Lubricant is a substance used for lubricating an engine or component, such as oil or grease. It is introduced to reduce friction between surfaces in mutual contact. This leads to reduction of heat generated when the surfaces move.
Following are some of the primary functions of lubricants:
Prevents physical contact of moving parts
Lubricants provide a protective layer that forms a physical barrier which separates the moving parts. This has the benefit of reducing friction and surface fatigue thereby reduced heat generation, operating noise and vibrations.
Lubricant-to-surface friction is significantly less than surface-to-surface friction. Thus the use of lubricant reduces the overall system friction between load-bearing surfaces which translates into reduced heat generation, reduced formation of wear particles and improved efficiency.
Transfer of heat
Lubricants work as an initial heat transfer agent in engine between some heated combustion and heat dissipating systems. The liquid lubricants like engine oil constantly circulate inside the engines. This circulating flow of oil carries heat away from localized hot spots and also warms cold surfaces. It helps to cool the engine from fluid friction and combustion of fuel.
Cleaning contaminants and derbies
Deposits such as “solid carbon”, “varnish”, or “sludge” can interfere with the correct and efficient operationof the equipment. Piston rings may become stuck and oil passages get blocked. Lubricants can prevent this by improving viscosity control of oils.
Lubricant circulation systems also carry away internally generated debris and external contaminants that get introduced into the system to a filter where they can be removed. Lubricants for automotive engines often contain detergent and dispersant additives which assist in debris and contaminant transport to the filter for removal.
Lubricants like hydraulic fluid is used as the working fluid for hydrostatic power transmission.
Protects against wear
Lubricants keep moving parts apart thereby preventing wear due to metal-to-metal contact. Lubricants may also contain anti-wear or extreme pressure additives to boost their performance against wear and fatigue.
Prevents Corrosion and rust
Good quality lubricants are typically formulated with additives that form chemical bonds with surfaces which exclude moisture, to prevent corrosion and rust. It reduces corrosion between two metallic surfaces and avoids contact between these surfaces to avoid immersed corrosion. Corrosion is also prevented by flushing derbies from between moving parts.
Lubricants assist in forming seals between pistons and cylinders. High-quality oils can provide increased bearing protection.
Help Save Costs
Good quality lubricants reduces drain interval of oil which leads to savings of costs in terms of material,