There are many reasons why buying an air compressor is a good investment. It has so many uses in and out of the house. As for garage use, vehicle engines need air compressors for heating and cooling processes. Air compressors are also typically used to supply and pump air into tires. You can skip gas station visits because you can finally fill your tire with air in your own garage. In this guide, you will get to know what an oil-lubed air compressor is. You will also get acquainted with another type of air compressor that might be a great choice for you as well (oil-free design).
An air compressor is used in a vast number of industries. However, its use has been widely known in the automotive field. An oil-lubed air compressor employs oil to move the piston smoothly. The oil is also a key element to prevent the mechanism from being damaged. This guide provides you a foundation about air compressors and what they can do for you and your vehicle.
What is an oil-lubed air compressor?
An oil-lubed air compressor is also called a lubricated air compressor. This type of compressor needs oil to keep the piston or the rotary tool running smoothly. Lubrication is needed also to prevent the piston from degeneration or damage. The oil, serving as a lubricant, also functions to evaporate heat and keep the air inefficiently.
Once you check the pressure of the vehicle tires, the air compressor will instantly come into use. The oil-lubed air compressor also functions in ways that are not easily noticeable but is important to keep a vehicle working and running properly. The mechanism or directive of this equipment is fairly simple. The oil-lubed air compressor stores air in a tank. This is done through the up and down motions of the piston supported by the lubricant. The air stays in the tank until it is needed by the vehicle for several purposes.
The air compressor device changes the chemical build-up of diesel into electric power. The amount of power will eventually convert to potential high-capacity air. Once the tank stores the full capacity of air storage, it turns off automatically trapping the high-capacity sized air inside. Additionally, there is an outlet valve that opens to release the air when needed. Once some air is released, the oil-lubricated air compressor moves again to refill the tank with air.
As the name suggests, the oil-lubed type of air compressor requires oil to function. It is a traditional device that has been trusted by manufacturers and car owners alike. There are different subtypes of lubricated compressors. A few of them are the lobe, screw, liquid ring, vane, and scroll lubricated air compressors.
Cleaning the oil-lubed air compressor may take some time. You may also need to use additional equipment to clean the air compressor’s tank. Oil can be removed from the tank using oil filters and dryers. You can easily find these cleaning tools in hardware stores. Make sure to clean the air compressor once in a while to keep it working efficiently. Air contamination inside the tank of the air compressor is unfavorable and may damage the vehicle and the compressor itself.
Are oil-lubricated air compressors better?
As has been mentioned earlier, there are different subtypes of the oil-lubricated air compressor. Furthermore, there are other types of air compressors that you can choose from. The most widely known are oil-lubricated air compressors and oil-free compressors. Oil-lubed compressors might be better in some ways. You can only tell if it is better depending on the need that you have or how you will use it.
Since this type of air compressor uses oil, you are obliged to change the oil now and then. This process is part of maintaining the efficiency of the air compressor. You also need to filter the air often using separators and coalescing filters. This process can be tedious but it will ensure that the compressor is protected from air contamination. The filters can remove the oil and help keep the oil-lubed compressor functioning as well as new.
You may be wondering if you can skip the tedious job of filtration and oil change. You will not have to change the oil if you choose the oil-free type of air compressor. However, the downside to this variety is that you have to spend more on repair work. Operations on the oil-free air compressor are louder as well.
The oil-lubed air compressor tends to last longer compared to the oil-free air compressor. Yes, the oil-free compressors are lighter and cheaper. But if you are looking for an air compressor leaning towards the heavy-duty side, the oil-lubricated type might be the ultimate pick. You can use it for long hours without the mechanism turning dry.
It is important to know the difference between oil-lubed and oil-free compressors to get the best results. There are many differences between the two. You may find one more preferable than another. You can save more if you weigh your options carefully before you decide on which type of compressor to purchase.
In this guide, there were many differences mentioned between the oil-lubed and oil-free compressor designs. The key difference between the two is lubrication. Good lubrication guarantees a longer life span of the equipment. Lubrication also affects the overall performance of the air compressor.
The oil-free air compressor is pre-lubricated. The downside to this design is that the Teflon that protects the pump becomes worn out. Eventually, the air compressor becomes dry. Since it was pre-lubricated, it will need constant maintenance. If not given proper attention, the oil-free air compressor eventually becomes damaged. Because of this factor, the oil-lubed air compressor scores brownie points. The oil constantly coats the pump making the whole mechanism move with ease. The constant lubrication also enhances the compressor’s performance.
