Compressor Oil



Compressor Oil

Premium Quality Lubricants for Air Compressors

Compressor Oil has been formulated from highly refined paraffinic base oils and high performance additives to provide outstanding lubrication in a variety of rotary and reciprocating air compressors.


All ISO viscosity grades are formulated with outstanding oxidation performance, wear protection, resistance to rust and corrosion, rapid water separation and foam control.


Compressors are an integral part of almost every manufacturing facility. Commonly referred to as the heart of any air or gas system, these assets require special attention, particularly their lubrication.


To comprehend the vital role lubrication plays in compressors, you must first understand their function as well as the effects of the system on the lubricant, which lubricant to select and what oil analysis tests should be performed.





Features and Benefits

Compressor Oil is designed to provide long service life in most compressor applications. The thermal stability and oxidation resistance of these fluids can help to maintain cleaner compressors, thereby enabling longer running periods between scheduled maintenance and oil changes. The outstanding anti-wear and corrosion protection are designed to enhance equipment life, while reducing maintenance requirements.



Advantages and Potential Benefits

Outstanding resistance to oxidation and thermal degradation

Reduced deposits and coking, extended service life with the potential for reduced maintenance

Potent anti-wear protection

Can help reduce compressor component wear and thereby reduce maintenance requirements

Excellent rust and corrosion protection

Internal components are protected from surface degradation, thereby extending component life

Rapid release of foam and air release control

Rapid release of foam and air, protecting components from aeration and cavitation damage, leading to reduced wear

Rapid water separation from the oil

Less carryover to downstream equipment.
Reduced sludge formation in crankcases, discharge lines, coalescers, and coolers



  • Compressor Oil 68 is suitable for use in rotary vane and screw compressors.
  • Compressor 68, 122 and 220 are effective as "once-through" lubrication of reciprocating compressor cylinders as well as crankcases and some types of rotary compressors.
  • Recommended for Vacuum pumps and as R&O lubricants in other industrial oil applications
  • Compressor Oil is not recommended for breathing air or oxygen compression
  • In severe service applications, where equipment is subject to higher operating temperatures, subject to excessive deposits varnish and shortened service life.
  • Follow the compressor manufacturers recommendations for lubricant selection
  • For gases other than air or natural gas and for specific compressor lubricant recommendations, please your Imperial Oil representative.


Typical Properties

Compressor Oil




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Health and Safety

The products described on this data sheet are manufactured from high quality petroleum base stocks, carefully blended with selected additives. As with all petroleum products, good personal hygiene and careful handling should always be practiced.

Avoid prolonged contact to skin, splashing into the eyes, ingestion or vapor inhalation. Please refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet for further information.

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Compressor Types and Functions

Many different compressor types are available, but their primary role is almost always the same. Compressors are designed to intensify the pressure of a gas by reducing its overall volume. In simplified terms, one can think of a compressor as a gas-like pump. The functionality is basically the same, with the main difference being that a compressor reduces volume and moves gas through a system, while a pump simply pressurizes and transports liquid through a system.

Compressors can be divided into two general categories: positive displacement and dynamic. Rotary, diaphragm and reciprocating compressors fall under the positive-displacement classification.

Rotary compressors function by forcing gases into smaller spaces through screws, lobes or vanes, while diaphragm compressors work by compressing gas through the movement of a membrane. Reciprocating compressors compress gas through a piston or series of pistons driven by a crankshaft.

Centrifugal, mixed-flow and axial compressors are in the dynamic category. A centrifugal compressor functions by compressing gas using a rotating disk in a formed housing. A mixed-flow compressor works similar to a centrifugal compressor but drives flow axially rather than radially. Axial compressors create compression through a series of airfoils.

A compressor is a mechanical device that increases the pressure of a gas by reducing its volume. An air compressor is a specific type of gas compressor.

Compressors are similar to pumps : both increase the pressure on a fluid and both can transport the fluid through a pipe. As gases are compressible, the compressor also reduces the volume of a gas. Liquids are relatively incompressible; while some can be compressed, the main action of a pump is to pressurize and transport liquids.

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Lubricant Selection

Ensuring you have the proper lubricant will be critical in the health of the compressor. The first step is to reference the recommendations from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Compressor lubricant viscosities and the internal components being lubricated can vary greatly based on the type of compressor. The manufacturer’s suggestions can provide a good starting point.

Next, consider the gas being compressed, as it can significantly affect the lubricant. Air compression may lead to issues with elevated lubricant temperatures. Hydrocarbon gases tend to dissolve lubricants and, in turn, gradually lower the viscosity.

Chemically inert gases such as carbon dioxide and ammonia may react with the lubricant and decrease the viscosity as well as create soaps in the system. Chemically active gases like oxygen, chlorine, sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide can form tacky deposits or become extremely corrosive when too much moisture is in the lubricant.

You should also take into account the environment to which the compressor lubricant is subjected. This may include the ambient temperature, operating temperature, surrounding airborne contaminants, whether the compressor is inside and covered or outside and exposed to inclement weather, as well as the industry in which it is employed.

Compressors frequently use synthetic lubricants based on the OEM’s recommendation. Equipment manufacturers often require the use of their branded lubricants as a condition of the warranty. In these cases, you may want to wait until after the warranty period has expired to make a lubricant change.

If your application currently utilizes a mineral-based lubricant, switching to a synthetic must be justified, as this often will be more expensive. Of course, if your oil analysis reports are indicating specific concerns, a synthetic lubricant can be a good option. However, be sure you are not just addressing the symptoms of a problem but rather resolving the root causes in the system.

Which synthetic lubricants make the most sense in a compressor application? Typically, polyalkylene glycols (PAGs), polyalphaolefins (POAs), some diesters and polyolesters are used. Which of these synthetics to choose will depend on the lubricant you are switching from as well as the application.

Featuring oxidation resistance and a long life, polyalphaolefins generally are a suitable replacement for mineral oils. Non-water-soluble polyalkylene glycols offer good solubility to help keep compressors clean. Some esters have even better solubility than PAGs but can struggle with excessive moisture in the system