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The flow of coolant can sometimes be culprit. When cooling pump fails, or driving belt snaps there will be a lack of coolant flow. One must also find out whether valves for coolant have been accidentally closed or not.
Very often, effects build upon one another in a vicious cycle - poor heat transfer leads to more heat that carbonizes more oil which coats heat transfer surfaces more...which leads to worse heat transfer...
Therefore use oil lubricated air compressors with caution. If your air compressors have been running for a long time, chances are, your air compressor pipelines may have already accumulated a sizable amount of oil carried over together with air flow during operation.
Does your air compressor work non-stop? Is inter-cooler or after-cooler efficient? Is your compressed air hot? These are questions you have to ask yourself.
The oil film in pipes turns to carbon with heat. The oxygen-rich and moist atmosphere inside pipes can turn oil into acids that can further deteriorate oil to form other organic compounds, perhaps some highly flammable products.
It just needs a spark or a hot spot to ignite this.
Did I frighten you?
What you need is good preventive maintenance. An air compressor working at peak condition with good cooling, good lubricating pressures, and good lubricant and good parts should give trouble-free performance throughout its lifetime.
Sometimes compressor may have reached point of no return - coated coolers leading to high temperatures that lead to more coated cooling surfaces that lead to higher temperatures... In this case it is safer to discard compressor altogether and obtain an entirely new compressor unit. It could be more economical - and safer!
If you do that, do ensure that preventive maintenance is done regularly to keep unit at peak operating conditions all time.
An explosion in an air compressor can have grave consequences. Don't take any chances. Perform regular preventive maintenance or buy a new unit before an explosion occurs.
Until next time…
Locate good air compressors for your garage and workshop here: Eastwood Northern Tools
Many years of working experience in Marine, Facilities, Construction has given the author material for writing e-books and articles related to engineering, and management. Subscribe to facworld ezine More information at Marine and M & E