What Is Lubricant and Its Types?

What Is Lubricant and Its Types?

Lubricants are those substances, which are used to reduce friction between two mating surfaces, like between piston and cylinder, between gears, etc. Thus the lubrication is the art of minimizing friction between different components of a machine and it is indispensable to mechanization. It is also of vital importance for mechanical efficiency as well as the functioning of a machine.

           The lubricants are basically petroleum products. The history of lubrication reveals that it was used in the old bullock-cart leading over the years to the automobile and the modern machine. The use of castor oil is mentioned in the epic of Mahabharat as a lubricant for axles of chariots. Until petroleum made an advent in the nineteenth century, natural oils and fats were the chief ingredients used for lubrication, and even at present, they are partial components of some of the important lubricants.

            The industrialized society of the present-day requires many designed lubricants to satisfy the needs of modern machinery. The viscosity (the frictional resistance within the substance which opposes any internal movement) is an essential property of lubricating oil. Depending upon the source of the crude, refining process, viscosity, and various other factors affecting the qualities of a lubricant, more than 300 varieties of lubricants are put on the market and many of them are actually tailor-made to suit the requirements of different industries or of various machines.

Note:- The automobile industry is the largest consumer of lubricants.

           Lubrication is not only used for reducing friction between mating surfaces in an automobile if we focus on the function and property of a lubricant it also absorbs heat from the piston or to the cylinder and reduces the chances of melting piston or other damage.

Types of lubricants:-

  1. Solid lubricants:- Graphite, Mica, Talc, Soapstone.
  2. Liquid lubricants:- Animal oil, Mineral oils, Blended oils, Vegetable oils, Greases.

  • Solid Lubricants:-
            The usual solid lubricants are graphite, mica, talc, and soapstone. They are suitable for very great pressure and temperature at a slow speed. The solid lubricants are slowly converted into powder form. In most cases, the particles of the solid lubricants prove harmful to the moving parts of the machinery and hence they are recommended only under limited circumstances. However, some of them may be used in powder form in combination with oils and greases for special applications.

  • Liquid Lubricants:-
         The liquid lubricant is animal oils, mineral oils, vegetable oils, etc. Liquid lubricants, the viscosity should be proper. If it is low, the film of liquid lubricant will not last and if it is high, it will result in more frictional resistance. The viscosity increases with an increase in temperature. Liquid lubricants should be clean in nature otherwise its property sometimes changes, their melting point should be low and their boiling point should be high.
Car oil
  • Benefits of lubricant:-
         Lubricant is used to prevent contact between two surfaces or parts of a moving machine, the lubricants or lubricating material are inserted. It helps to facilitate easy movement of the moving parts and prevent the loss of energy and power due to friction by separating rubbing surfaces in relative motion and thereby increasing the efficiency of the machine, It reduces wear and tear of parts and removes heat, and protect metal surfaces against corrosion. It increases the life of the machine and reduces the chances of damage and abrasion of surfaces. 

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