Flooding Fluid

The fluid used in the compressor is normally a petroleum based lubricating oil, but this is not universal. Factors to consider when selecting the lubricant include the following:

1. Oxidation

2. Condensation

3. Viscosity

4. Outgassing in the inlet

5. Foaming

6. Separation performance

7. Chemical reaction

Some of the problems can be solved with specially selected oil grades. Another solution is synthetic oils, but cost is a problem particularly with silicone oils. Alternatives must be reviewed to match service life of the lubricant with lubrication requirements in the compressor.

For chemical service, some lubrication qualities may be sacrificed in order to obtain a fluid compatible with the process gas. In these applications, alternate bearing materials such as graphite or silver have been required. While the requirements may make the operation somewhat special and require considerable care, the life of the compressor and service can be greatly improved.

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