Machinery Talk: The Role of Lubricants

Proper care of machinery will allow them to perform at their best and make them last beyond their average lifespans. Part of caring for machinery is ensuring adequate lubrication.

Why is lubrication important? There are moving parts in a machine that slide against each other. Remembering elementary physics, one can recall that there would be friction between these parts. The greater the friction, the more power needed to move them. Also, friction produces heat that will burn the parts or fuse them together upon reaching critical levels. Lubricants greatly reduces friction, thus preventing the above scenario as well as allowing the parts to move more smoothly.

However, it’s not enough that there is lubrication. Equipment and machinery owners must also ensure that they select the right lubricant. Each type is formulated differently depending on the application it is meant for. That’s why manufacturers separate their lubricants into different categories that signify the usage, such as aviation, car engine, turbine, motorcycle, power engine, marine, electrical, and many other highly specific applications.

Even within the same category, lubricants carry different characteristics that should be taken into account during the selection. These considerations include the type, viscosity, application method, and additives. This is a crucial step as using a lubricant with incompatible properties will have grave consequences for the machine.



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