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How does the sediment in the air compressor form?

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Author : Runningway
Update time : 2021-09-03 16:38:34
Air compressor users are often troubled by deposits such as carbon deposits in oil sludge. These harmful substances can affect the operating efficiency of the air compressor, increase maintenance costs, and cause serious accidents such as shutdown and explosion. So, how does the air compressor deposits occur? First of all, we must first understand how these sediments are composed, which are generally formed by a mixture of dust, paint film, sludge, coking, and carbon deposits in the suction environment of an air compressor.

During the long-term continuous operation of the air compressor, impurities, moisture and other components in the air easily enter the air compressor oil, which is an external source of pollution from sediments. The main component of conventional air compressor oil on the market is hydrocarbons. Air compressors often operate under high temperature and high pressure conditions. With oxygen, moisture, and metal catalysis, the air compressor oil will undergo oxidation reactions, resulting in oil products. Deteriorate and generate internal oxides.

The higher the air compressor oil's exposure to high temperature and oxygen intensity, the more intense the oxidation reaction will occur. Peroxides and hydroperoxides undergo aldol condensation to form aggregates or polymers, which are further oxidized to highly hydrocarbon oxides, commonly referred to as oxides. These oxides are usually very viscous and easily form deposits on the nose, oil circuit, and shell. Common deposits include paint film, sludge, coking and carbon deposits.

Paint film is a sticky film formed by resin separation and dehydration and/or polymerization on a hot surface. This deposit is not very serious, just a thin film. Paint film is a derivative product of lubricant. When the temperature of the air compressor components is low, the deposits produced are sludge. The sludge can be soft or slightly hard in consistency. If the working conditions are mild, the produced sludge may be soft. This type of sludge is called low-temperature sludge, and they appear when the ambient temperature is lower than 95°C. High-temperature sludge appears when the ambient temperature is higher than 120°C and has a greater consistency.

When the oxidation of oil is intensified to a certain extent, a large amount of polymer and jelly will gather together to form the so-called coking. At this time, the abrasion of the air compressor causes metal wear debris to enter the oil. These metal ions are natural catalysts for the oxidation reaction and accelerate coking. Coking is also a kind of sediment, which may contain oil, water, resin (similar to paint film) and solid contaminants.

Different types of air compressor oil have different coking tendencies. After removing the cause of the compressor mechanical failure, the quality of the air compressor oil directly determines the coking tendency of the air compressor. Carbon deposition is a more stubborn hazardous substance than coking. Under the repeated action of high temperature and high pressure, the colloidal substance produced by oxidation interacts with oxygen, dust, impurities, etc. in the compressed air to become pitch-like and further carbonized to form carbon deposits.
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