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The importance of lubrication for machine reliability

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Lubrication-related mechanical failures are among the most preventable type of problems experienced by operations. As a result, it makes sense for firms to always give this important process the attention it requires. While oils and greases are well known for keeping moving parts well lubricated and moving freely to improve performance, they perform many other roles that allow them to ensure the mechanical systems they serve remain functioning properly and are protected.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the direct correlation between effective lubrication and machine reliability. Read on to find out more.

Reducing wear, heat and friction

In mechanical systems, moving parts come into contact. To the naked eye, machine components can seem smooth, but under the microscope, a different picture forms. Minute spikes known as asperities stand out from surfaces and, when moving parts collide, their asperities cause friction. As a result, machine processes are slowed, lowering equipment performance. Additionally, during this activity, abrasive forces and extreme heat cause wear to components and inflict damage making machinery unreliable.

Lubricants allow components to move freely without asperities catching on one another, absorbing shock effectively and cutting down on friction and the wear and tear it causes. However, lubricants also act as a coolant, reducing the operating temperatures present when parts are working, mitigating damage from excessive heat.

Protecting against contamination and corrosion

Machinery that must work in a wide range of conditions may be subject to corrosive forces, such as rust. Created when iron alloys are exposed to moisture and oxygen, rust can make metal components brittle and easier to break. It’s also understood that many industrial and automotive systems must contend with contaminants, from dirt and debris to varnish and water. Lubricants seal parts against corrosion and filter out contaminants, protecting equipment.

Selecting the right lubricant for the job

As you can see, lubricants do far more than simply grease the wheels of the mechanical systems they serve. By selecting the correct lubricant for the machinery in use, operations can ensure they can count on their equipment to work efficiently at optimum rates. They can also defend equipment from excessive wear and tear caused by heat and friction and avoid delays from downtime and the expense of maintenance and part replacement. By adhering to your original equipment manufacturer’s lubrication recommendation, you can ensure top-quality performance and return on any outlay for machinery, whether it is mobile or stationary.

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