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How to extend the lifetime of your pneumatic tools?

From lubrication to the quality of the accessories used, many factors contribute to a pneumatic tool’s service life. There are five elements you should pay attention to in order to make the most out of your investment. 

Five considerations to help you extend the lifetime of your pneumatic tools

1. The importance of lubrication

Lubrication of the tool is important to improve the performance and lifetime of your tool. Lubricants reduce friction between sliding surfaces and increase the wear resistance of a component, helping minimize wear on crucial components, such as bearings. Pay attention to the type of lubricant you select, as differences in quality quickly translate to differences in performance. Original lubricants, such as CP Airolene Plus Tool and Rock Drill Oil, along with lubricator 1300 from Chicago Pneumatic, are designed to provide the best protection for the tool. If you use tools without built-in lubrication, ensure to use an external lubricator in order to keep all moving parts remain covered with a protective film of oil. It’s best to install the lubricator within a 4 meter range from the tool. Last but not least, always ensure there is a water separator before the lubricator, to prevent water and oil getting mixed up.

2. Focus on quality for your consumables

When selecting consumables and accessories, such as moil points, you should focus on quality. Accessories not only contribute to the life expectancy of the tool, but also its performance and, therefore, productivity. First of all, it is essential to pay attention to the material and hardness, so the components deliver the desired results without damaging the tools. For example, when working with powerful handheld equipment, heat-treated low-carbon steel is best able to provide the resistance required to prevent the bending stresses that can occur during use, enabling the tool to be used for longer.

To prevent damage to the piston, pay attention to the following examples:

1) Incorrect angle on the bushing

2) Centering point on impact surface

3) Rebar on the shank area into the bushing

4) Irregular impact surface

Maintaining the working tool on the striking surface will also help you extend the lifetime of your pneumatic tool. Make sure there is no dust, your working tool is clean and use proper lubrication whenever required.

3. Minimize the risk of water damage

A pneumatic tool is driven by compressed air. However, it is crucial to bear in mind that as a by-product of operation, the tool also produces water. The compressed air expands and cools down when it is released, creating condense at the tool exhaust. The amount depends on the ambient condition, the size of the compressor and the duration of use, but large mobile pneumatic systems, for example, can produce up to a bucket of water per shift. Unless managed carefully, the water can turn into ice particles, which can damage the tool. That is why it is essential to use a water separator and place it as far from the compressor as possible. This will help minimize the risk of water damage and corrosion and eliminate problems caused by freezing. It is also important to drain the water from the receiver tank of the compressor and to blow off any residual water in the hoses.

4. Use high quality air couplings

Manufacturers use different materials and technologies in air couplings, offering varying levels of performance and safety. Choosing tools with high-quality claw couplings can help improve their working life and reduce the cost of operation. Chicago Pneumatic’s couplings are designed to endure any wear they will be subjected to on-site. They are forged, machined, hardened, galvanized, and Chromium-plated, to provide optimal resistance to wear and shocks. Additionally, they have thinner walls compared to cast couplings, which offer less resistance to airflow, improving pressure and efficiency of operation.

5. Service is key

Regular and professional servicing is key to prolonging the service life of your tools. For best performance, only use original parts for replacing components and get the tool serviced by the manufacturer or authorized service provider: they know its design and your requirements. Chicago Pneumatic offers service plans that are tailored to your needs. Additionally, regular service reports help you stay up to date on your equipment’s status and make well-informed decisions to optimize uptime and protect production efficiency. Chicago Pneumatic also provides different service kits to ensure a longer lifetime of your tool. The service kits provide you with all the spare parts needed for most common maintenance and repair operations.

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