What are the best practices for air motor maintenance?
The most important maintenance step is to ensure the air motor is well lubricated, using products specifically adapted to the needs of pneumatic motors.
Lubrication in the air helps to protect the blades, while the grease inside the gear box protects the gears. You will need to check, and potentially replace, the blades after approximately 1,000 to 2,000 hours of use, and add more grease to the gear box after about 1,000 hours.
Regularly check the filters and replace them if necessary. They are not expensive, so it’s always better to change the filters as required rather than risk damage to the inside of the motor from dust or hard particles.
The blades inside lubrication-free pneumatic motors should be checked after around 80 hours of use.
If the air motor is used only sporadically, put in place a system that ensures it is run regularly for at least two to three minutes with maximum lubrication. Think of a car left unused for days and weeks on end – it’s unlikely to start first time (or second, or third) when the owner finally needs to use it again!
If you are operating machines in a tropical area where humidity levels are high, the motor will require additional lubrication (especially before it is stored away) in order to prevent possible corrosion inside from the damp conditions.
When using an air motor in very low temperatures, as well as ensuring the oil lubricator doesn’t freeze, you need to watch that the additional cold generated by the motor (as the air inside expands) doesn’t further reduce the external temperature causing any humidity in the air to freeze and effectively block the exhaust.
An important check when using stainless steel air motors under water is to regularly verify that the seal around the exhaust is totally waterproof. Even a very small leak of water inside the motor will translate into zero performance!