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What is the difference between slideway oils and hydraulic oils?


Today, lubricants are specially formulated for a wide range of different industries which include products like slideway and hydraulic oils. By pairing the precise lubricant with an application and equipment, operators can enjoy several advantages. These include optimum performance through improved lubrication, but also high levels of protection that stop issues like excessive heat, wear and tear, corrosion, and contamination. Using the most suitable lubricant can also extend the lifespan of equipment and its individual components saving companies money on repair and replacement costs as well as disruptions due to downtime for maintenance.

Two lubricant products which are sometimes confused are slideway oils and hydraulic oils. While slideway oil is classed as a hydraulic oil, it is designed for specific applications.

What is a slideway oil?

Slideway oils, sometimes referred to as way oils, are manufactured by leading brands like Mobil, Shell Q8 and Fuchs. They are designed to handle a wide range of requirements including speed and precision levels and involve a base oil infused with carefully selected additives that supply smoother processing.

While they are considered hydraulic oils, way oils are made specifically for lubricating machine parts and areas like feed mechanisms, tool slides (slideways) and tables. Usually, they are formulated to be extremely tacky, to ensure the highest levels of frictional performance possible. Many benefits come from selecting the right way oil including less wear and sludge formation, water wash-off and reduced corrosion and unwanted deposits. Sliding surfaces are fully protected, and foaming is reduced.

Some slideway oils available are low-friction lubricants. They can contribute to an extended active service life for machinery while improving both productivity and performance. This type of way oil excels when working under heavy loads and can effectively reduce cross-contamination to improve quality.

What is a hydraulic oil?

Sometimes called a hydraulic fluid or a hydraulic liquid, hydraulic oil is a medium designed for power transfer in hydraulic equipment. Hydraulic oils typically have a mineral oil base and are used in a wide range of equipment including rubbish trucks, hydraulic brakes, elevators, industrial machinery and even aircraft flight control systems.

The main function of a hydraulic oil is always to convey power. However, these oils also perform other key functions during use including protecting machine components.

Why can’t you use any hydraulic Oil in tool slides or slideways?

As mentioned, slideway oil is a type of hydraulic oil that includes a tackifier. This additive helps it adhere better to surfaces. As a result, this oil type is ideal for lubricating vertical surfaces and any system areas where machine parts must move over the top of one and other. It is commonly deployed as a dependable lubricating oil for the slideways included in equipment like planers, grinders, drills, saws, and milling machines, among others.

Slideay oils hold in place, ensuring slides are always lubricated, effectively reducing friction. If way oils didn’t include a tackifier, the hydraulic oil would run off or stick to just one side of the machine run off.

The costs of using the wrong lubricants

The best product for any given application is the lubricant that works most effectively when using the least amount. Essentially, the aim is to detect the correct product, but never use an excessive amount of it. As an approach, this method saves money, lowers costs of waste disposal but still preserves machine parts.

If oil does not stick, operators must keep applying more. As a result, the same quantity of slideway oil will stretch much further when lubricating a slideway than suing the same amount of standard hydraulic oil. Many operators are tempted to purchase regular hydraulic oils for slideways instead of a way oils as they are cheaper products. However, any savings are lost by the constant need for top ups and often leads to greater expense in the long run.

Any oil you use in a machine will eventually end up as tramp which is a contaminant that can enter other fluids in use and impact operations. It can cause a lot of problems, shortening the lifespan of your lubricants, affecting the health employees, causing product staining, increasing corrosion, and ruining machinery. An expensive by-product, it is also costly to dispose of. As a result, using too much oil is never a good practice.

More machine component wear is another ill effect of using the incorrect oil. If friction isn’t reduced properly, with a proper way oil, slideways and other parts of the machine will wear out much faster, causing longer intervals of machine downtime and increased maintenance costs.

Selecting the best slideway oil

To sum up slideway oils are hydraulic oils but they have been enhanced with a special additive called a tackifier which ensure they can stick to the surfaces of specific machine parts like tool slides, preventing lubricant run off. This ensures effective lubrication and lowers operating and maintenance costs.

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