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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 lubri

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

Lubricating Oils Vs Lubricating Greases | What to Choose & Why?

Basics of Friction, Wear & Lubricants Tribology, Tribosystem & Lubrication. In both articles, we have shared What friction & benefits is & dis-benefits of friction & also we have shared how you can reduce the harmful effects of friction by using lubrication.

We already know about the Lubricating Oils. Now we are discussing about the lubricating greases.

Lubricating Grease: - 

Lubricating greases are used to lubricate mechanical systems & tools that cannot be automatically supplied with oil. Greases are applied to mechanisms that can be lubricated infrequently and where a lubricating oil would not stay in position. They also act as sealants to prevent water ingress.

Lubricating Oil = Base Oil + Additive + Solid Lubricants.

Lubricating Grease = Base Oil + Additive + Solid Lubricants + THICKENER

Lubricating Grease

What is the difference between oil and grease?

Oil and grease are two very familiar terms, but most people aren't clear on precisely the difference is… unless they happen to work in lubrication, that is! There are some situations where oil is the better choice and some when grease works better. We will also discuss why in some situations or some applications, grease is a better choice & why in some situations or some applications, oil is a better choice for lubrication purposes. So, what is the difference between oil and grease? Very simply:

  • Greases are usually oils with thickener added.

  • At room temperature, greases are usually solid, while oils are usually liquid.

  • All oils can be turned into greases, but not all greases come from oils.
  • Greases are typically only used on machinery, tools, or equipment, while oils have many other non-industrial uses.

  • Greases ( mostly) are of Thixotropic Structure (Thixotropy is a time-dependent shear thinning property. Certain gels or thick or viscous fluids under static conditions will flow (become thinner, less viscous) over time when shaken, agitated, shear-stressed, or otherwise stressed (time-dependent viscosity); oils are not. All oils and fluids are Newtonian Fluids (A Newtonian fluid's viscosity remains constant, no matter the amount of shear applied for a constant temperature.. These fluids have a linear relationship between viscosity and shear stress), but greases are generally non-Newtonian Fluids.

So, now we have understood that the main difference between Lubricating Oils & Lubricating Grease is THICKENER. In Lubricating Oil, there is no thickener added, but Greases are usually oils with thickener added.


A thickener is a thickening agent is a substance that can increase the consistency of a liquid without substantially changing its other properties. Thickeners are used in the lubricating industry. Edible thickeners are commonly used to thicken sauces, soups, and puddings without altering their taste; thickeners are also used in paints inks, explosives, and cosmetics.

Tasks of Thickener: -

Thickens the Oil.
Control the release.
Seals the friction point.
Protects against moisture & Dust.

Types of Thickeners: -

1.    Soaps

2.    Non Soaps

Soap thickened greases consist of simple, mixed and complex soaps.

Non-soaps Thickeners: - 

These include organic & inorganic substances. The main non soap thickeners used in the manufacturing of lubricating greases are: - Bentonite, Polyureas & Plastics (PTFE).

Table of Different Types of Grease Thickeners & their characteristics: -

Types of Thickener & their characteristics
Types of Thickener & their characteristics

Grease Compatibility: -

When discussing different thickeners, which converts a lubricating oil into greases, we must understand the grease compatibility because the decision to make a lubricant change within a machine should always be carefully evaluated. It is essential to be cautious when switching from one lubricant type to another lubricant type. Due to grease’s fundamental properties, it can be challenging to remove all of the old greases before introducing new grease to the application; because of this challenge, the decision to use a new grease in an application must be managed with grease compatibility in mind.

Grease Compatibility Chart
Grease Compatibility Chart

B = Borderline C = Compatible I = Incompatible

Note: This chart is a general guide to grease compatibility. Specific properties of greases can dictate suitability for use. Testing should be conducted to determine if greases are compatible.

Compatibility of grease mixtures is typically categorized as given below:

  • Compatible – The properties of the mixture are similar to those of the individual grease.
  • Incompatible – The properties of the mixture are significantly different than those of the individual greases.
  • Borderline – The properties of the mixture may or may not be acceptable, depending on the nature of the application.

Greases are considered to be compatible if the below mentioned conditions are met:

  • The dropping point of the mixture is not significantly lower than that of the individual greases.
  • The mechanical stability of the mixture is within the range of consistency of the individual greases.
  • The change in consistency of the mixture in elevated temperature is within the range of the change in consistency of the individual greases.

 Conducting and non conducting lubricating oils:-

Here we have tried shared the basic about difference Lubricating Oils & Lubricating Greases in simplest way. In our next article we will share different types of Additives used in any lubricating oil or greases, the role of Additives & why Additives are soo important.

NOW, what type of greases are you using in which type of applications & why? Let me know me in comments.

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