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Choosing Machinery Lubricant


Researching and investing in the right lubricant for your industrial applications can save your serious money by helping to maximise your equipment’s performance and efficiency.

Without the right lubricant for your machinery applied in the correct way, you are inviting components to break down and require repairs which result in costly downtime for your machines.

The ideal lubricant will optimise your operations whether you’re using pacific linear bearings, parallel shaft gearboxes or any number of pneumatics industrial components, so here is a quick guide to finding the right lubricant oil or grease for your needs.

Application Specifications

The most important factor in choosing the right machinery lubricant is ensuring that it is suitable for the application it will be used for. Always check the OEM manual before applying a lubricant to make sure you are using the correct type. Things to consider include the temperatures generated by the application’s operations and the materials the machinery is made of, particularly those that will come into contact with the lubricant.

Also consider the duty cycle and the environmental conditions of applications using the likes of pneumatics industrial components. The ambient temperatures can affect the performance of the lubricant as well, plus any wet applications will require the lubricant to be water resistant.

Machinery Lubricant Attributes 

Different lubricants have different attributes which make them more suitable for certain applications than others, and these attributes should inform your choice of lubricant for your specific application. Some will be ideal for use with a pacific linear bearing and others best suited for parallel shaft gearboxes.

A lubricant with the ideal attributes will enhance the machinery’s performance, keep it running at optimal levels for longer and prevent component breakdowns to minimise downtime for repairs.

Machinery lubricants will consist of a blend of oil lubricant additives that will maximise efficiency under certain conditions, including extreme temperatures and pressures or harsh environmental conditions.  Some lubricants have anti-rust properties or the aforementioned waterproof attribute. Others will have properties that make them especially resistant to wear and tear or corrosion.

There are generally two kinds of equipment lubricant, either mineral-based or synthetic. The latter are usually formulated to last longer to minimise the amount of service intervals required for an application and are usually more expensive than mineral-based lubricants. Synthetic lubricants also tend to maintain their fluidity even at cold temperatures and their viscosity under extreme environmental conditions. Mineral-based lubricants are less expensive and are often more compatible with seals than synthetic lubes, as well as being soluble with additives.

Equipment Lubricant Compatibility

It is important that you do not mix different kinds of lubricant with each other as this can massively reduce their effectiveness. Mixing incompatible equipment lubricants together results in cross-contamination with a loss of performance for all the lubricants involved.

Special attention needs to be paid to this issue if you are using second-hand equipment or components such as parallel shaft gearboxes. Whatever lubricant you use must be compatible with the other lubricants used with the application as well as with the machinery’s components and seals. Even the residue of an incompatible lubricant will have an adverse effect on any new lubricant used with the machine.

If you require any machinery components like pneumatics industrial components, parallel shaft gearboxes or pacific linear bearings then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading machine parts suppliers.