Standard petroleum based lubricants are quickly being replaced by synthetic compressor oil, as more industrial users discover the advantages that synthetics offer. The most obvious advantage is extended oil life, yet the benefits extend well beyond just the life of the lubricant.
Synthetic air compressor oil saves you from unnecessary maintenance in a variety of ways. They are often able to withstand the high heats of compression without creating a varnish buildup on the inside of your compressor system. This varnish not only requires cleanup of the coolers and internal oil distribution system, it can cause rapid degradation of the oil, which can cause premature failure. Synthetic compressor oil is also more effective at reducing metal to metal contact that can diminish the life of your equipment.
In addition, synthetic oils can save you money, in ways other than simple maintenance. Synthetic air compressor oils often have better viscosity and lubricating properties than standard petroleum based stock, and thus can provide greater efficiencies that will directly affect your utility bills. Some synthetic oil condensate is able to be discharged directly to your local sewer, which can save you substantial money over the costs of separating and disposing of your compressor lubricants.
Whichever you choose, make sure the synthetic oil is compatible with your current oil. Some oils are not miscible and will cause detrimental effects to your oil system. Many synthetics though are made to directly replace your current petroleum based oil, and most lubricant suppliers have cross references sheets available to make the changeover easy.
The extra price of the synthetic oil can often be far outweighed by the cost savings. Ask your local compressor company or oil distributor what they recommend for your compressor. You most likely can extend the performance and life of your compressor.
Corey Duncan has over 12 years experience in the industrial equipment and home building market. He has developed a resource at Synthetic Air Compressor Oil to aid in the selection of the proper synthetic lubricants for compressors.