Diester Compressor Oil

Forums Air Tanks, Pumps, & Compressors Diester Compressor Oil

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    skeptic
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    I have an AV 4500 air compressor (110AC model).  Since purchasing it I have been using Powermate PX 100% Full Synthetic Air Compressor Oil (made by Sanborn).  It is an ISO 68, SAE 30W oil, without detergents or diesters.  Although I have not had any problems with my compressor on this oil, I have been looking into other options as this oil does not say anywhere that it is (or is not) specifically recommended for HPA compressors. I also saw somewhere recently that AV recommends ISO 100 oil.

    The oil I am considering switching to is Ultrachem Chemlube 501. It is a diester-based ISO 100, SAE 30 oil. It states that it is recommended for High Pressure Air Compressors and suitable for use in breathing air compressors. The latter appeals to me as I run my compressor in a very small room and would not mind breathing in less harmful air during fills.

    Is anyone running Chemlube 501 or another diester-based oil in their AV4500 or other compressor?  

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    bandg
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    I have used Chemlube since purchasing my first Tuxing and now in a Yong Heng.  Not sure specifically which Chemlube it is (not near my shop) but it was recommended when I bought the first compressor in 2017.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by bandg.
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    skeptic
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    The Chemlube gets good reviews. I read somewhere that some compressor manufacturers private label it. I was surprised that my compressor initially did not come with a more specific oil requirement given the extreme operating conditions inside an HPA compressor. I wonder if there is a significant correlation between oil type/quality and mechanical breakdowns. Have you had any issues with either the Tuxing or Yong Heng compressor ?

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    greenbastard
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    I was told by many that the best oil to use in the HPA compressors is the Royal Purple Synfilm Recip. 100. I have been using it in my own and it stays a lot cleaner between oil changes and without putting out any odors of oil at all.

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    bandg
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    The Tuxing is not currently in use.  I had a voltage problem with it but I believe it was due to using a step up transformer to run the 220v compressor off 110 outlet.  I haven't tried it on a 220 outlet but will eventually.  Before that issue it would fill my guns in just over a minute.  The 110v Yong Heng has been working well.   I recently topped off a Great White 97cf tank from 3600 to 4500 in about 20 minutes with temperature never exceeding 130 degrees.  More than adequate if it holds up.

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    crittahitta
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    i also use the royal purple in my air venturi compressor and it works great so far. It also has kept the temp down a bit which i like.

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    Humdinger
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    Filtertechs.com is an excellent online store for compressor oil and fillters at reasonable prices to fit almost every compressor.  Here's what I'd recommend for any 4500 psi compressor:   Many users rely on the poorly written manuals that recommend #46 hydraulic fluid.  Not only does it turn black quickly and gum up your piston rings, but it literally stinks the air when it heats up.   I run my compressor in a confined crawl space with no odor whatsoever using Secolube 500.  Check out the oil brands it is equivalent to.

    https://www.filtertechs.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=93_108&products_id=648  

    Since shipping is about the same it's more economical to buy a gallon and be set for many years but it also can be purchased in a quart container.

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    skeptic
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    I have noticed that a lot of people use the Royal Purple Synthetic reciprocatiing compressor oil with good results. The specifications look similar to the full synthetic oil I have been using and the Amsoil PC Series ISO100 SAE 30/40 oil that I was also looking at. However, I don't believe that any of those carry manufacturers recommendations explicitly stating they are recommended for High Pressure compressor use. On the other hand, most of the diester oils I have looked at, explicitly state they are recommended for HPA use. They also have the side benefit of being safer to breathe when using in a confined space.

    It seems logical that significant differences in tolerances, temperatures, stresses, etc., between high and low pressure compressors would warrant a different type of oil for each. Yet it is mostly the higher-end HPA compressor manufacturers (Baur, Coltri, etc.) that specify diester-based oils. Maybe it is because those compressors are typically used for breathable air. Or maybe they are engineered significantly different. Maybe it really does not matter and breathing air aside, any good full synthetic will do. Unless I can find a good reason not to use a diester-based oil in my AV4500, I think I am going to give one of them a try at the next oil change.

    Humdinger – I checked the comparison charts. Secolube 500 and Chemlube 501 are almost identical except for the vicosity. Secolube 500 is ISO 150 SAE40 vs. ISO100 SAE30 for the 501.  AV recommends ISO 100, so I would probably go with the 501. What compressor are you using the Secolube in?  

     

      

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    Humdinger
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    skeptic

    Humdinger – I checked the comparison charts. Secolube 500 and Chemlube 501 are almost identical except for the vicosity. Secolube 500 is ISO 150 SAE40 vs. ISO100 SAE30 for the 501.  AV recommends ISO 100, so I would probably go with the 501. What compressor are you using the Secolube in?  

     

      

    I've used SecoLube 500 in an Alpha Carette and in my current compressor, a Daystate LC110.  Works perfectly in both.  

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    skeptic
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    Good to hear. I am going to give the diester oil a try.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by skeptic.
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    skeptic
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    Edit: After further research and discusssion with an industrial compressor expert, I decided NOT to run Diester oil in my compressor. Diester oils have strong detergency action and less hydrolic stability than PAO based synthetic oils. Detergency is an issue because it will increase the suspension of contaminates and without sufficient oil volume and/or filtration methods, seals and other parts can be negatively impacted. Hydrolic instability can cause oil to break down in water and form carboxylic acid and other acids that can also damage machinery and rubber seals.

    Many of the higher-end compressors recommend the use of diester based oils, however, they have been engineered with their specific use in mind. In the end, when it comes to the type of oil used, I think it is best to follow your compressor manufacturers recommendations.     

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    Humdinger
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    Skeptic, it is your compressor and you should follow your own best judgement.  However, I know from first hand experience assisting a Chinese manufacturer to edit their owners manual that Chineser writers don't  translate literally to English very well.  As an example, they universally refer to what should be called a burst disk as an "explosion proof prevention" disk.   My friend has an Air Venturi and the owners manual recommends either 5-W30 motor oil  or #46 hydraulic fluid.  I've read several posts from Air Venturi owners complaining about the odor and oil mist in their garage using these lubricants.   I have more trust in companies like Bauer, Coltri, Nardi Atlantic, Alkin, etc. which recommend IS0 100 or ISO 150 compressor oil than a Chinese translator in a leaflet for a compressor that has been on the market for a couple of years.  Sadly, many buyers who want to save money on an economy priced Chinese compressor also want to economize on oil which ends up shortening the life of the compressor by quickly turning black and  breaking down.  I've read many posts about user complaints after using 46 hydraulic fluid and automotive motor oil but none specifically related to breakdowns caused by dediciated high pressure compressor oil, diester or otherwise.   The oil I use is actually a triester oil and it works  perfectly in a Daystate LC-110.

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    skeptic
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    The point is that not all oil properties are compatible with all compressor designs. I would expect and trust Bauer, Coltri, Nardi, etc., to specify the correct oil to use in their compressors. But that does not necessarily mean that that oil will work properly in all other compressors. Ester-based oils have properties that can harden rubber seals and cause other issues if the compressor was not specifically engineered to tolerate the use of that oil.

    The question is not so much whether a good dedicated compressor oil should be used – I agree there is no evidence to support otherwise. The question is whether PAO and Ester based compressor oils are interchangeable. After looking into this I believe the answer to that is, it depends on the compressor and how it was designed.

       

             

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