Posts Tagged ‘synthetic lubricants’

Some Types Of Lubricants That Can Be Used With Bearings

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Bearings play an important role in our society, though most people give little if any thought to them. However, they are an integral part of many pieces of machinery, from oil rigs to food production. Once you understand some of the most popular types of lubricants, you can see for yourself which ones might be valuable options for your lubrication needs.


Lubrication FAQ

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Lubrication helps reduce bearing friction, transfer heat, and protect bearings from corrosion. This allows bearings to have a maximized life span, and perform optimally day-to-day. For such a simple idea, there sure is a lot to know about proper lubrication techniques. Manufacturers continue to create specialized lubricants and lubricators for various different applications. Follow the tracks through this lubrication FAQ for guidance.

What’s elements make a good all-purpose industrial grease?

You’ll want to look for a lubricant that protects against rust, corrosion, and general wear. For industrial bearings which operate at higher temperatures, look for assurance that the product is made for operating temperatures up to 300° F and “extreme pressure”.

An all-purpose lubricant with these characteristics will be well-suited for most industrial applications, such as: wheel bearings, axles, ball joints, U-joints, power takeoffs, off-road applications, and bushings.

What about synthetic lubrication for industrial applications?

Take a look at our previous post about synthetic lubricants here. In some instances, synthetic greases are superior to petroleum-based oils in their ability to resist breakdown from mechanical and thermal conditions.

Synthetic lubricants can provide the same bearing protection as natural greases. They can be formulated to endure high-pressure applications, inhibit corrosion, and prevent wear and oxidation. Designed for a variety of industrial, agriculture, and construction applications, synthetic lubricant can be especially well-suited for press-section bearings and calendar bearings.

Before using synthetic oil grease for your application, contact your sales or service engineer to be sure it is acceptable.

Is there lubrication specific to the food industry?

Food-safe lubrication is manufactured for food processing environments where there is a possibility of incidental food contact. You’ll want to be sure the lubrication you choose was formulated in compliance with CFR Title 21 Section 178.3570 and meets the requirements set by NSF H1.

Look for characteristics such as “food-safe”, “anti-wear” and “inhibits corrosion and oxidation” for long-life and optimal performance. This type of lubrication is best for food and beverage industry applications, as well as pharmaceutical industry applications.

When should I choose a lubricant with EP, or extreme pressure additives?

If your application will cause high axial or thrust loads, EP additives will be beneficial for you. If used in situations where there is not a high axial or thrust load, fatigue life of the bearing life may be reduced.

How do I clean out the lubricant from my bearing?

Wipe off all the lubrication you can reasonably reach. Then, wipe all surfaces with hydrocarbon solvent. This could be mineral spirits or kerosene. End with an isopropyl alcohol wipe. This process will work for both mineral and synthetic oils and greases.

If there is oil separation in my grease can I still use it?

Yes. Grease lubricants are formulated to release oil to be effective. Lighter grade grease will be more prone to oil bleeding. When compared with the amount of grease in the container, the amount of oil separation is normally insignificant, and can be safely stirred back into the rest of the grease prior to use. To prevent oil separation, keep storage temperatures consistent.

Why has the color of my lubricant darkened? Is it still OK to use?

Yes, it’s OK to use. Additives sometimes darken when exposed to sunlight, UV light, air and temperature changes. This is a result of the oxidation of those additives, but since they typically make up a small portion of the overall formula, there would not likely be any functional change.

When to Use Synthetic Lubricant

Friday, January 9th, 2015

It isn’t always clear which lubricant to choose, especially since the introduction of synthetics into the market. There are many questions when it comes to when to use a synthetic lubricant. Although it would be difficult to answer for every possible scenario, the following information should prove useful for you when selecting the right lubricant for the job.

Naturally occurring lubricants, or mineral oils, contain organic compounds of oxygen, sulfur and nitrogen. These compounds are problematic, because they enable oxidation and acid development. Then there is the issue of the formation of sludge, particularly in high-temperature applications.

The varying molecules in mineral oils also have differing shapes, which results – at the molecular level – in irregular lubricant surfaces. Irregularities generate friction within the fluid itself, increasing power requirements and reducing efficiency.

In contrast, the components of synthetic lubricants are high in purity with strong molecular bonds. The end product is a pure compound, less vulnerable to oxidation, more resistant to breakdown, and of a uniform molecular size. Therefore, their protective characteristics are more predictable.

There is a broad selection of synthetic lubricants, ranging in viscosities and consistencies, and even “green” environmentally friendly varieties. And they are generally affordable compared with conventional petroleum-based lubricants.

Synthetic grease costs haven’t risen as rapidly as conventional greases, thus reducing the cost differential between the two categories. This is largely due to stricter environmental and worker safety requirements in the industry.

The difference between conventional and synthetic greases can be found in the lubricating agent. Petroleum-based greases involve mineral oil, for example, whereas synthetics employ silicone or other engineered chemical compounds.

Synthetic lubricants have long been considered the right choice for applications involving extreme temperatures, loads and speeds.

The upper temperature limit for conventional greases is approximately 285 degrees F. In this range, synthetic greases exhibit better mechanical stability. Conversely, synthetic greases also excel at lower temperatures, where conventional greases may become stiff and lose effectiveness which can prevent bearings from properly rotating.

It appears that synthetics are superior for usage in the extreme zone where temperatures, high loads or flammability are concerning variables.

There is still much debate over whether or not it is in the best interest to use synthetic lubricants over conventional ones 100% of the time. It is best to research for the specific application you are needing the lubricant for, before deciding for yourself.