Lubricants and Lubrication

LUBRICANTS In order to reduce metal to metal contact and to reduce the frictional force and heat generation, certain foreign substances are introduced between the rubbing surfaces which keep them apart .These substances are called lubricants. LUBRICATION The process to reduce frictional force between the sliding and rubbing surfaces of metals is called lubrication.

It also reduces power loss in internal combustion engines. i. by introducing lubricants between the two surfaces.e.FUNCTION OF LUBRICANTS It reduces wear and tear of the surfaces by avoiding direct metal to metal contact between the rubbing surfaces. It avoids unsmooth relative motion. It acts as coolant of metal. It reduces expansion of metal due to frictional heat and destruction of material. It also sometimes acts as a seal (used between piston & cylinder wall in internal combustion engines) . It reduces maintenance cost.

003. The coefficient of friction is low. 0. about 1000°A thick. This type of lubrication occurs in machine parts of low load and high speed such as in clocks. Hydrocarbon oils are used for this purpose. . In order to maintain viscosity of the oil in all season. ordinary hydrocarbon are blended with selected long chain polymers. the two moving parts are separated by a thick film of lubricant.01 to 0. sewing machines (delicate instruments).MECHANISM OF LUBRICATION (1) Fluid–film lubrication (2) Boundary lubrication (3) Extreme pressure lubrication (1) Fluid–Film Lubrication (Hydrodynamic) In this.

which acts as lubricant.(2) Boundry Lubrication (Thin-film) It occurs in machine parts of high load and low speed. good oiliness. the lubricant molecules should have high viscosity index. The lubricant film thickness is as low as 23-molecule thickness with the frictional coefficient being 0. Here thick film of lubricant cannot be maintained between the moving surfaces but the lubricants are adsorbed physically / chemically on the metal surfaces. and low pour point. . Vegetable and animal oils and their soaps possess properties of surface attachments forming a thin film of metallic soap. For boundary lubrication. resistance to heat & oxidation. and viscosity of oil is too low.15.05 to 0.

sulphur are used as extreme pressure additives. At high temperatures. Special additives called extreme pressure additives are used with lubricants to overcome this difficulty. the lubricant may vaporize / decompose due to local heat. .(3) Extreme pressure lubrication: This mechanism occurs under conditions of high load and high speed. Under these conditions. phosphorous. Organic compounds containing active groups such as chlorine. the additives react with metals giving metallic chlorides / sulphides / phosphides possessing high melting points.

stearic acid . Oiliness can be increased by adding high molecular weight compounds like oleic acid. cheap. have some tendency to hydrolyse So at present they are rarely used as lubricants but used as blending agent with other lubricating oils (ii) Mineral or petroleum oils Obtained by distillation of petroleum.CLASSIFICATION OF LUBRICANTS 1. available in abundance. Classification of lubricating oil (i) Animal or vegetable oils Before the advent of petroleum industry vegetable and animal oils are widely used as lubricants because they possesses good oiliness even under high temperature and heavy loads but they (a) are costly (b) undergo oxidation easily c. They also acts as (1) Cooling medium (2) sealing medium (3) corrosion preventer (4) low pressure (5) low freezing point (6) heat stability (7) stability to decomposition at the operating temperature. Liquid Lubricants or lubricating oil It reduces friction and wear between two moving/sliding metallic surfaces by providing a continuous fluid film in between them. quite stable under severe condition however they possesses poor oiliness than vegetable oils. They are most widely used lubricants because they are.

c. Solvent refining Oil is mixed with a suitable solvent (eg. but the undesired impurities (eg. a. H2SO4 and the agitated. The liquid separates into two layers –l (i) oil layer free from impurities but may contain some solvent (ii) solvent layer containing dissolved impurities. Dewaxing Oil is mixed with suitable solvent ( propane. of undesirable compounds like napthalic impurities. .Purification of Mineral Oil Crude petroleum oil contain lot of impurities so purification is needed. Some impurities dissolve in acid and other from sludges. Nitrobenzene) in which it is immiscible. For this the oil is treated with conc. The filtrate is neutralized with calculated quantity of NaOH to remove excess acid. Acid refining The dewaxed oils contain a no. Naphthenic and asphaltic components) are highly soluble. The wax ppt removes from the oil by passing oil-wax suspension through a continuous filter or centrifuge. Sludges are removed by filtration. trichloro ethylene) and then refrigerated. The solvent layer is also distilled – solvent is recovered and the impurities/residues are left behind for other applications. The solvent present in the oil is then recovered by distillation. Finally the oil is decolorised by passing through fuller’s earth at 100 ˚C-140 °C. The oil layer is distilled – the solvent is recovered and refined oil is left behind. b.

