Lubricon Industries Q&A Section.

  1. Long life – oxidation resistance
  2. Low volatility – low varnishing and carbon build-up
  3. High temperature performance – resistance to oxidation – high viscosity index maintains viscosity – comtinues to be present and perform
  4. Low temperature performance – high viscosity index maintains fluidity – naturally low pour points – lower torque required on start-up
  5. Superior natural film strength – naturally high viscosity index – high resistance to viscosity loss due to shearing
  6. Better heat transfer characteristics – cooler systems

Click here to download a table comparing specific characteristics of synthetics to mineral oils (pdf format).


  1. Other lubricants or “performance additives” – Ultrachem synthetic compressor oils are in themselves fully formulated products and do not require any graphite, molybdenum, teflon, viscosity improvers or other type of additive to perform the way they were intended. In fact, additives or other lubricants can cause premature oil failure or breakdown.
  2. Airborne dust or particulate matter – examples of this include chicken feathers, cement dust, tobacco dust, etc. If these conditions exist, proper air intake filtration must be maintained. Excessive amounts make it necessary to change oil and filters more frequently.
  3. Solvent fumes – including ammonia, ink solvents, chlorinated degreasers, plastic molding fumes, etc. These can shorten oil life considerably.
  4. Strong oxidizers – various acids, chlorine, ozone, burnt fuel from forklifts, boilers or aircraft, welding fumes, etc.


Petroleum oils may begin to varnish at 180-190 °F. Ultrachem synthetic compressor oils are designed and manufactured to withstand a much wider temperature ranged. However, heat is still an important factor to consider.

It is best to keep the compressor as cool as possible to allow for optimum oil change intervals. High heat will reduce the time available between oil change intervals for both petroleum and synthetic oils.

This depends on several factors, including application, cleanliness of air intake, base fluid of the oil, etc.

We have predicted operating life of various compressor oils based on good operating conditions. Generally, they are:

  1. 2000 hours for food grade USDA H-1 PAO oils.
  2. 6000 hours for polyalphaolefin (PAO).
  3. 8000 hours for diester oils.
  4. 8000 hours for polyglycol/ester base oils.

As temperatures increase, the oil life is drastically decreased, especially above 210 °F. Some typical numbers are:

Temperature Diester PAO FG PAO
185-195°F 8000 hours 6000 hours 2000 hours
195-205°F 8000 hours 4500 hours 1750 hours
210°F 6000 hours 3000 hours 1250 hours
220°F 4000 hours 1500 hours 650 hours
230°F 2000 hours 750 hours 400 hours

These figures are non-specific and other factors such as contaminants must be considered.

We recommend that a full system flush be performed whenever switching to a compressor oil that has a different base fluid. However, it is not always necessary.


  • PAO’s, Partial Synthetics & Mineral Oil <-> Polyglycol Coolants
  • Mineral Oil -> Any synthetic

No Flush:

  • PAO’s & Partial Synthetics* <-> Diester’s & Polyol/Ester
  • Diester’s & Polyol/Ester <-> Polyglycol Coolants
  • PAO’s and Esters -> Mineral Oil
* These oils can varnish at high temperatures. If this occurs, a diester flush should be included in the change-out procedure.

Flushing procedure for clean machines currently using:

Mineral Oils:

Completely drain compressor when hot – detach lines and drain as well. Reattach lines and fill compressor with Ultraclean and run until unit reaches normal operating temperature. Drain Ultraclean from unit and change filters and separators. Fill compressor with new change of oil.

Polyglycols or Silicone:

Drain the compressor completely as above. Fill with Ultraclean and run for 200-300 hours. Drain Ultraclean from unit and change filters and separators. Be sure to remove as much oil from the air compressor and the lines as possible. Fill the compressor with a new change of oil.

Flushing procedure for medium varnished compressors currently using mineral oils, PAO’s or diesters:

Drain compressor completely while hot as above. Change the oil filter and fill with Ultraclean and run unit for 500 hours. Watch the oil filter to make sure varnish is not plugging up the filter. Drain compressor completely and inspect the oil filter and the used change of Ultraclean. If the filter and cleaner are still dirty, repeat from the beginning. Continue with this procedure until the oil filter and cleaner are clean. If it is clean, replace the filters and separator elements and fill compressor with a new change of synthetic oil.

