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.
Friction 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.