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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. One of the most sensitive portfolios in the later segment 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 maintenance basics 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

Can Lubricants Increase Friction?


Like any greases & oils, Lubricants are usually used to reduce the effect (heat generated when the surface moves) of friction. Thus, we can say that it decreases the friction between surfaces in mutual contact rather than increasing friction. Therefore, a good lubricant or proper lubrication process reduces friction and 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 the sealing process.
  • 3rd one of the major roles of lubricants is to reduce the heat generated by two moving surfaces in mutual contact. Lubricants can act as a coolant.
  • Last but not least Lubricating oils & greases can also protect the material from different types of foreign particles, which can damage the materials like bearing, gears etc. & protects from oxidization and corrosion.

To clarify how lubricants decrease friction & reduce friction-related issues, you may expand your knowledge base by reading our article Relation between Frictions, Wear & Lubricants. Also, we have discussed the major difference between Lubricating greases & lubricating oils & how you can select industrial oils or industrial greases for different types of application lubrication processes. The whole system of friction & its different types of effects & reducing it through proper lubricants selection & lubrication process is called Tribosystem (Tribological System).

Suppose you want to know the Tribosystem of different types of industries. In that case, you can check from the Industry tab mentioned on our home page of the website & you can check the different applications lubrication process of Steel industry directly from here.

A proper Tribological system is required to increase the overall performance & application life & this results in longer life of industrial components, less energy input (Sustainability) &, finally, cost savings. To choose the right lubricants & proper lubrication process for any application, it is necessary to understand the application circumstances & influences. Suppose we need to understand the application circumstances & influences. In that case, we have to understand the Base body & Antibody material characteristics, Wear characteristics, duration, load, temperature, surface roughness, pressure, speed etc. If you have not considered all these factors before selecting lubricants, improper lubrication can increase friction effects like temperature & application failure rate.

Tribological point of view there are different types of friction are there:-

  1. Sliding Friction
  2. Rolling Friction
  3. Boring Friction
  4. Sliding & Rolling Friction

In addition, there are many effects or consequences happened due to frictions:-

  • Extreme Vibrations,
  • Heavy Noise
  • Heavy Heat Generation
  • Wear & Material Transfer
  • Geometry changes of the material due to above mentioned reasons.

To reduce different types of frictions & friction-related issues, Lubricants are coming to the picture. In the modern industry 4.0 (Smart factory) era, a couple of specialty lubricants manufacturers consider themselves specialty lubricants manufacturers. Therefore, what are the properties good lubricants should have to consider these lubricants a good or specialty lubricants as per application point of view.

Properties of lubricants

Lubricants will be considered good or high-quality & specialty lubricant if a lubricant normally possess the following properties:

  • Lubricants should have a High boiling point.
  • In addition, Lubricating Grease or Lubricating Oils should have Low freezing point.
  • The high viscosity index of any industrial lubricant is better to use high temperature or highly loaded applications. Normally Synthetic oils & synthetic greases have high viscosity index compare to mineral-based gear oils & greases.
  • Thermal stability is also one of the major criteria during the selection of a good lubricant. Thermal stability confirms that the lubricant will not lose its property if used in the high-temperature application.
  • Hydraulic stability is also considered a good property of any industrial lubricant.
  • A good lubricant should have good demulsibility properties. This is the property, which confirms that how oil will be separate from water. Oil & water is naturally separate because of their molecular property. Oil sticks with oil & water molecules stick with water. However, sometimes, the oil used in some special applications like a turbine has huge chances of mixing oil & water. That time demulsibility property appears. A good demulsibility property greases or oils will not mix with water.
  • Prevention of corrosion is most likely we all know its meaning of it is & as we have mentioned earlier in this article, lubricants should have good sealing property, by which lubricants will be able to prevent corrosion of the material.
  • High oxidation resistance is also a major criterion of good industrial lubricants.

We have already discussed the Lubricants working principle & what are properties should have in a good industrial lubricant. As a meaning of industrial lubricants, we understand Industrial Lubricating Greases or Industrial Lubricating Oils but now its turn to understand different types of lubricants available in the smart market of Industry 4.0.

Types of Lubricants available for different types of industry & applications:-

Solid Lubricants also known as dry lubricants

  • Polymers
  • Metal Solid
  • Carbon & Graphite
  • Ceramic & cermet
  • Semi solid lubricants, usually known as grease.
  • Liquid Lubricants.
  • Gas Lubricants

Solid Lubricants or Dry Lubricants:-

Dry lubricants or solid lubricants are those types of lubricants available in the smart industry of 4.0; despite being in the solid phase, they can reduce friction between two sliding surfaces sliding against each other without using any type of liquid oil medium. Two main dry lubricants are generally found in most industries: graphite and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2).


Polymers are one of the lubricants, which come under the largest group of solid lubricants. This is because they are very much suitable for application with low loads, and in addition to that, these types of lubricants have a lower thermal conductivity. Therefore, polymers and polymer-based composites are becoming preferred materials and coatings for green tribology in the modern era of sustainable lubrication because of the combination of good mechanical and tribological properties, resistance to corrosion and chemicals, reduced noise and maintenance costs. There are mainly three types of solid polymer lubricants are available.