organic chlorine compound. Additives used are a. c. This blended oil give desired lubricating properties.(iii) Blended oil No single oil serves as a most satisfactory lubricant for many of the modern machineries. coconut oil. Oiliness carriers: oiliness can be increased by adding oiliness-carrier like vegetable oils. Besides improving the oiliness directly high pressure additives are used. thereby preventing the tearing up of the metal The substances are: Fatty ester. acids. The properties are improved by adding specific additives. organic materials which contain sulphur. . oleic acid Extreme-pressure additives Under extreme pressure a thick film of oil is difficult to maintain. This additives contain some materials which are adsorbed on the metal surface producing a layer. This prevents the separation of wax from the oil b. castor oil and fatty acids like palmitic acid. organic phosphorous compounds e.t.c Pour-point depressing additives used are phenol and certain condensation products of chlorinated wax with napthalene.

etc. They are added in lubricant used in internal combustion engines. Viscosity Index Improver These are certain high molecular weight compounds like hexanol e. Thickeners Such as polystyrene. . g.d. polyesters are used to increase the viscosity of the lubricating oil. Antioxidant When added to oil. Antifoaming agents Glycol and glycerol help in decreasing foam formation. Corrosion Preventer They are organic compounds of phosphorus or antimony h. f. Antioxidants are aromatic phenolic or amino compounds. retards oxidation of oil by getting themselves oxidized. turbine.

and molybdenum disulphide Graphite is used in railway tract joints.(2) Solid lubricants Solid lubricants are used where 1. Contamination of lubricating oil is unacceptable 3. heavy machines etc. its fine powder may be sprinkled on surfaces sliding at high velocities. air compressors. is too high Two most used solid lubricants are Graphite. Molybdenum disulphide possesses low coefficient of friction and is stable in air up to 400 ˚C. open gears. Operating temp. It is also used along with solvents and greases . operating conditions are such that a lubricating film can not be secured by use of lubricating oil or greases 2. chains.

polypropylene are chemically non-reactive and high temperature lubricants Organic amines and amides are good synthetic lubricants. except molten sodium . they are used in low temperature lubrication process Flurocarbons are not decomposed by heat. chemically reactive atmosphere and severe condition like aircraft engines in which the temp.(3)Synthetic lubricants Synthetic lubricants are developed to use in high temp. range is -50 to 250 °C This lubricant should possess low freezing point. they possesses very low pour-points and high viscosity-index. high viscosity index and should be non-inflammable Examples Polymerized hydrocarbons like polyethylene. They can be used in -50 to 250 °C Silicones are not oxidised below 200 °C. not easily oxidisable and chemically inert and resistant to chemicals.

which gives an interconnecting structure containing the added oil. soap dissolves and the interconnected structure ceases and the greases liquefies. Greases can support much heavier loads at lower speed. The structure of greases is that of a gel. Petroleum oil or may be a synthetic oil and it may contain any of the additive for specific requirement. Greases have the tendency to separate into oil and soap . To improve the heat-resistance .(4) Greases or semi-solid lubricants Lubricating grease is a semi-solid. followed by adding hot lubricating oil while under agitation. inorganic solid thickening agents are added. consisting of a soap dispersed throughout a liquid lubricating oil. At high temp. Greases are prepared by saponification of fat with alkali. soaps are gelling agent.

