At their simplest, lubrication reduces any unwanted friction between moving parts which helps protect them against damage from wear and use. This alone is incredibly valuable to a wide range of manufacturing and industrial applications and can save manufacturers time and stress by reducing costly downtime on your equipment. However, lubricants can also be used to protect equipment in other ways, such as minimizing corrosion over time as well as controlling temperature and contamination. That said, how lubrications work to achieve these benefits should be at the front of your mind when deciding on the lubricant best suited to your requirements.

How Lubricants Reduce Friction

Lubricants act as a friction-reducing film between moving surfaces in contact. In doing this, the two surfaces are ‘separated’ by the thin layer of lubricant as they slide against one another. By creating this barrier between pieces in motion, the chances for asperities across the parts catching onto and damaging each other is minimized, thereby reducing friction and passive resistance between moving and stationary parts.

How Lubricants Protect Against Corrosion

When not properly managed, corrosion can create pitted and irregular surfaces on equipment that can result in increased downtime and possible breakdowns. Appropriate lubrication of machinery can protect against corrosion by forming a protective film over vital parts that helps prevent damage from water, oxygen, and air during combustion which commonly leads to corrosion.

How Lubricants Control Temperature

Oil lubricants have the capability to act as a cooling system within machinery which can help avoid the risk of damage to rapidly moving parts such as bearings. Proper lubrication can dissipate and absorb a portion of the heat caused by friction, which is already reduced by the lubricant.

How Lubricants Prevent Contamination

Lubricants, especially high-viscosity grease lubricants, can create a barrier between the internal components of your machines and the external environment, minimizing outside contaminants from entering your machine. Moreover, throughout circulation within the machine, lubricants can carry contaminants that do enter into a filter or tank for them to be easily removed. However, the effectiveness and longevity of the lubricant itself can be severely hampered when it is contaminated, so the best strategy to longevity for your machinery and its lubrication systems is the prevention (and sometimes removal) of contaminants before damage can occur.

Proper lubrication of machinery is key to ensuring longevity and sustained performance, but which lubricant to use is often highly situational. This includes both oil and grease lubricants that are available in a wide variety in viscosities. EcoPoint Laboratories are specialist manufacturers of lubricants and other innovative industrial chemical products for a range of demanding industries. Get in touch today for more information on the use of industrial lubricants or to discuss the needs of your applications with our experts.