Industrial Lubricants: The Basics

Industrial Lubricants are essential to many applications from design to installation. For the most part, these lubricants are used to reduce friction between surfaces in contact with each other. However, these lubricants offer more to us in the realm of enhancing our machines’ productivity.



A quality industrial lubricant will generally carry the following characteristics: A high boiling point and low freezing point, thermal stability, demulsibility, high viscosity index, hydraulic stability, corrosion prevention, and oxidation resistance. These combined characteristics allow a multitude of applications to be performed properly and safely.

In addition, there are many different types of lubricants: Synthetic oils, biolubricants, solid lubricants, base oils, and aqueous lubricants. One of the simplest and most common forms is motor oil. Motor oil is used to protect, clean, and assist internal combustion engines.

Lubricants are generally used to lubricate moving parts in a system. This helps reduce surface fatigue, heat, operating noise, and vibrations. Alternatively, high flow systems require heat to be transferred from part to part or system-to-system. Lubricants have the ability to transfer heat from one area to another. A classic example of heat transfer is within an oil-cooled turbo charger.

More importantly, lubricants carry dirt and debris away from vital parts of a machine, seal for gases, and prevent corrosion. One of the most useful characteristics of oil is its ability to clean and protect. These abilities especially help within internal combustion systems. Lastly, lubricants can also transmit power. Hydraulic systems utilize lubricants to transmit power from one end of its system to another in order to reduce the amount of moving parts required.

Using high quality industrial lubricants can ensure a safe and productive operation; however, low quality lubricants pose a hazard to machines and the humans operating them. Low quality lubricants can cause negative effects such as: parts generating too much friction and causing smoke or fire, damage to parts, and lowered machine efficiency.

While the use of industrial lubricants is widely used globally, disposal of these products must be done properly; otherwise it may have negative effects on the environment. Due to this, there are many regulations on the disposal of lubricants. The most common issue with the disposal of these lubricants is that they can end up spilling into the ground, affecting pipelines and roadways.

From design to installation, industrial lubricants are essential to applications around the world. Industrial lubricants will only serve to assist in our machines’ productivity.