squirrel cage induction motor

Anyone who works with cars knows that keeping their parts well lubricated is a must.

But, lubricating parts is about more than making them slippery. There are now hundreds of different lubricants around and choosing the right one is essential.

In this article, we’re going to tell you what machine lubricant is. We’ll also share what lubricant is made of and run you through the 3 Cs of lubrication.

What Is Machine Lubricant?

The key to understanding machine lubricants is to know why we use them. And, the answer to this is friction.

Friction slows down the motion between two objects that are in contact. While friction is sometimes good, it can also stop machines from working. In fact, friction is one of the most common causes of broken rotor bars.

Machinery lubricants minimize the resistance that happens when friction occurs. But, reducing friction isn’t as simple as adding a little lubricant.

You have to be sure you’re using the right one. Before you use a lubricant on your machine, you must consider:

  • Viscosity
  • Additives
  • Properties

Friction isn’t the only reason we use lubrication oil. When two parts of machinery rub against one another, pieces of material wear and brake off.

Machine lubricants with the right additives can also help prevent rust.

What Are Lubricants Made Of?

Machinery lubricants start with a base oil. There are three types of popular base oils, these are:

  • Vegetable
  • Synthetic
  • Mineral

The two most common for lubricating machinery are mineral and synthetic. Mineral oil is made up of different molecules, one of which includes paraffin. Paraffin is most common in engine and processing oils, as well as industrial lubricants.

Synthetic oil is man-made. The biggest benefit of synthetic oil is that the weight and size are constant. This means it is predictable, unlike mineral oil.

That said, the reason we use mineral oil more is because synthetic oil is:

  • Expensive
  • Toxic
  • Soluble
  • Incompatible
  • Hazardous to dispose of

That said, it’s great in more extreme applications where the flashpoint is high and there is a low pour point. It’s also great if you need a high viscosity index.

The 3 Cs of Lubrication

To choose the best machinery lubricants, it’s important you understand the 3 Cs of lubrication. Here they are.

1. Correct Technology

To determine which is the best lubrication oil for your situation, you have to look at the various environmental factors. These are:

  • Dust
  • Moisture
  • Vibration
  • Temperature
  • Speed
  • Load

The temperature should define the lubricant base oil type you use. And, the moisture, load, and vibration determine which additives are suitable.

2. Correct Quantity

Over or under-greasing your parts can damage them beyond repair. With this in mind, you have to apply the right quantity of machine lubrication oil if you want to achieve the best results.

3. Correct Frequency

The above also applies for the number of times you lubricate your parts. Your goal should be to apply the right lubricate at the right time. By doing so, you’ll give your parts the right amount of protection without damaging them.

Call the Experts to Keep Your Parts in Good Working Order

If you still don’t know which machine lubricant is best for your individual needs, why not call in the experts?

At Electrical Apparatus and Machine Company, we’ve got decades of experience when it comes to keeping motors running smoothly.

To find out more about how we can help you, contact us today by filling out our online form.