It’s not an easy task finding the right industrial lubricant for your machines. After all, lubricants come in countless varieties and formulations. On top of that, most industries have their own regulations and standards regarding which lubricants can be used.
And when it comes to increasing your industrial equipment’s life span, safety, and efficiency, choosing the right lubricant is critical. Before choosing a lubricant for your machine, we advise you to talk with a supplier who has the knowledge to point you in the right direction.
However, if you’re looking for a basic understanding of industrial lubrication for your routine maintenance service, then this guide is a good place to start. Keep on reading to find out how to keep your regular maintenance smooth.
If your piece of equipment is the type that requires being lubricated regularly, then a general-purpose oil (petroleum) is typically used. Generally speaking, an oil lubricant contains 95% base oil and 5% additives.
Grease lubricants contain base oils—usually mineral oils—and a mixture of soap to form a solid consistency. On the other hand, pastes consist of base oils, additives, and particles of solid lubricant.
Waxes are also an industrial lubricant and comprise of synthetic hydrocarbons, water, and emulsifying agents. These become fluid when a specific temperature is reached.
Synthetic Oil Lubricants
Synthetic oil lubricants are made from artificial compounds. These artificial compounds have different properties than petroleum. Synthetic lubricants have higher purity and uniformity than petroleum-based lubricants.
For example, petroleum oils’ viscosity index rarely exceeds 100, while synthetics can rate higher than 180. Oxidation, stability, and color of synthetic oils also differ.
Choosing a synthetic oil for your machinery usually means you need a lubricant with properties superior to traditional petroleum oils. When equipment is “lubricated for life,” then synthetic oils are often used. Here are some benefits that industrial synthetic oils provide:
- better viscosity performance
- less evaporation
- less friction
- less wear
- better efficiency
- more chemically stable
- less oil sludge issues
- longer life
High-quality synthetic lubricants can last up to five times longer than petroleum-based lubricants. For this reason, they tend to cost more. The higher cost of synthetic oil is often worth the extended performance life.
How to Choose the Right Industrial Lubricant
Let’s say your need to find an industrial crane lubricant. What are some factors that will influence your selection of lubricant?
The main requirement for choosing the right lubricant for your crane is the base oil viscosity. So how do you know the appropriate viscosity? You’ll need to answer a few questions first:
- What is the operating speed (variable or fixed)?
- What type of friction (example: sliding or rolling)?
- What are the load and the conditions of the working environment?
- What industry standards apply?
Giving this information to your supplier will help them determine which lubricant is best suited for your equipment. For example, they may suggest a PAG oil for sliding mechanisms or a PAO oil for mechanisms where rolling friction occurs.
Resupply Machine Parts
After reading this article about choosing the right industrial lubricant, you may realize you need new parts for your equipment. If you need a resupply of machine parts or custom solutions for your industrial equipment, then give us a call. You can request a quote from us today!