If a machine is extremely varnished, the machine should not be put back into service until it has been mechanically or chemically cleaned.

Ultraclean was developed from ingredients that are over 90% biodegradable as measured by the European CEC-L-33T82 biodegradability test. Consult local and/or federal authorities for proper disposal procedures.

What Oil Sample Analysis Tells You

  • When there is wear or dirt
  • When the oil viscosity increases
  • If there is water present
  • The level of oxidation
  • If there is contamination
  • If the oil will get its full life expectancy

What Oil Sample Analysis Does Not Tell You

  • Exactly how many hours until an oil change is required

Proper Usage

  • Take oil samples at half the life expectancy and again 1000 hours before the recommended change.
  • Retain analysis results for each unit and compare over time to check for increases in wear or reductions in oil life.

How to Determine Oil Condition


  • A significant increase in viscosity can indicate oil failure
  • A synthetic oil’s viscosity does not increase as much as a petroleum oil’s viscosity does as it oxidizes
  • Diester and coolant lubricants’ viscosities do not tend to increase significantly with oxidation

Total Acid number (TAN)

  • Measures acid level of oil
  • Best method of determining oil condition

What the Results Mean

Wear metals & dirt (silicone)

  • Iron, Lead, Tin, Aluminium, Nickel
  • 0-20 ppm – negligible – disregard
  • 20-50 ppm – minor – monitor
  • 50 + ppm – major – change oil

Total Acid Number (TAN)

  • 0-0.5 – negligible – disregard
  • 0.5-1.5 – minor – normal operation
  • 1.5-max. limit – oil oxidizing more rapidly – monitor
  • Max. Limits: Petroleum – 1.0; Partial Synthetics – 1.0; Diesters – 3.0; Food Grade – 1.5; PAO’s – 2.0; Coolants – 3.0

Viscosity (cSt @ 40°C)

  • Should be within 15% of ISO Viscosity Grade

Chain lubricants must perform six main functions to be effective:

  1. Protect moving parts against wear.
  2. Cushion impact loads.
  3. Dissipate any heat that the chain generates or is exposed to.
  4. Flush away foreign materials.
  5. Lubricate the chain-sprocket contact surfaces.
  6. Retard rust and corrosion.

There are a wide variety of chain lubricants available to meet the requirements of the various applications of chain drives in industry. Click here to download a General Selection Guide which indicates some recommendations for the conditions shown. These lubricants will cover the majority of applications. Where other conditions may exist or operations are more critical a specific recommendation can be determined through consultation with Lubricon at 1-800-463-5823 (LUBE).

Parts Washing:

Green 4 Kleen can be used in a hot or cold degreasing tank. When cleaning heavy grease, oil or dirt, the best results are achieved when heat and agitation is involved. In this application you will usually use 1 part Green 4 Kleen to 8 or 16 parts water (8-16 oz. to 1 gal.). In high pressure sprayers use a ratio of 1 part Green 4 Kleen to 64 or 128 parts water (1-2 oz. to 1 gal.). This is adequate for removing grease, oil, mildew, and other contaminants.

Concrete Floors:

For floors that have heavy grease/oil build-up, use 1 part Green 4 Kleen to 16 or 32 parts water (4-8 oz. to 1 gal.) in a scrubbing machine for the first couple of applications. Green 4 Kleen will continuously pull the grease and oil from inside the pores of the concrete. Afterwards, use 1 part Green 4 Kleen to 64 parts water (2 oz. to 1 gal.) to maintain the floors.

Note: For best results, allow Green 4 Kleen to soak for approximately 3 minutes and agitate with a scrub brush before rinsing away.

Mop Applications:

Use 4 oz. of Green 4 Kleen per 1 gal. water.

Note: Re-mopping with clear water will give best results.

Carpet Shampoo:

Use 2 to 4 oz. Green 4 Kleen per 1 gal. water.

Note: A spray and vacuum type machine gives best results.

General Cleaning:

Use 1 part Green 4 Kleen to 16 parts water (8 oz. to 1 gal.). Strengthen or dilute as necessary.

Click here to download a Viscosity Cross-reference Chart (pdf format)

Scroll to Top