The Traits Of The New Lubricant In R-410a Systems

With the ban of the of refrigerant R- 22 (chlorine-based refrigerants) and phasing in new hydro fluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, the need for a new lubricating oil for the compressor has also cropped up. These lubricants must be reliable and efficient as the mineral oil used with old refrigerants. The synthetic polyester (POE) oils meet this requirement and are used with all R-410A systems. They belong to the family of synthetic lubricants. However, you need to understand this new lubricant perfectly to use it in your system. Improper handling can cause precipitate system failure. POE oils must be handled differently than mineral oil.

Here are some of the characteristics of POE oils-

• They are completely wax-free unlike mineral oils.

• They also offer better thermal stability, and are more compatible with HFC refrigerants than mineral oils.

• POE oils are also highly biodegradable.

• POEs can withstand a wide temperature range. They provide maximum protection and lubrication at higher compressor temperatures.

• These lubricants contain no extra anti-wear additives.

• They are compatible with existing mineral oil and alkyd benzene lubricants; this makes them suitable for retrofit projects.

• POE oils are available in various types and grades. There will be variation in lubricity, viscosity, miscibility with refrigerants, additive packages, pour point, and moisture content. Therefore it is always recommended to check the specifications of the compressor manufacturer about the type of POE oil required.

• POE oils have hygroscopic properties. When they come into contact with air they will absorb moisture more quickly than mineral oil. As a result using this oil lead to permeation of moisture in the system which will in-turn result in acidic build-ups. So sealed cans of POE oils should be opened by the technician only when they will be actually used.

• To avoid downstream system concerns, POE oils should also be stored properly in their original container. Avoid keeping them in plastic container as some of these are permeable to moisture. The compressor system should always be kept closed unless work is being done on it.

• It is safe to use high quality filter driers in any new system that is being lubricated with POEs. These will remove moisture circulating through the refrigeration system and thereby affecting the expansion valve, evaporator, compressor, or oil.




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