Basic Information On Friction Modifiers

The primary objective of a lubricant is to minimize friction between two or more surfaces of mechanical components. The term lubricity describes the ability of the lubricant to reduce friction. There are many instances where the base oil in the industrial grease or oil may not have the most suitable lubricity and simply adding more lubricant will not fix the issue. The friction modifiers are added to lubricants to alter the lubricity of the base oil, thereby meeting the demand of the application.

bearing-grease-high-speedFriction modifiers are compounds that change the coefficient of friction of lubrication products. In other words, these substances change the amount of power required to allow two or more surfaces to move past one another. There are friction modifying compounds. Some friction modifiers increase lubricity to improve efficiency. Others reduced lubricity to give mechanical components improved traction.

Decreasing the friction within a combustion engine enable parts to move more efficiently. This improves fuel economy. In transmissions, the role of the friction modifier is to increase friction as to protect against slippage when shifting gears.

There are lots of lubrication applications in which a specific quantity of traction is required for devices to run effectively. The friction modifiers employed in these applications are not intended to enhance or reduce friction but to cause the lubricant to act differently depending on the shear conditions.

Onsite Lubricant Testing

One interesting discussion about lubrication is the importance of onsite lubricant testing. Some say that the cost for setting up an onsite testing laboratory is too costly and impractical. There are others who argue that the benefits of the onsite testing of lubricant far outweighs the high cost.

An onsite lubricant testing laboratory provides quick turn around on samples. This allows for early detection of problems. A problem can be remedied the same day as the testing. This minimizes down time and helps prevent damage to equipment components. More serious problem or damage can occur if the equipment was allowed to operate while waiting for the results of an external laboratory.

An onsite laboratory is also a very advantageous for correcting problems. It allows for an instant verification of the status of the equipment after a repair or routine maintenance. A good example of the benefit of an onsite laboratory during replacement of filter. It is possible to track the performance of the new filter just a few hours after it was installed.

The benefits of onsite testing makes it very compelling for an operation to have its own laboratory. Still, there are many things to consider before pulling the trigger on such decision. Aside from needing the proper testing equipment, trained personnel are also required. The price of the equipment and manpower can be too expensive for non-large scale operations.

Lubrication experts offer an alternative. Instead of having an onsite laboratory, simple testing kits are used. These kits are not capable of providing detailed data on lubricant quality. They can, however, serve as early warning tools that helps prevent detect and prevent serious problems.