Oil-free air compressors offer various benefits, including affordability, low maintenance and environmental friendliness. They’re an excellent choice for businesses or individuals who use or are looking to use air compressors and want a practical, convenient option. Read on to learn about their many applications, as well as the advantages they provide over traditional oil-injected compressors.
Oil vs. Oil-Free Air Compressors
When picking a compressor for your application, you’ll need to choose between two basic options: oil-injected and oil-free. If you’re new to the world of air compressors, you may be unfamiliar with the differences.
The fundamental difference between the two lies in how the pistons — which draw in air and compress it in a storage tank — are lubricated. Oil-injected compressors, as the name implies, use oil to lubricate the pistons. In oil-free compressors, however, the cylinders are instead coated with Teflon and therefore do not need to be lubricated. These air compressors do not need oil, which eliminates the additional time and money you’d otherwise spend on procuring and applying lubrication to your machines.
Benefits of Oil-Free Compressed Air
Oil-free compressors offer several advantages over their oil-injected counterparts, including:
- Less maintenance: Traditional oil air compressor maintenance is somewhat involved. These machines require routine oil changes, which means you also have to dispose of this oil. This action costs more money and time. You also have to remove oil aerosols, for which you’ll need filtration and oil and air separator elements. With oil-free air compressors, you don’t have to do any of these tedious chores — although draining the tank completely after every use is recommended to extend the compressor’s lifespan.
- Lower cost: Oil-free compressors are also a great way to save money. They generally cost less to buy, and they also tend to last a long time, due to their relatively few components. Some models also come with regulators that allow you to use energy only when it’s needed, which helps lower fuel costs.
- Environmentally friendly: The compressor’s absence of oil is eco-friendly because the machine doesn’t release pollutants into the atmosphere. These substances can harm both the environment and your workers.
- Diminished risk of contamination: Oil contamination can lower or compromise the quality of your products, which in turn could harm your brand’s reputation — or even worse, your customers’ health. Oil-free compressors are often required in fields like food and medicine, where oil-free, clean air is essential.
- Multiple uses: Unlike oil-injected compressors, oil-free types can operate when placed in various orientations. Due to their lighter weight and smaller size, they can be easily transported and moved vertically or horizontally, depending on the task. And since they’re oil-free, you won’t have to worry about oil leaking when the compressor is tilted in different directions.
- Faster start: Oil-injected compressors require more amps to start. This means that if you were hoping to use one in a cold environment, such as a garage on a winter day, starting it could take a while. This issue is due to oil’s viscous consistency, which makes it more difficult to move when cold. If you have an oil-free compressor, though, you can start it much faster, regardless of the temperature.
In short, there are numerous advantages to using oil-free compressors. Whichever application you’re using it for, an oil-free compressor can help protect the environment and lower your operational costs. These reasons alone may be enough motivation to choose one of these machines over a traditional oil-based model.
Why Choose Oil-Free Air Compressors?
In addition to the benefits above, oil-free air compressors provide numerous advantages to the fields they’re used in. Their versatility makes them a wise first choice, no matter what your sector is. Many industries benefit from oil-free air, including:
- Pharmaceutical: In pharmaceutical and medical applications, cleanliness is critical for product performance and quality. The manufacturing process or product often dictates risk tolerances for trace contaminants like moisture or oil, and it is vital to keep these risks as low as possible. In medical manufacturing, every aspect of the process — from product drying to tablet coating — has to be reviewed, and compressed air is no exception.
- Food: Updated requirements outlined by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) reinforce the important role that cleanliness plays in avoiding product contamination in the food industry. However, as current laws aren’t specific, it is up to each manufacturer to establish their risk management guidelines and decide on acceptable levels of contamination for oil, water and other particles. Oil-free compressors can help many food manufacturers avoid oil contamination, which is one less thing to worry about.
- Electronics: When it comes to printed circuit board (PCB) cleaning and similar applications, it is critical to deliver dry, clean compressed air. Doing so helps the manufacturer protect fragile instrumentation.
- Textiles: Clean compressed air for air-jet looms and spinning machines is critical in preventing production loss and fabric staining. High air purity standards are a must for delivering oil-free, high-quality products in the textile industry.
- Natural gas: The natural gas industry calls for several high-demand applications such as fume elimination, gas transfer and vapor recovery, which benefit from compressed air.
- Dry cleaning: Dry cleaning involves processes like garment pressing and solvent processing, where oil-free compressed air is critical.
- Energy exploration: When it comes to remote energy exploration, dependable performance is vital. As oil-free compressors require little maintenance and rarely break, they are perfect for this application.
- Plastics: In plastics manufacturing, sudden air losses can bring entire operations to a halt. Once again, the dependability of oil-free air compressors makes them a good choice for this industry.
- Woodworking: Woodworking businesses such as furniture manufacturers and millwork facilities need the cost-effective operation of air compressors, and oil-free compressors are the go-to option here.
- Low-pressure uses: Oil-free compressors are considered ideal for low-pressure applications.
- Plumbing: Clean, oil-free compressors are also required to test the water pressure of piping systems.
- Painting: Without the help of air compressors, painting can be tedious. Because you surely don’t want to contaminate your paint with oil, oil-free compressors are the preferred type for this usage.
- Brewing: Air compressors are also important for brewing. Just like the food industry, brewing requires 100% clean, oil-free compressed air.
- Amusement parks: If you’ve ever been on a roller coaster, you’ve probably heard the noises of air compressors, which are crucial to ensure the safety of the ride’s passengers.
- Aerospace: From launching rockets to controlling contamination, clean compressed air has many applications in the aerospace industry.
The list goes on and on beyond these uses. If you can think of any industry, oil-free compressed air likely plays a significant role in some aspect of it.
Oil-Free Air Compressors From Quincy Compressor
If you need to use compressed air in an environment requiring 100% oil-free air, you’ll likely need to use an oil-free compressor. And when it comes to oil-free air compressors, there’s no better place to get them than from Quincy Compressor. Find an authorized dealer near you or contact us for a no-obligation quote. We look forward to meeting you and helping you with your compressed air needs!