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The Importance of Industrial Lubricants in Machinery Maintenance


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Lubricants are essential to your equipment’s operation and performance. Without them, you risk costly breakdowns and unexpected repair bills. Industrial lubricants are oils, fluids, or greases that reduce friction between moving parts. They typically contain additives and base oil derived from mineral or vegetable oils. Some common lubricants are hydraulic, metalworking, and motor oils.

Reduce Noise

Lubricants help equipment work longer and more consistently, reducing downtime and overall maintenance costs. They also help to minimize deterioration, contamination, excessive wear, and corrosion that can lead to costly equipment breakdowns and failures. Industrial lubricant Richmond, VA creates a layer of film between the metal surfaces of moving machinery to thwart friction that can otherwise cause damage, rust, and other issues. They also cool by dissipating heat from equipment surfaces and repel moisture to prevent condensation, rust, and corrosion. Lubricants can be categorized as either greases or oils, each offering unique properties. Grease lubricants typically combine mineral or synthetic oils with thickeners, such as lithium-based soaps, molybdenum disulfide, or graphite. Oils can be based on petroleum fractions or vegetable oils and are often formulated to resist oxidation, rust, and corrosion.

Reduce Friction

The ability of lubricants to reduce friction between machine surfaces is vital for minimizing equipment wear and promoting energy efficiency. When machines experience excessive friction, more energy is required to overcome it, resulting in higher energy costs. Lubricants create a layer of film that separates contact surfaces to thwart friction, lowering energy consumption and increasing performance and life span. The microscopic surface of solid metal components may appear smooth, but they have craggy and rough surfaces with tiny peaks and valleys. When these peaks and valleys scrape together, it causes friction which robs machinery of its smooth motion and increases surface wear. Lubricants prevent friction between machine surfaces by transporting heat from contact areas and dispersing it throughout the system to lower operating temperatures. This helps protect equipment from corrosion beyond the time between oil changes.

Reduce Vibration

Lubricants form a thin layer of oil or grease between moving metal surfaces that prevents unwanted friction. This reduces the amount of heat generated during the motion and extends the lifespan of your equipment by reducing unnecessary wear and tear. Every metal surface within a machine has high points, called asperities, which can rub together and create friction. Unchecked friction generates abrasions and adhesions that can rip metal components apart and even weld or seize them together. Industrial lubricants have additives that can control the friction between two metal surfaces, such as anti-foaming agents or viscosity index improvers. They can also be formulated to be chemically stable and withstand extreme temperatures. This allows them to remain effective at higher speeds and under a more significant load, helping your machines operate smoothly throughout their lifetimes.

Reduce Corrosion

Corrosion causes equipment to break down, resulting in high repair costs and decreased productivity. Industrial lubricants protect metal parts from corrosion by shielding them from oxygen and acids. Some lubricants even have additives that can neutralize corrosive substances. Lubrication also reduces the impact of vibration on a machine by creating a buffer between moving parts. It can also decrease the heat generated by friction, which prevents overheating and keeps the components at a safe operating temperature. Using suitable industrial lubricants will maximize your machinery’s service life, increase energy efficiency, reduce maintenance costs and downtime, and improve production output. It’s crucial to keep your machines lubricated and follow a carefully constructed maintenance plan to ensure they work properly all year round.

Reduce Heat

The metal surfaces of machine components have high points, known as asperities, that cause friction when they move past each other. Lubricants reduce friction by creating a smooth, slippery film between the difficulties and absorbing heat that would otherwise cause damage to the surfaces. Lubricants also protect equipment from corrosion by shielding metal parts from abrasion and providing a barrier between the metal and other elements such as oxygen, water, and salt. This helps maintain the condition of the parts and extends their lifespan. An effective lubrication program includes well-thought-out lubricant storage, handling, and labeling plan to avoid cross-contamination and make it easy for new technicians to identify the correct lubricant for each machine quickly. It should also include a method for drawing lubricant samples to ensure the proper lubricant is used.


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