Compressor Lubrication Tips - Conversion to Synthetics PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maintenance Technology International inc.   
Saturday, 12 June 2010 10:55
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Conversion to Synthetics
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Conversion To Synthetics

There are two very important considerations when converting any compressor system to synthetic lubricants. The first is that some synthetics will dissolve mineral base oil deposits and a viscous tar-like substance may develop, plugging piping, valves, intercoolers and heat exchangers. Conversion to synthetics therefore may require a complete flushing and cleaning of the entire system before installing the new fluid. Diester fluids in particular have excellent solvency and are frequently used as flushing fluids.

Secondly, all synthetic fluids may not be compatible with all seals or sealing materials. It is also necessary to determine if the synthetic fluid being considered is compatible with machine coatings or paints often found on the inside surfaces of reservoirs or other components. In general, polyglycols, diesters, polyalphaolefins and alkylated aromatics are compatible with the following seal materials.

  • Viton
  • Thiokol 3060
  • Kalrez
  • Polysulphide
  • Butyl k53
  • Mylar
  • Buna N
  • Polypropylene
  • Neoprene
  • Nylon elastomers
  • EPDM
  • Teflon
  • Polyethylene
  • Acrylonitrile-Butadiene

One exception is diester fluid, which is not compatible with neoprene or "low nitrile content" Buna N. Another exception is polyalphaolefins, which are not compatible with EPDM seal materials.

Where any question or concern exists when selecting synthetic fluids, always confirm your decision by consulting the equipment manufacturer and lubricant supplier.

written by Maintenance Technology International inc.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 June 2010 11:07