Different Properties Of Lubricants And Their Uses
Lubricants play an important role in maintaining the functionality of machinery and equipment. They are used to prevent friction, reduce wear, and control temperature. They are also beneficial in controlling corrosion. Lubricants can be solid, liquid, or a combination of both. Click this to know about ENOC South Africa.
The most common lubricants are oil and grease. These substances are mixed with additives to enhance their properties and performance. Some lubricants are made of vegetable oils, while others are petroleum based. Vegetable oil lubricants are often considered eco-friendly since they are environmentally harmless. But petroleum-based oils have also been known to be harmful to the environment. Researchers have recently explored an eco-friendly alternative to these traditional lubricants.
The most widely recognized characteristic of lubricants is their viscosity. Viscosity is a fluid’s property that determines the fluid’s flow behavior. It is measured in centistokes. Higher viscosity means slower flow. Lubricants with low viscosity are recommended for high-temperature applications. The oil viscosity range is typically restricted, with SAE degrees identified for different gear and engine oils.
Oxidation stability is a characteristic of lubricants that indicates their ability to resist chemical interaction with oxygen. It is achieved by removing oxidation-causing constituents such as carbon. The presence of oxygen can reduce the flow of the oil, resulting in clogged working parts and faulty valve action. Various factors, including metal catalysts, light, and contaminants, can accelerate the oxidation process. Consequently, the lubricant’s ability to resist oxidation can be significantly reduced.
Another important property of lubricants is their deductibility. This relates to their ability to separate from water. At temperatures below 35°C, lubricants tend to form wax crystals. These crystals can clog filters and may cause small openings to become obstructed. It is, therefore, important to choose a lubricant that does not contain wax.
It is also important to consider the lubricant’s pour point. The pour point is the lowest temperature at which the lubricant can flow like a liquid. The oil’s viscosity is also affected by the pour point—the lower the pour point, the lower the viscosity.
In addition to the viscosity and VI, lubricants can be classified by other physical properties, including their evaporative loss characteristics. These properties are important in determining the effectiveness of the lubricant and are controlled to ensure optimal performance.