What is an oil and water separator? What does it do and why does your Mansfield air compressor need one? Here’s our guide.
Unless yours is an oil-free air compressor (typically used in pharmaceutical, food and beverage production), your compressor will use oil as a lubricant.
Why does my air compressor use oil?
Oil is an important element in most air compressors. It helps protect against wear, ensuring your compressor stays trouble-free for longer.
Why is there water in my air compressor?
Compression is the act of squeezing air molecules together and forcing them at speed down the airlines to your tools. That creates friction, which in turn creates heat. As heated air cools (as it will in certain parts of your compressed air system) it condenses, leaving water behind.
Disadvantages of oil and water in an air compressor
If you’re using an oil cooled air compressor, as most businesses do, then you simply can’t avoid water or oil vapour. They are natural by-products of the compression process.
• But too much water in the system can cause rust and wear, reducing the life of the compressor.
• Oil and water vapour can find their way to the air tools and can contaminate sensitive production processes such as paint spraying.
• Filtration removes oil and water, but condensate regulations mean you cannot simply empty the filtered condensate into drains. The oil and water need separating first.
What is an oil/water separator and how does it work?
As the name suggests, a separator separates the oil from the water, ensuring that you only release treated water into foul drains. The separator is effectively a tank which collects about 85% of the oil in your Mansfield compressed air system via centrifugal force, where it can drop into the separator collector. The remaining oil is caught by the separator filter or filter bag, where fine oil mist gathers as larger droplets which then fall into the separator. The remaining water is now clean and can be discharged to drains.
Our separators are available to buy independently as one-off purchases, or as part of a broader compressed air installation package.
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