Relation Between Friction, Wear & Lubricants


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.

Sliding Friction

Rolling Friction

In simple words Rolling friction is the force resisting the motion when a body rolls on a surface.

Rolling Friction

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 using lubricant is to reduce these types of frictions in any types of applications.

Different Types of Effects of Friction

There are many types of effects we can see due to friction. Below mentioned examples majorly happened due to friction.

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1)   Vibrations

2)   Noise

3)   Heat Generations

4)   Wear

5)   Material Transfer

6)   Material Geometry change.

When we are talking about Friction then we must know about the Coefficient of friction.

Co Efficient of Friction

A coefficient of friction the minimum force required to get an object to slide on a surface, divided by the forces pressing them together.

Co 2Befficient 2Bof 2Bfriction

The formula of the coefficient of friction (ยต) is = Frictional force / Normal Force.

The coefficient of static friction is just a number that indicates how difficult it is to get surfaces to slide each other. Usually the coefficient of friction between 0 to 1 in most everyday objects & materials. But this does not apply to all situations. There are many cases where the coefficient of friction can be greater than 1. We will discuss this later on. Right now in most of the cases coefficient of friction will be between 0 to 1.

What is Wear?

In simple words, Wear is a material loss at the friction point.

So, to increase efficiency & service life of any application, We have to reduce the wear & to do this we have to reduce the Coefficient of friction in any manner. If we are able to reduce the coefficient of friction then only we will be able to reduce all types of effects due to friction which is already mentioned in this article and one & only way to reduce it to use a good lubricant.

What is Lubricant?

A lubricant is a substance, usually organic or non-organic, introduced to reduce friction between surfaces in mutual contact, which ultimately reduces the heat generated when the surfaces move. A good lubricant has below mentioned Multi functional Tasks.

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1)   To lubricate the two mating surfaces.

2)   To Separate the two mating surfaces

3)   Sealing is also a big working principle of lubricant.

4)   Cooling is one of the most common tasks of a good lubricant.

5)   After all this protection is the utmost priority of a lubricant we use in any types of applications.

6)   Increase the overall efficiency of application.

7)   Enhance cost-effectiveness by reducing energy consumption by increasing overall efficiency.

What is Lubrication?

In simple words, Lubrication is the control of friction and wear by introducing a friction-reducing film between moving surfaces in contact. Many different substances can be used to lubricate a surface. Oil and grease are the most common & except most commons ones many different types of lubricants are used to reduce friction & wear of two moving surfaces in contact.

You might be interested in knowing that about 2400 BC people use Bitumen, Animal, Vegetable oils as well as water as a lubricant.

Different Types of Lubricants.

1)   Lubricating Oils.

2)   Lubricating Grease.

3)   Bonded Coatings

4)   Corrosion Inhibitors.

5)   Hydro Lubricants

6)   Lubricant Sprays.

7)   Lubricating Pastes

8)   Lubricating Waxes

9)   Process Lubricants

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Most Important discovery made by humans with the help of friction

Over five hundred years ago, Leonardo da Vinci was the first person to study friction systematically. Many engineers still use Da Vinci’s main result today: friction is proportional to the normal force. That is: when two objects are pressed together twice as hard, the friction also doubles.

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What will happen when we use grease and oil?

To understand this, you have to understand the basic but major difference between grease & oil. 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. 

In tribology, Oils are the part that is used for lubricating purposes. The thickner is only used to retain the lubricating oil in one place. So, we can understand that where oil retention is required, we can use greases, but where oil retention is not required, we can use direct oils for lubricating purposes.

Like if we need to lubricate a bearing that is in open condition. In that place, if we use oils for lubrication, then oil will not stay there for a long time & lubrication will not happen. But if we use grease there, then oil will retain in the bearing with the help of thickeners & lubrication will happen for a long time. 

Like in the enclosed gearbox, we can use oils for lubrication purposes. 


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