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How do I choose an industrial lubricant?

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For many decades, lubrication makers have been developing and producing specialty lubricants bespoke to the requirements of multiple industrial applications. While general technical requirements exist that every lubricant must meet, like reducing friction and wear, protecting against corrosion, cleaning, dissipating heat and sealing some applications may require more from a product.

For example, different operational challenges, process demands or environmental conditions may require an industrial lubricant that is enhanced with specific additives to assist. In this article, we’ll cover how to select an industrial lubricant.

Factors impacting lubricant selection

The main requirement when selecting the correct lubricant is always the viscosity of the base oil. To select the right viscosity, a lubricant supplier will require key information regarding the application involved. Details required may include industry regulations and standards, environmental conditions and load, the type of friction involved – for example, rolling or sliding – and whether the axis operating speed is fixed or variable.

Speciality or general-purpose lubricants

When tracking down the lubricant you require, first ask yourself if you need a general industrial lubricant or a speciality product. Most oils, pastes and greases that are considered general lubricants will include around 95 per cent base oil and 5 per cent additives. However, if the equipment you are using is required to work under excessive pressure, heat or be especially resistant to foaming, oxidation, rust or corrosives, then you may require a synthetic solution with a specific additive package.

Additives included either enhance or supress qualities within the base oil, and they can help lubricant cope with a wider range of challenges onsite. As you would expect, synthetic lubricants are typically more expensive to buy than general-purpose industrial lubricants, but semi-synthetic options can strike a balance between performance and affordability, helping to reduce running costs.

Selecting the best industrial lubricant made simple

By far, the simplest way to find the most suitable lubricant for an engine or other item of machinery is to consult the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) recommendations. All industrial equipment will ship with detailed data on the type of lubricants required to achieve the highest performance levels possible.

Another useful resource that can be relied upon for recommendation and advice is a specialist lubrication supplier. With comprehensive experience in a wide range of oil, greases and fluids for industrial applications, they can be counted on to provide you with expert guidance.

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