Lubricants are only thought of as something that makes mechanical components slippery. While that certainly is the case, it also has other crucial functions such as reducing the amount of wear and tear as a result of operation, reducing operating temperatures, reducing corrosion of metal surfaces, and keeping contaminants out of the system.
Friction is the number one reason for lubricants. Friction is the force between two objects when they make contact; the rougher the surfaces in contact are, the greater the force. While friction is necessary from time to time, there are instances when there is a need to reduce the amount of friction through lubricants. If a machine is not properly lubricated, problems related to worn-down and failing parts may arise.
Machinery is lubricated in order to reduce the resistance between moving parts and subsequently reduce the amount of heat produced. Solids have a built-in resistance to changing shape, and if a liquid such as oil is placed between two solid objects, the fluid will shift about and alter its shape as much as needed, moderating any bumps between the objects and thereby reducing the friction.
Lubricants are essential for reducing heat and wear, especially when it comes in the form of a filmy medium. Making use of the proper lubricant helps make operations more efficient and maximize the service lifetime of machinery.