Lubricating different parts of a machine is quite an easy task. That’s why many companies assign duties to apprentice employees. However, apart from oil and grease, how many other industrial lubricants do you know of?
Having a broad understanding of the different forms of lubricants is essential to minimizing mistakes. It helps you distinguish when to use a friction lubricant and use a film lubricant, for instance. Wrong application of lubricants will have adverse effects on your machinery.
Below are some of the common lubricants that you will encounter.
Oil is a common industrial lubricant that is derived from plants. It comes in the form of a thin liquid, with each grade having a different weight number. The weight number refers to how viscous the oil is.
A low weight number indicates that the oil is thinner. Oil is great for applying on machine hinges, sharpening different blades, and general tool maintenance. It also comes in handy when you want to lubricate a machine without tearing it apart.
Always make sure to clean and dry parts before applying oil to them. Dirt causes the oil to gum up or drip faster since it lowers the viscosity. Wet surfaces accelerate the rate at which the oil washes away.
2. Grease Industrial Lubricants
Grease is a combination of oil, thickeners, and other lubricants such as Teflon. It has similar properties to the oil, although it is better at adhering to surfaces. This is due to its texture and sticky nature.
It would help if you chose grease over oil when you want the lubrication to last longer. Grease is an excellent sealant so use it whenever you want to prevent dust or water droplets from penetrating a machine. If your specialty is in gas valves, head over to rsclare.com for expert advice on the right lubricants to use.
3. Film Lubricants
If you have a coating system, then the film lubricant should be your best friend. This lubricant is capable of protecting the system from corrosion and contamination. Besides, they cool your system by absorbing and assisting in heat transfer for dissipation.
The two primary forms of this lubricant are elastohydrodynamic and hydrodynamic. Use the former when you are dealing with surfaces that move in a rolling motion. The latter is better for surfaces that move in a sliding motion.
4. Dry Lubricant
What should you do when you can’t apply grease or oil to machine parts? Go for the dry lubricant. Dry lubricants come in the form of a spray that’s a mixture of alcohol and other solvents.
The constituents of this lubricant are very slippery at the molecular level. They evaporate but leave behind a thin film when you spray them over surfaces. The film is efficient at removing dust particles and reducing friction.
You’ll Never Go Wrong When You Know What to Use
The key to extending the life of your machine is frequent maintenance. However, you’ll achieve the opposite results when you use the wrong tools for maintenance. It’s therefore essential that you familiarize yourself with the different types and applications of industrial lubricants.
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