Selecting the right air compressor for your application is critical. When choosing which air compressor will best fit your needs, ask yourself this simple question:
Can my product or application be contaminated by even a drop of oil?
- Yes – Use a 100% oil-free compressor. Do not risk your production with a compressor reliant on filters that may or may not work. Oil-free air compressors were specifically designed to run without the use of oil and eliminate the risk of contamination.
- No – Use an oil-flooded compressor. When using construction tools, oil is needed to keep the tool lubricated and helps with the process. This is exactly what they are built for!
Air compressors either use oil-free or oil-flooded technology, there is no in between. Some manufacturers create naming techniques to cover up what they cannot offer. Names like “instrument quality” and “technically oil free” sound appealing making consumers think there is no oil carryover, but it is not true.
How to spot if your air compressor is not truly oil-free:
- It has a receiver or separator tank. What is the tank separating? Oil.
- There are filters between the compressor and air outlet. What are filters for? Oil.
100% Oil-free air compressors do not need a separator tank or filters because there is absolutely no oil to separate or filter out.
Important things to know about using an oil-injected air compressor also known as IQ, Class 1, oil-flooded, technically oil-free:
- Oil forms as a liquid, aerosol or vapor in the compression chamber.
- Oil carryover can be 10x more in high ambient temperatures.
- Carbon filters are required when outlet temperature is above 70F, but may not be included on all compressors.
- Filters require regular maintenance that increase workload and costs. Does your supplier take care of this upkeep?
- Dirty filters allow more oil to pass into the system or can even collapse – When were yours last changed?
Important things to know about using 100% oil-free air compressors:
- There is no risk of oil carryover.
- There are no filters meaning less stress and more production since there is no need for regular maintenance, cleaning filters or worrying about filter failures.
- Using 100% oil-free air compressors eliminate the risk of product contamination.
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