Just what is in Vacuum Pump Oil? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-31-2015, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Just what is in Vacuum Pump Oil?

I'm learning about vacuum pumps from the school of hard knocks. I've borrowed a vacuum pump from a friend with no owners manual and learned the hard way about over filling and other stuff like how to flush it.
I think I've got it together now, but I've gone through a lot of mess and clean up. It has me wondering just what is in Vacuum Pump Oil. Anybody know? As a result of the messes I've made, I've got a lot of oil soaked rags. Can they spontaneously combust like rags soaked with boiled linseed oil? Any insight is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-01-2016, 12:16 AM
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The main characteristics for vacuum pump oil is that it is mineral oil based and low vapor pressure. Depending on the grade it is also usually more pure than other lubricating oils. Flash point is typically over 400 F but I would assume any oil to be flammable - not sure about spontaneous combustion, though.


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post #3 of 5 Old 01-01-2016, 06:20 AM
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Its a lubricating oil so it doesnt dry like linseed oil does. No drying, no heat, no spontaneous combustion. Now, oil rags are still a fire hazard, but only in the presence of an open flame. A far as what it is, couldnt tell you. The MSDS on most indicates that it isnt toxic, would seem to me to indicate some form of mineral oil, but thats a guess

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post #4 of 5 Old 01-01-2016, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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I thought it seemed kind of like mineral oil.

Since we use mineral oil on butcher block, that got me to wondering if mineral oil was a drying oil and as such spontaneously combustible. I'll probably err on the side of safely disposing any oily rag, but I was making a lot of oily rats there for a while. Hopefully that phase of vacuum pump education is behind me now.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-01-2016, 10:43 AM
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Drying oils are unsaturated and subject to oxidation. Mineral oils usually already fully saturated.
A vacuum pump oil needs to be highly refined and with no volatile constituents.
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