Lubricants are used for a variety of purposes to include cooking, bio-medical applications, and ultrasound examinations but in the case of industrial lubricants, these are a type of substance used to improve performance in machinery and automobiles, among other things.
To gain a better understanding of industrial lubricants, we provided some common questions along with helpful answers.
How do industrial lubricants work?
In general, industrial lubricants are used to keep mechanical equipment and motors well-oiled. However, one of the primary functions is to reduce friction between surfaces that come into contact. As a result, whenever the surfaces move, generated heat is reduced. Depending on the application, industrial lubricants can also help transmit forces, heat or cool surfaces, and transport foreign particles.
What are the main types of industrial lubricant products?
A few examples include bearing grease, machine oil, silicone, graphite, water-based, dry formula, food-grade, and synthetic.
What are the standard characteristics of industrial lubricants?
High-quality industrial lubricants typically possess the following:
• Corrosion prevention
• High resistance to oxidation
• High viscosity index
• Hydraulic and thermal stability
• Low freezing and high boiling points
What is the standard formula for industrial lubricants?
Industrial lubricants are a mix of different components, each carefully balanced. Lubricants are comprised of base oils and additives that together contribute to determining both performance and duration.
What are base oils?
In simple terms, base oils represent the primary component in most industrial lubricants. Depending on the manufacturer and specific brand, they contain anywhere from 70% to 99% base oil although on average, most are around 90%. In addition, the quality of base oils is linked closely to the type of crude oil, as well as the specific process used.
Are base oils used in industrial lubricants made of different natures and if so, what are they?
Base oils can be made of different natures. These include minerals, which are a mixture of hydrocarbons that come from crude via a standard refinery process or by a hydrogenation process. Both producer and process type dictate the number of stocks and relative viscos metric characteristics. Usually, these are produced as very fluid stock, fluid stock, medium stock, and bright stock.
Another nature of base oils used in industrial lubricants is synthetic. This means all the base types were obtained using a synthetic process, either obtained by hydrogenation of olefins or oligomerization. These base oils are generally of higher quality, which is why average price can be up to ten times greater than others.
Base oils can also be a non-conventional mixture of hydrocarbons that come from petroleum stocks, using a conversion process such as forced hydrogenation phase. One addition option is refined, which is obtained through efficient and current day re-refining processes.
What are additives used in industrial lubricants?
Additives as components of industrial lubricants are organized in complex packages. When united with the base mix, the desired performance level is achieved.
What is the typical makeup of industrial lubricants?
As mentioned, most industrial lubricants are comprised of 90% base oil, which is usually petroleum fractions know more commonly as mineral oils, and under 10% additives. Sometimes, base oils include esters, fluorocarbons, hydrogenated poly-olefins, and silicones.
Additives help increase viscosity, reduce friction and wear, and are resistance to aging, contamination, oxidation, and corrosion. Many additives are used to reveal characteristics of performance to the lubricants such as:
• Anti-foaming agents
• Complexing agent
• Corrosion and rust inhibitors
• Extreme pressure
• Friction modifiers
• Metal deactivators
• Stickiness improver
• Viscosity index improvers
What are the most common types of applications that use industrial lubricants?
The most common types of applications include:
• Axle and transmission
• Bearing and circulating
• Car engine
• Heavy-duty diesel engine
• Motorcycle engine
• Power engine
What are the key functions of industrial lubricants?
The key functions are as follows:
• Prevent corrosion and/or rust
• Prevent wear
• Reduce friction
• Seal for gases
• Separate moving parts
• Transfer heat
• Transmit power
• Wash away debris and contaminants
Although there are numerous applications for industrial lubricants, motor oil is the single largest, used to protect internal combustion engines in vehicles and power equipment. Another common function of industrial lubricants includes preventing risk of fire and smoke.
What are specific key functions of industrial lubricants?
• Prevent Corrosion – Preventing corrosion is another benefit of industrial lubricants, which are usually formulated with additives that form chemical bonds with surfaces, even when insufficient lubrication is present. Industrial lubricants also eliminate moisture that causes corrosion and/or rust.
• Protect against Wear – By keeping moving parts separated, industrial lubricants prevent wear. In addition, some lubricants contain extreme pressure or anti-wear additives that boost performance against fatigue and wear.
• Reduce Friction – Typically, the use of industrial lubricants reduces overall system friction, which in turn reduces generated heat and formation of wear particles, but also helps improve efficiency.
• Seal for Gases – The clearance between moving parts is occupied by industrial lubricants by way of capillary force. This application is often used to seal shafts and pistons.
• Separate Moving Parts – Industrial lubricants keep moving parts separated within a system, which then reduces friction, as well as surface fatigue, operating noise, vibrations, and heat generation. Usually, this is accomplished by applying a thin layer of lubricant that forms a physical barrier.
• Transfer Heat – Although both liquid and gas lubricants can transfer heat, liquid is more effective because of its high specific heat capacity. While industrial lubricants are used to warm and cool, the liquid form circulates constantly to and from a cooler part of the system.
• Transmit Power – Industrial lubricants known as hydraulic fluid are used as working fluid in hydrostatic power transmissions and comprised primarily of all the lubricants made throughout the world.
• Wash Away Debris and Contaminants – Circulation systems can wash away internally generated debris, as well as external contaminations introduced into a system to a removable filter. To assist with this removal process, lubricants used for machines that generate debris and contaminants have dispersant and detergent additives added.
What are some of the best brands of industrial lubricants on the market today?
The list of trusted brands is quite lengthy but following are those experts prefer:
• Fuchs Industrial Lubricants
• HIS Engineering
• Specialty Lubricants Corporation
• Star Brite