They are water resistant and suitable for less delicate equipments working under high loads and low speed. 1. They can be used up to 175 ˚ C. Calcium based greases or cup-greases are emulsions of petroleum with Ca soaps. c. rail axle boxes In bearing and gears that work at high temp. spurting of oil is undesirable. In situation where dripping.Greases are used in a. Used in ball bearing. 4. But above 80 ˚C oil and soaps separate out. They are not water resistant. 3. thickened by mixing lithium soaps. Classification of greases 2. This greases are very cheap and water resistant. d. Lithium-based greases are petroleum oils. due to high load. . when greases floats as stiff mass. sudden jerks etc. b. Soda-based greases are petroleum oils thickened by mixing sodium soaps. Fillers are also added to them. Situation where oil can not remain in place. low speed. They are prepared by adding calcium hydroxide to a hot oil under agitation. prepared by adding lime to resin and fatty oils. They are water-resistant and suitable for use at low temperature Axle greases are very cheap resin greases. The mixture is mixed and allowed to stand. In situation where bearing needs to be sealed against entry of dust dirt etc..

hence the viscosity should not change much with temp. . Viscosity The viscosity of an oil is the measure of the internal friction of the fluid. and oil consumption are more or less dependent on this characteristic. On the other hand if the viscosity is too high. liquid oil film cannot be maintained between two moving or sliding surfaces.Properties of lubricating oils 1. Consequently the lubricating oil becomes thinner. wear. Excessive wear will take place. excessive friction will result. Viscosity is generally considered to be the most important property of a lubricating oil since friction. With increase in temperature. viscosity of liquid decreases. If the viscosity is too low.

required to maintain this velocity difference is F= ηv/d. is raised.. The rate at which viscosity of oil changes with temperature is measured by an arbitrary scale known as viscosity index. If the viscosity of an oil falls rapidly as the temp. On the other hand if viscosity is slightly affected on raising the temp. it has low-viscosity index. Two layers of a liquid separated by a distance . then force per unit area F. where η is the co-efficient of viscosity. d and moving with a relative velocity difference v.Determination of viscosity Viscosity is the property of a fluid by virtue of which it offers resistance to its own flow. the viscosity index is high. .

.2 The absolute viscosity of fluid oil can be determined by measuring the rate of flow of the oil through a capillary tube kept at a uniform temperature. Three type of viscometer namely Redwood. The equipment specified is the Redwood ViscometerNo. In Redwood viscometer the viscosity of a hydrocarbon can be expressed as the number of seconds taken for the collection of 50ml. Engler and Saybolt are commonly used.Figure: Redwood Viscometer No. Majority standards developed by British Institute of petroleum (BIP) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).2. of the liquid when flowing under standard conditions through a jet of standard dimensions. But in case of lubricating oils specific viscosity is generally determined by measuring the time taken for given quantity of oil to flow through an orifice or jet of standard dimensions under standard conditions.

The difference between the two viscometers viscometer No. The lid of the cup is provided with an arrangement to fix a thermometer to indicate the oil temperature. The diameter of orifice is different for Redwood Viscometer No. The oil cup is surrounded by the outer jacket of copper vessel which is serves as water bath for maintaining the oil at the desired temperature with the help of electrical heating coil.The redwood viscometer consists of the standard oil cup which is opened at the upper end. A wire stirrer is also provided for mixing the oil samples. which is lifted to allow the flow of oil during the experiment. The upper end of the agate jet is closed with a ball. It is fitted with an agate jet in the base. The cup is provided with a pointer which indicates the level up to which the oil should be filled in the cup.2 is the diameter of the orifice.1 and 2.1 or No. .

when a tiny flame is brought near the vapors. Flash point and fire point The lowest temperature at which the oil lubricant gives off enough vapour that ignite for a moment. at which the oil becomes cloudy or hazy in appearance is called its cloud point. 4. Pour point and cloud point The lowest temperature at which an oil ceases to flow or pour is the pour point. Excessive carbon in an engine leads to operating difficulties. The carbon residue test gives an indication of the amount of carbon that may be deposited in an engine. 3. at which it is to be used. When an oil cools slowly. when a tiny flame is bought near it. Carbon residue The amount of carbon left after the volatile matter in a lubricating oil has been evaporated is known as the carbon residue of an oil. A good lubricant should deposit least amount of carbon. A good lubricant should have flash point at least above the temp.2. In most cases the fire points are 5-40 ° higher than that of flash point. High pour point lubricating oils usually cause difficulty in starting in cold weather. . Wile the fire point is the lowest temperature at which vapours of the oil burn continuously for atleast five seconds. the temp.

antimony or lead. Lubricating oil should be free of water and sediment after leaving the purifier and on arriving at the engine. Corrosion The tendency of an oil to corrode the engine parts is known as the corrosive quality of the lubricating oil. arsenic.5. . To retard corrosive effect certain inhibitor are organic compounds phosphorous. 6. Water and sediment Water and sediment in a lubricating oil normally are the result of improper handling and stowage.

