Advantages of a Lubricant-Free Compressor
There’s a growing demand for higher-quality compressed air in chemical and process engineering applications. Compressors come in a variety of types and sizes. Just like everything else, both oil-lubricated and oil-free compressors have their own advantages and disadvantages. For this article, let’s focus on the advantages of a lubricant-free compressor.
When it comes to the quality of compressed air used in your processes, the quality should not be compromised. Sometimes, you don’t need to give it any thought – it just has to be oil-free. There are certain circumstances wherein you are legally required to maintain strict air quality standards, eliminating any risk of product contamination (food, drinks and pharmaceutical manufactures). This type of compressor is best suited for those environments where clean air is required.
Energy consumption can account for up to 90% of the total lifecycle cost of an air compressor. By making the switch to an oil-free compressor, paired with a variable speed drive, new control system, and a heat of compression dryer, you will be able to cut energy costs while providing clean, dry, oil-free air for food plants, pharmaceutical production and a variety of other applications.
Air treatment systems and process equipment can be easily damaged by oil-laden compressed air which can then affect sensitive electronic components causing unnecessary downtime and additional expenses.
Lower Maintenance Cost
A real oil-free compressor does not have oil in the compression chamber which minimizes downstream filtration requirements and pressure drops, directly translating into energy savings.
Lubricant-free compressors are lighter since they don’t have as much metal to protect them should something hit it, or a part wears down. Since it’s built this way, it’s doesn’t really last as long as a bigger cast iron oil-based compressor. Again, it is lighter, though.
Type of Job
For projects done around the house, the oil-free compressor is more ideal for its compact size. This type of compressor can comfortably run two nail guns at the same time. The oil-based compressor, on the other hand, is more likely to be used in a large factory or construction site. It can keep many more tools running for a much longer period of time.
It doesn’t matter which compressor is bought, it is going to use a good amount of power to keep its air pressure constant. The amount of power a compressor needs also brings into question the other tools around the compressor, such as if it is powered by an extension cord. For bigger oil-based models that need more power, you need to increase the size of the extension cord to run all that power. Oil-free compressors should be fine with regular extension cables.