The general mechanism of an air compressor is a piston or rotary Water Lubricated Air Compressor component (e.g. rotary screw or vane) that draws in air, which is compressed into a storage tank. Naturally, since the piston or rotary component needs to move consistently and smoothly because of this to function, it generally needs to be lubricated.

In a lubricated air compressor, there is lubricating oil which keeps the piston or rotary element running well without damaging the system. The lubricant also really helps to dissipate high temperature and keep maintaining air compression efficiency.

Oil-totally free air compressors also use a piston or rotary element, but they bypass the lubrication problem by coating the compression element with a pre-lubricating material like Teflon. Some oil-free compressors may also use water instead of essential oil for the lubricating and cooling procedure. These alternate materials secure the pump and allow the mechanism to move smoothly without the need for any oil-based or synthetic lubrication.