since oil free compressors use fewer components they also cost less and have designs which are simpler.
However, oiled air compressors have greater durability. Since oil free compressors use pre-lubrication, this means that the unit is subject to dryness once its Teflon begins to wear out. This means that oil free compressors will not last as long as their oiled counterparts. Despite this, they are better for residential use and any project which is non-commercial. Oiled compressors, on the other hand, are the preferred option for industrial applications which often require long hours. Oil free compressors also tend to get hotter since they lack the oil need to cool down their components.
An oil free compressor means that there isn’t any oil within its compression chamber. This reduces product contamination risk which can normally result from a carryover of oil. As such compressors which are oil free have numerous applications in industries such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare, food or beverages, and even electronics.
Compressor Noise Level
Another area that should be taken into consideration is the noise level. Oiled and oil free compressors differ greatly in the amount of noise they produce. Oil free air compressors are substantially louder, and are a major consideration if you will be operating in an environment which is quiet. Oiled compressors use greater lubrication, so produce less noise.
To decide which air compressor is best, you will first want to consider the needs of your facility. If you operate in an environment where an oil contamination would result in consequences which are too severe, than a compressor which is oil free is your best bet. However, most industry and manufacturing houses use compressor which are oil injected, since the impact of contamination isn’t as severe as they are industries such as food processing.