All About Oil-Free Air Compressors
August 28, 2020
Better quality compressed air is in high demand nowadays, so a number of people are investing in oil-free air compressors.
Oil-free compressors are actually compulsory for some industries too, like Dentistry, Pharmaceuticals and the Food and Beverage sector.
The term ‘oil-free’ refers to the compression chamber which keeps the air clean, therefore providing cost savings. If you’re looking to change to oil-free compressors, here is some more information.
What is Oil-Free Compressed Air?
Unlike the name lends itself, there is actually oil in the gearbox, but this does not affect the compressor. This oil is used solely to lubricate the internal gears and bearings inside the gearbox and the compressor element. It goes through an oil cooler before it is used as lubrication, and the debris is removed using a filter, so it is completely clean.
How Oil-Free Air Compressors Work
Here is the process of how oil-free air compressors work in more detail:
1. Drawing in the Ambient Air
The operation begins with the valve opening and bringing outside air in and filtering it through to the compressor. The filter makes the air clean, limiting damage to the machine and when the valve closes, the compressor starts to run.
2. Low-Pressure Compressor Element & Intercooler
The air then follows through to the low-pressure compressor element where the oil-free components will compress the air and cool it down. Further cooling and compression occur through an intercooler; the air becomes denser and more oxygen-rich through this process.
3. An Aftercooler & Compressed Air Storage
Once compressed again, cooling occurs once more and then the air will be stored ready for use. The valve that the air is passed through prevents any backflow so the tank can fill up and be sent to the equipment for use.
4. Pressure Switches
Pressure switches are used to monitor the levels of the compressor, so when the levels of air fall below a specific measure, the compressor will turn on to restore the air in the tank.
Benefits of Using Oil-Free Air Compressors
Less Maintenance Required
If you compare an oil-free air compressor to a traditional one, the maintenance procedures are much simpler. You need to regularly change the oil, dispose of the oil, plus frequently change the oil filtration elements in a traditional air compressor.
As there is no oil used throughout the air compressing operation in oil-free compressors, this maintenance is not required. The only thing you need to do is to drain the air compressor tank after each use and maintain the water- and air-cooling systems.
Initially, oil-free air compressors typically cost less than traditional systems. There are fewer parts in the machine, so there will be fewer repairs or replacements in general, and the construction is built to last. Also, they are commonly built include regulators which means they will only us energy when you need it, saving you more and energy in the long run.
Easy to Manoeuvre
Due to their simple design and construction, they weigh much less than a traditional air compressor, so they are much better options for small-scale operations. This includes industrial jobs but also more domestic jobs too, like filling tyres and spray painting. Plus, because of this manoeuvrability, they can operate in more than one direction, making them flexible and versatile.
Efficient & Environmentally Friendly
Oil-free compressors have the ability to start quickly, no matter what the temperature, which is a lot more you can say for traditional air compressors. With no oil being used, you don’t have to wait for it to heat up! Also, there are no contaminants being released into the air with oil-free compressors, meaning it is safer for the environment.
Oil-Free Compressors from Air Power East
At Air Power East, we have a wide range of air compressors to suit your needs. We also provide other services, such as Installation, Servicing, Maintenance and Quality Testing. You can rely on us for all of your air compressor needs, so contact us today to discuss your requirements.