  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE),
  • Nylon,
  • Synthetic polymers.

Metal Solid Lubricants:-

This type of Solid lubricant are critically important for the safe and smooth operations of numerous tribologic systems. This type of Metal solid lubricant is a material used as a powder or thin-film & contains lamellar solids and achieves low friction through film transfer. Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) is the most commonly used metal-solid lubricant. Some of the advantages of metal-solid lubricants are their high load-carrying capacity, good high-temperature resistance, and low friction. One of the major benefits of this type of lubricant are It can also stay stable in a vacuum up to 1000 degrees Celsius. Hence, molybdenum disulfide is also used in different types of space high-temperature applications.

Carbon & Graphite:

Graphite is one of three allotropic forms of carbon's chemical element; the other two are diamond and amorphous carbon. Graphite shows lower shearing strength under friction force. Thus, it can be used as a solid lubricant and has become a traditional and primary solid lubrication material.

In addition, carbon graphite seals are used as solid lubricants. This is because they have desirable properties such as high-temperature stability, high oxidation stability, and sustainable performance in high sliding speed applications. Furthermore, graphite as a material has low friction and can withstand moderate loads. However, suppose we use graphite as a lubricant. In that case, we need to check the temperature does not exceed 500 degrees Celsius because the lubrication performance of graphite increases with an increase in temperature. Still, after 500 degrees Celsius, the incidence of corrosion also increases.

Ceramic & Cermet:-

Ceramic and cermet can be used as a lubricant when used as coatings where a lower wear rate is more important than low friction. Ceramic or cermet coatings performance is good at high-temperature ranges of around 1000 degrees Celsius. In addition, only a 0.5mm thick coating of ceramic or cermet material can offer a low-cost way of reducing the wear of the material.

Semi solid lubricants, usually known as grease:-

Now it’s the turn of greases & These types of semi solid lubricants are the versatile lubricants usually used in almost every type of industry to reduce the friction & issues due to friction. There are different types of greases available in the market as per the application point of view. Lubricating greases are versatile lubricants because they can be used in a dry or wet environment, dusty or clean environment, or even corrosive environment.

Greases are Non-Newtonian fluids with high viscosity at low shear rates and low viscosity at high shear rates. One of the most significant properties of grease is consistency. Consistency is nothing but the relative hardness or softness of any material. Greases are non-other than lubricating oils + Thickeners + Additive packages. You can read more about the difference between Lubricating Oil & Lubricating grease here.

Liquid Lubricants:-

Different types of Lubricating oils are known as Liquid Lubricants & the most common lubricants are usually used in High temperature, High load, and high speed. Lubricating oils are normally made by adding Base Oil + Additives + Solid Lubricants. There are different types of Lubricating oils are available in the market.

  • Mineral oil
  • Synthetic Oil.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Animal oil

Mineral Oil:-

Mineral-based lubricants are extracted from crude oil. Mineral oil lubricants can differentiate as per oil properties.

  1. Paraffinic oil
  2. Naphthenic oil
  3. Multigrade oil.

Synthetic Oil:-

In addition, there are different types of Synthetic oils used in different types of applications mostly in gearbox as per the application requirement & environmental conditions.

  1. Synthetic hydrocarbon (SHC), Poly-alpha-olefin (PAO).
  2. Ester
  3. Polyglycol
  4. Silicon
  5. Perfluorinated polyether (PFPE).

As per the different service temperature, range different types of lubricating oils are used.

Vegetable Oil:-

Oil-based lubricant made from rapeseed and castor is known as vegetable oil lubricant. Vegetable oil lubricant is less stable than mineral oil lubricant at high-temperature ranges.

Animal Oil:-

Fats extracted from fish and animals are the sources of animal oil. Sometimes It is added to another type of mineral-based oil to improve the film-forming ability of the mineral oil. However, in the modern technological market, animal oils are not used for any application & not available in the market.

Gas Lubricants:-

Nitrogen gas and helium gas are used as gas lubricants where the film thickness requirement is ultra-small. The main advantages of using gas lubricants are they can be used in a very wide temperature range. Also, these types of lubricants are used where no sealing is required for lubrication. Some benefits of Gas lubricants are - very low friction due to low viscosity, no vaporization, no solidification, and no decomposition.

The major disbenefit of using gas lubricants are low load carrying capacity & require very specialist design engineer to design the applications where gas lubricants will be used.

Final Words Can Lubricants Increase Friction:-

Lubricants cannot increase friction between two moving surfaces. Still, if you have not chosen the right lubricants for the right application or if you have chosen high viscosity grease or oil in high speed & low load carrying applications, then it can increase the friction between internal molecules of the lubricants & thus, lubricant can increase the overall temperature of the application. As we have already discussed in this article, reducing the application's temperature is one of the most important criteria of a proper lubricant. Still, by choosing the wrong viscosity lubricant, Lubricants can increase the temperature, which is also a major effect of friction. Normally due to friction, temperature increases & we use lubricants to reduce temperature.

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