Using the right air compressor oil type is equally as important as the machine itself. These oils are what allow the compressor to operate smoothly and efficiently.
Since these oils will significantly reduce the friction among the different compressor components, it can result in less heat production. With lower heat, the machine will have a longer life and become energy efficient as well.
Even “oil-free” compressors still require oil. While their compression chamber does not need them, oil is still necessary for the machine’s cooling process and lubrication.
Demands for lubricants and oils continue to grow. As a result, a wide variety of lubricant and oil brands are now available in the market. While diversity is good, it can also make choosing which oil to use highly confusing.
The purpose of this guide is to help people understand how to pick the best oil to use for air compressors.
Ingersoll Rand Air Compressor Oil Types and Their Uses
Traditionally, air compressors run using non-detergent mineral oil. However, synthetic lubricants are growing in popularity these days.
The lower initial price tag which comes with mineral-based oil may seem like a good choice at first. However, the benefits of synthetic oil beat its mineral-based counterpart in the long run, especially with its slow consumption and ability to extend the compressor’s life.
Below is a quick rundown of how they differ:
- Standard (mineral) compressor oil: This oil, composed of a mineral base, is cheaper. As such, it is more volatile and evaporates quickly. Mineral oil can easily form clumps because the carbon chains are not 100% saturated with hydrogen. Therefore, we do not recommend using this type of oil for industrial use or in machines requiring continuous operation.
- Synthetic compressor oil: With a synthetic base, this type of compressor oil is of higher quality and can last longer. Apart from extending a compressor’s life, synthetic oils can also stay cooler. Since this type of oil does not contain any additives or sulfur, it will not form any buildups compared to mineral types.
A wide range of oil works well with Ingersoll Rand air compressors, accommodating the specific needs of each type of machine. The following are some of the best synthetic oils, as well as the type of industrial compressor to best use them with:
T30 Small Reciprocating Lubricant
This Ingersoll Rand All Season Select lubricant is a synthetic oil formulated to withstand a wide range of temperatures. Compared to a petroleum-based lubricant, it can perform up to four times longer. Furthermore, it helps prevent carbon buildup, increases the machine’s efficiency, and significantly reduces wear. Under normal operating conditions, we recommend lubricant change-out for every 2,000 hours of service.
Ingersoll Rand Ultra Coolant
If the goal is to achieve peak compressor performance for contact cooled rotary screw air compressors, Ingersoll Rand Ultra Coolant is the best choice. Due to its unique formation, it can improve compressor efficiency as well as provide superior cooling performance. Using this oil can also help prolong the machine’s life.
X-tend H-1F Food Grade Lubricant
For machines used in the food and beverage industries, X-tend H-1F Food Grade Lubricant is one of the best options. Designed to work together with Ingersoll Rand’s H-1F coolants, this lubricant can remarkably extend the food-grade coolant’s life for up to 8,000 hours. It is the longest possible lifespan for this particular type of food-grade coolant today.
Ultra Plus Compressor Coolant
Used primarily on aerospace technologies, the Ultra Plus Coolant is an advanced synthetic lubricant. This coolant, developed based on molecular chemistry, is best for improving the value and efficiency of Ingersoll Rand’s UP-Series rotary screw air compressors.
With this oil’s superior performance and lower maintenance costs, drain intervals can extend for up to 9,000 hours. Compared with conventional lubricants, Ultra Plus reduces friction better while significantly lowering the rates of wear.
XL-300 Air Compressor Oil
For both one and two-stage units of small reciprocating compressors, the non-synthetic XL-300 is the oil of choice. Even Ingersoll Rand recommends this for their small reciprocating compressors since it is free from additives and chemical treatments.
Techtrol Gold Centrifugal Lubricant
Compressors exposed to a wide range of operating temperatures should go with Techtrol Gold. This super-refined synthetic fluid is a centrifugal lubricant that exceedingly surpasses the life of other mineral-based oils. It can effectively protect the compressor from extreme temperature because of its high viscosity index and high-temperature characteristics.
Food Grade Oil
For those who have a rotary screw compressor, this Ingersoll Rand Food Grade oil is the best choice to enhance its performance. This oil, designed for businesses in the food and beverage industry, can help customers meet production quality while ensuring the most extended life out of the compressor.
Choose the Right Oil for Air Compressors
These synthetic oils are the preferred oil types for air compressors in an industrial setting. Utilizing the right oil for compressors, especially those for production use, is crucial. Not only will it help maintain the machine’s efficiency but also prevent breakdown early in its life.