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Can Lubricants Increase Friction?

  Lubricants like any types of greases & oils usually used to reduce the effect (heat generated when the surface move) of friction or we can say that its decrease the friction between surfaces in mutual contact rather increasing friction. A good lubricants or proper lubrication process does not only reduce friction but also it has multi functional tasks mentioned below. 1st & for most lubricants used to separate or lubricate two moving surfaces. 2nd A good lubricant or if you have selected proper lubrication process then lubricants can be a good sealant & can be used for sealing process. 3rd one of the major role of lubricants is to reduce the heat generated by two moving surfaces in mutual contact. Lubricants can act as coolant. Last but not the least Lubricating oils & greases can also protect material from different types of foreign particles, which can damage the materials like bearing, gears etc. & protects from oxidization and corrosion. To clarify how lubrica

Basics of Coolant Management

Industrial Lubricants are always a vast and interesting subject to discuss and share. Broadly Industrial Lubricants can be discussed in two verticals – one is of course Factory, Plant & Machinery [ FPM ] products like Hydraulics, Gear Oils, Compressor Oils, etc. Another is Lubricants used in processing. In the later segment, one of the most sensitive portfolios is water extendable cutting coolants used in metal processing industries. Many technical publications and in-depth experiences are shared for the maintenance of cutting coolants. However, today's effort is to address the basics of maintenance of Soluble cutting coolants either mineral based conventional high oil content products or new generation semi-synthetic products. Before going into maintenance practices let us have a quick look at the composition and chemistry of Cutting coolants. New generation cutting oils are a complex combination of Lubricity components blended with Emulsifiers, Co-emulsifiers, Corrosion Inhib

Relation Between Friction, Wear & Lubricants

(R.S) What is Friction:-   Friction is the resistance to motion and wear is the loss of material as a result of friction, contact fatigue and corrosion. Reducing friction is a key objective of lubrication, but there are many other benefits of this process. Lubricating films can help prevent corrosion by protecting the surface from water and other corrosive substances. Different Types of Friction:- Sliding Friction:-  The term sliding friction refers to the resistance created by two objects sliding against each other. This can also be called kinetic friction. Sliding friction is intended to stop an object from moving.    Rolling Friction:-  In simple words Rolling friction is the force resisting the motion when a body rolls on a surface.     Also there some more types of friction is there like Boring Friction, Mix of Sliding & Rolling Friction, Internal Friction of a deform-able body. Majorly in all types of application, we can see these types of friction & the main purpose of

Advantages or Usefulness of Proper Automatic Centralized Lubrication System

When we are in the lubrication field, then this is must to understand types of lubrication system available & the lubrication system is perfect for your application. Before going forward we need to understand what lubrication system is & why selection of proper lubrication system is important for any types of application. In today's post we will do analysis of Advantages & Disadvantages of Different Lubrication System & how to set a proper lubrication system.

What is Lubrication System:-

We have already discussed difference between Lubricating Oil is & Lubricating Grease & you can also read about how proper lubrication system can decrease friction & wear from moving surfaces in mutual contact. To understand how lubricants reduce friction & wear, you need to understand the basic relation between Frictions, Wear & Lubricants.

Types of Lubrication System:-

There are mainly two types of Lubrication system, as per the application criteria & industry wise it can vary.

  1. Manual Lubrication System
  2. Automatic / Centralized Lubrication System

Manual Lubrication System:-

Manual Lubrication – By its name, you can understand the working principle of manual lubrication system. Manual lubrication means lubrication process done by manually in a certain period as per application requirement & considering criticality of the application. To do manual lubrication, it is require a portable pump, which is obviously not a part of main machine. You need to arrange it separately for lubrication purpose. Tube is fitted with the lubrication pump, which carries the lubricant (Grease) to the friction point.

Manual Lubrication Pump

                                               Manual Lubrication Pump & Grease Filling

Automatic or centralized Lubrication System:-

Automatic lubrication system, which is also known as, centralized lubrication system used to deliver a controlled amount of lubricant in a controlled timing to different friction points when the machine is actually in running condition. As per the lubricants used, these types of centralized lubrication system can be classified in two types.

  1. Automatic Oil lubrication system. 
  2. Automatic Grease lubrication system.

Centralized Oil lubrication system usually used where components will be lubricated through lubricating oils like stationary manufacturing equipment like CNC machine (Computer Numerical Controlled Machine). Whether grease lubricating system used in wide range of machinery lubrication purpose.

