Frequently, we fall back to concepts or ideas that we are comfortable with or have more understanding of. In these cases, we don’t always utilize all the resources available to us to make advancement or just try something new.  This is sometimes true when it comes to using or evaluating lubricants for various refrigerants or refrigerant related applications. Too often we try to fit what is currently being used in existing applications into new applications instead of expanding our thinking and overall understanding.  Usually these efforts are not put forward because we are not taking advantage of all the resources available to us to make good technical decisions.

This paper will focus on the various types of lubricant chemistries available for use in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry and markets. Why some lubricants are used, while others are not used and while some lubricants are impractical. Various tools, techniques, and computer-assisted programs will be outlined that are useful when evaluating lubricant and refrigerant interaction properties.

A few key examples of refrigerants particular to current lower global warming potential reduction efforts will be investigated and what systematic approach can be used to make sure we don’t exclude potential lubricant candidates as viable options. 


Written by: Joe Karnaz (a) - Technical Director, Shrieve


  1. Introduction
  2. Refrigerant Direction
  3. Lubricant and Refrigerant Interaction
  4. Compressor Design and System Demand
    4.1. Rotary
    4.2. Reciprocating
    4.3. Scroll
    4.4. Screw
  5. Lubricant Options for Low GWP Refrigerants
    5.1. Hydrocarbon Refrigerants
    5.2. R-32
  6. Conclusions