The oil-lubed type of compressor can supply twice the amount of pressurized air as the oil-less model can produce. The oil-less air compressor can deliver up to 2 to 5 cubic feet of air per minute. The oil-lubricated device can produce 10 to 25 cubic feet of pressurized air. The difference in air production between the air compressor models is imminent.
What are the advantages of an oil-free air compressor?
Oil-free compressors in the present are more refined in comparison with the old version of oil-free products. Today's technology has made such advancement possible where the lifespan of the oil-free air compressor increases from 200 hours to 2,000 hours. The technological advancements involved in the refinement of oil-free air compressors also made a significant difference from old styles or models of oil-lubed air compressors. In addition to the advantages of oil-free air, compressors are the lessened noise that it makes. The difference between the conventional oil-lubed air compressors with the more modern oil-free air compressors lies in their pace or momentum which varies from 10 to 15 dBA. Since the higher-end model of air compressors works with more speed, it is bound to be quieter than the previous models.
High-end oil-free air compressors do not require much speed to function in a normal setting. This makes it more energy efficient compared with the oil-lubricated products in the market. The rate and the materials used in both air compressors vary which became a subject for comparison between the two products. Additionally, the sealing rings used in the pistons of oil-free air compressors are placed differently for it to have a higher level of performance. Pumps are present in the interior of the oil-free air compressor which exerts half the speed of older models of air compressors. Due to their moderate speed, the oil-free air compressors reach longer product life without compromising their performance.
Oil-free air compressors have much competition in the market due to the majority of the air compressors being oil-lubricated. However, most contractors are also pleased with oil-free compressors because as the name states, they do not require the use of oil for their cylinder walls. This type of air compressor can reduce maintenance since it is a safe way of filtering air. Oil-free air compressors induce the air from the outside through what is called an unloader valve which also enters an inlet air filter. This inlet filter helps decrease the damage to the compressor and makes sure that the air is clean.
One example regarding the advantage of oil-free air compressors is the 6-gallon Quiet Compressor in distinction to Campbell Hausfeld. This air compressor consists of a 4-pole motor that operates at a slower pace, which helps extend product life. A 4-pole motor comprises 2 pairs of magnetic poles that revolve a few times per minute. Since these magnetic poles require much energy as they revolve, it is advantageous to use air compressors with slow-motion magnetic poles. This type of air compressor also saves on maintenance fees which proves that it is also cost-efficient.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT COMPRESSOR
Choosing the right compressor is one important step to successfully having comfort inside the car. You must make sure to take into consideration your purpose in purchasing an air compressor. Evaluate your needs first before finalizing what style or model you should choose. Keep in mind the range that the air compressor must cover. For example, you might take into consideration how many people the compressor needs to support. The area where you will use the air compressor must also be deliberated. You must be aware if there is a power shortage in that area if there is constant electric power or not, or if a gas engine compressor would be necessary.
Finally, one of the most important things to account for in choosing the right compressor is to find that one that fits your budget. The price of air compressors ranges from 400 dollars to 2000 dollars. The price depends on the brand of the air compressor as well as the type of air compressor that you will choose. There are also different styles to choose from which will also add to the value of the product in the market. Regardless of the choice, you will make, whether it is an oil-free air compressor or an oil-lubed air compressor, it is positive that you will be pleased with the extended lifespans of these products when they are used correctly.
How are oil-free compressors lubricated?
The genius behind oil-free compressors is their pre-lubrication. Teflon is one of the materials that is used to lubricate the compressors beforehand. In addition to Teflon, oil-free compressors also make use of a piston and other rotary elements which are also materials that are in regular oil-lubricated compressors. Another substitute for oil that is quite interesting is water. There are a few air compressors that use water to replace oil which not only lubricates the cylinder walls of the compressor but also cools down its temperature. These materials that are used as alternatives to oil protect the machine and enable the machine to work more smoothly. They eliminate the compressor's need for any kind of synthetic or oil-based lubricants.
Oil-free air compressors prohibit the oil inside its compression chamber. As mentioned earlier, the piston used in the compressor is of much importance as well since it provides heat resistance and self-lubricating functions.
oil-free compressors are cheaper and durable because they require less maintenance. However, the Teflon in the oil-free air compressors is something to always keep an eye on. The time the Teflon material wears off maybe the time you wish that you had an oil-lubed air compressor.
Air compressors have been around to make life easier. It can do so much for car owners whichever type of air compressor you choose. The oil-lubed air compressor is a great pick if you want equipment that can last a long time and can be handled with ease. There are numerous advantages to purchasing a lubricated air compressor. Don’t forget to consider your budget if you decide to go for the oil-lubed type. It tends to be a lot pricier than the oil-less model. However, it is assured that your purchase of an oil-lubed air compressor is well worth it.