According to report, thousands of dollars are spent on unnecessary repair work on equipment, which gets damaged in the absence of proper lubrication. The basic purpose of lubrication is to prevent contact between the rolling elements and races or between the shaft and a plain bearing. All industries require proper lubricating oils, but the food industry is especially vulnerable due to the constant need for wash downs and the temperature difference from freezers to ovens. The need for the right lubricant applied in the right manner is extremely vital for proper operations.
Selection of the Right Lubricant
Viscosity of oil is the prime factor to consider when selecting a lubricant. Depending upon the speed and temperature of the machine, viscosity is determined. The lubricant forms a thin surface between the rolling elements. If you take oil of wrong viscosity, the contact will generate heat and lead to wear and tear and surface degradation.
Amount of Lubricant Oil to Be Used
The right amount to be used is as crucial as selecting the oil. If an insufficient amount is used then the purpose of lubrication gets defeated. Similarly, if excess is used then excess heat generated by the lubricant will damage the bearings. Also, the rolling elements cannot make their way through the grease or oil bath. In some cases like that of electric motor bearings, the excess can escape to the motor housing, which may result in short circuiting. It is often seen that more damage is reported by using excess lubricant than less.
Storage of Lubricants
You might have chosen the right lubricant and have perfect knowledge about the right amount to use, but may not have stored it properly. This will defeat the entire exercise of choosing and using the right amount as the lubricant will degrade. If it gets exposed to water then water being heavier than oil will sink to the bottom. Now, if you use such lubricant, it will lead to deep-seated corrosion called ‘etching’. This etching is more pronounced in places where aggressive chemicals and high temperatures are used. Thus, it is very important to keep the lubricant oil sealed properly.
Following the right method to select, use and store lubricating oil will help to attain the purpose of reducing the friction and wear and tear, extension of fatigue life and dissipation of frictional heat.