A maintenance technician was tired of paying a high price for his screw compressor lubricant. His buddy down the road had just picked up some hydraulic oil at only $80 a pail — and he was recommending using this instead.
At first glance, the oils looked the same … what could it hurt, he reasoned, and at that price he could afford to change the lubricant two or three times more frequently and still be ahead.
Little did he know that compressor lubricants are specially formulated for screw compressor duty. Compressor lubricants have many jobs inside the compressor, taking away the heat of compression, lubricating the bearings and wearing surfaces, sealing the gap between the screws, and carrying away dirt and water before these can damage the compressors. All the while, the lubricant is mixed with large amounts or air, which contains oxygen that breaks down the lubricating properties unless inhibiters are present.
Lubricant left too long— or the wrong lubricant — can destroy a compressor. And, as you probably guessed, the maintenance technician is now shopping for a new compressor air end. His lasted only a few weeks on hydraulic fluid. He made a very bad decision.
Sad but true!