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How to select the right compressor oil for your application

The combination of your compressed air installation, your application and the ambient conditions is unique. So to get the best performance and reliability of your installation, the right selection of compressor oil is crucial.

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May 11, 2021

The most important parameters influencing the oil life time and performance characteristics are ambient temperature, dust or air quality and humidity. These parameters are described as the ambient conditions, and allow you to classify your application into mild, demanding or extreme.

Which selection criteria to take into account?

In order to make the right selection, the operating conditions of the compressor should be known very well. Temperature, air quality and humidity  play an important role in the selection of the right oil.

Temperature

The most important parameter is temperature.
First condition to decide on, is based on the element outlet temperature or ambient temperature.  Both are expressed in different ranges. If possible, selection should be done based on element outlet temperature.  Where element outlet temperature is not available, ambient temperature gives a good indication

Air quality

Second condition to decide on, is dust contamination or air quality in the compressor room. As an example: a cement factory can be seen as a dusty environment compared to an automotive company which is expected to be a clean environment. In certain countries, the average dust levels can also be higher than the average standard. It needs to be assessed on a case by case basis

Humidity

Last condition to be decided on is the humidity, where countries with a tropical rainforest or monsoon climate are seen as humid countries. Also depending on the compressor room conditions, the intake air can have a high humidity level

Temperature

Humid

Dust

Type

Element outlet < 95°C (203°F)
or
Ambient < 30°C (86°F)

N

N

Mild

Y

N

Mild

N

Y

Mild

Y

Y

Demanding

95°C (203°F) < Element outlet < 105°C (221°F)

or
30°C (86°F) < Ambient < 40°C (104°F)

N

N

Demanding

Y

N

Demanding

N

Y

Demanding

Y

Y

Extreme

Element Outlet > 105°C (221°F)     or     Ambient > 40°C (104°F)

-

-

Extreme

Working in the Food and Beverage Industry?

See our selection of Foodgrade oils