How does a lubricant reduce friction between moving parts of a machine?

From Fuchs Cassida to Castrol Optigear, high-quality lubricants are designed by leading manufacturers to perform a variety of tasks when serving machinery. Lubricants may seal parts from harmful particles and corrosion or act as a coolant, but perhaps the primary role of any oil or grease is to reduce the friction caused when moving machine parts collide. In the following sections, we’ll explore how lubricants cut down on how much friction occurs protecting components from unnecessary wear. Read on to find out more.

How does friction occur between moving parts?

Before looking at how lubricants reduce friction, let’s first look at how this process that can lead to mechanical damage happens. While the surfaces of solid machine parts may seem smooth, at a microscopic level they are craggy and rough. Miniscule peaks in the metal, known as asperities, jut out from surfaces. During operation, when moving parts come close to others, these asperities come into contact and scrape against each other, causing wear.

How do lubricants decrease friction?

Whether it is a vehicle engine or the motor used by plant machinery, when a suitable oil or grease is added, the lubricant flows throughout the mechanical systems, coating all the individual parts. As the lubricant passes over these components, a thin film remains on them. Now, when the metal surfaces of moving parts meet their opposites, the oil or grease acts as a barrier between the asperities, allowing them to slide smoothly past each other without any friction.

What are the benefits of reduced friction in machine processes?

Effective lubrication reduces friction, offering multiple advantages to businesses, machine operators and vehicle and equipment owners. If friction is left unchecked, it can lead to serious damage to parts. As a result, equipment and vehicle downtime can causes disruption to usage and productivity while parts are repaired or replaced. However, lubrication can avoid the inconvenience and costs involved in such situations. Lubrication can also extend the lifespan and active service life of parts, offering a substantial return on a company’s investment in vehicles and stationary mechanical devices.

Finally, well-lubricated parts move freely and efficiently, delivering higher performance. As well as increasing productivity, machines that are operating at optimum also offer improved fuel economy, which can add up to significant savings and improve a businesses’ bottom line. It’s worth remembering that the lubricant selected for any application must always match the original equipment manufacturer’s recommendation.

Metalworking Lubricant
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