Reasons for using automatic lubrication system:-

Study says that in plant maintenance lubrication cost is approx. only 3% of total cost of maintenance budget but lubrication related activities could reach up to 40% of total maintenance budget. If you need to achieve optimum, reliability & maximum benefits from Lubrication system then there are many factors need to be under consideration.

The right lubricant: -

The proper lubricants selection for proper application is vital to get maximum benefits from the lubrication system. Normally right lubricants selection can be depend on four factors of applications.

  • Speed
  • Ambience
  • Load
  • Temperature 

Right quantity: - 

Neither less quantity of grease is good nor high quantity. Increase qty of grease can increase temperature & friction inside of the bearing & can decrease the efficiency or lifetime of bearing lead to failure. Only measured lubricant qty reached to lubrication point so, no wastage of lubricants hence lubrication cost reduce.

At the right time: - 

Lubricants will be effective to reduce friction & wear, if supplied in the right timing with proper re-lubrication interval.

At the right point: -

Grease or oil should reach at the right point where friction & wear is high. If it not reaches to the friction point, then it will be no use.

With the right method: -

Whether you are using Manual or automatic lubrication system, method used for lubrication as much important as the other factors considered. As in majority of applications, centralized lubrication system is recommended but in some type of special applications, manual lubrication is more beneficial.

 Benefits of using Centralized lubrication system:-

  1. Ease of access: - All critical components of the machine can be lubricated, regardless of criticality & location. It also reduce the risks taken by the maintenance people to lubricate the unassessed components. This also ensures safe machine operation.
  2. Increase machine efficiency: - In centralized Lubrication system lubrication takes place when the machinery is in running condition causing the lubricant to be equally distributed to all the friction points and increasing the machine efficiency, overall performance, fewer breakdowns, reduced downtime & replacement costs. 
  3. Reduced energy consumption: - In centralized or automatic lubrication, system as lubricants reaches to it the friction point at right time, right qty hence due to less friction energy consumption reduced & lower overall machine operation costs. 
  4. Cleanliness: - Lubricant contamination with foreign particles effects bearing overall performance & life. Avoiding grease contamination in manual lubrication system can be a challenge for every maintenance peoples. However, through automatic lubrication system we can avoid lubricants contamination & achieve cleanliness. In automatic lubrication system, an automatic lubricator is able to supply a continuous and accurate flow of fresh and clean lubricant to the lubrication points. 
  5. Reduced Labor Cost- In manual lubrication system, labous are simply pushing a lever on a grease gun to provide lubrication to machines can be easily replaced by a machine. However, the real problem is whether you are getting the maximum benefits from your skilled maintenance peoples or not. Most probably, you will not be able to match the benefits you will get from centralized lubrication system compare to manual lubrication system.

    Centralized lubrication system can be established or improved through below mentioned process.

  • Lubrication routes can be improved continuously as per requirement.
  • Lubricant analysis program can be implemented to analysis the lubrication process.
  • By Implementing Contamination control and oil reconditioning program, we can achieve max benefits of lubrication & increase overall machine performance & life.
  • Study says, due to leakage of lubricants from application, costs huge & creates high effects on plant maintenance budget. Leakage control program must be implemented to reduce the lubricants consumption, reduce lubrication costs.

Environmental Health and Safety / Sustainability:-

Improper lubrication system or loss lubrication system can have significant effect on environment. Most of lubricants used in applications is not biodegradable & contaminates our mother nature. In addition, it depends on the disposal practices you are implementing in your plant. Overall, to reduce the environment contamination we need to establish a proper disposal method as well as need to check lowest wastage of lubricants from application while running.

While you are using automatic lubrication, system in your application does not mean that it will need no inspections & you will achieve 100% success rate & application life. To achieve highest success rate & increase the overall application performance regular checkup & improvement is necessary as per industry standard.

Setting up automatic lubrication system:-

Setting up automatic lubrication system requires a level of experience & investment. However, to get the return of investment you have to choose the right lubricant as per application criteria & need regular checkup & improvement. Currently there are different types of online monitoring devices available to increase the overall productivity & regular checkup of application & lubricants performance.

Conclusion: - 

You have to decide whether you will go for manual lubrication or automatic lubrication system for your application. If you are investing on a critical machinery to get optimum performance then it is better to install automatic lubrication system & as I have told earlier regular checkups & improvements in necessary for centralized lubrication system.


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