The chief harm resulting from the presence of organic acid. The results are apt to be misleading or subject to incorrect interpretation. in milligrams. . necessary to neutralize one gram of the oil tested. both of which be present. since the test does not distinguish between corrosive and noncorrosive acids. proportional to the total organic and mineral acid present. therefore. which is noncorrosive. It is. This emulsion picks up contaminants and is a sludge which may interfere with proper oil circulation. Acidity or neutralization number The neutralization number test indicates the amount of potassium hydroxide.7. is its tendency to emulsify with water.

Film strength is the result of several oil properties. Oiliness or film strength The ability of a lubricating oil to maintain lubrication between sliding or moving surfaces under pressure and at local high temperature areas is known as the oiliness or film strength of the oil. It has tendency to collect dirt.. . For extreme pressure lubrication. foreign matters etc. 9.8. Mineral oils have very poor oiliness and this can be enhanced by adding additives like vegetable oils and higher fatty acids. oiliness of lubricant is very important. So a good lubricating oil should form an emulsion with water which breaks up quickly. Emulsification Emulsification is the property of oils to get intimately mixed with water forming a mixture called emulsion. thereby causing wearing out of the lubricating parts of the machinery. the most important being viscosity.

Aromatic hydrocarbons have the tendency to dissolve natural rubber and certain type of synthetic rubbers. Ash The ash content of an oil is a measure of the amount of noncombustible material present that would cause abrasion of moving parts.10. It is used in identifying unknown oil as it gives an indication of type of crude from which the lubricant has been prepared. . packing etc. It gives an indication of the possible deterioration of oil in contact with rubber sealings. 11. Aniline Point The temp. at which the homogeneous mixture of equal volume of aniline and oil separates out is called aniline point. Specific Gravity Ratio of weight of oil volume to weight of same water volume at a given temperature. 12. higher aniline point means a higher percentage of paraffinic hydrocarbons and lower % of aromatic hydrocarbons.

but the corrosive compounds must be eliminated because of their tendency to form acid when combined with water vapor. A certain amount of noncorrosive sulphur compounds is allowable. Sulphur The test for sulphur indicates the total sulphur content of the oil and does not distinguish between the corrosive and noncorrosive forms. . This test helps us to ascertain whether the oil is animal/vegetable or mineral based. Mineral oils do not saponify. but vegetable and animal oils do.13. Saponification Number It is the number of mg of KOH required to saponify 1 g of oil. 14.

Emulsion of oil in water are mostly used as cutting fluids. the cutting fluid should provide 1. High thermal conductivity . Non-corrosive nature towards the metal as well as the tool 5. Chemical stability 4. Cool the tools b. Lubricate the tools c. To cool as well as lubricate the tools In order to provide satisfactory service.Cutting fluids Any liquid or a gas used to cool as well as to lubricate is called a cutting fluid. It a. Low viscosity so that lubricants can easily fill in the cracks 3. Good lubricating property 2.

and then stabilizing by adding emulsifier ( soap. Emulsion as cutting fluid In most cases use of either oil or water alone is not satisfactory and both a cooling agent and a lubricant is needed simultaneously. to prevent thickening glycols or alcohols are added. For such situation oilin water emulsion are employed. Moreover. H2SO4 treated castor oil. When the speed is low and the pressure is high the oils are mostly used as cutting fluids. . These are prepared by mixing small amount of petroleum oil with water. Water being good cooling agent and cheap.Oil as cutting fluid In fine work a stream of oil is directed over the work-piece. Water as cutting fluid For rough grinding and turning only cooling action is sufficient. chloro-sulphonated organic compounds). sulphonated oil. Compounded oils obtained by mixing petroleum oils with vegetables and animal oils. so mostly used as cutting fluid. Here the cutting fluid acts more as lubricant and less as heat-carrying agent.

a. to reduce power consumption by lubricating action and to improve surface finish. so as to prevent distortion. Heat liberated may overheat the tool and may lower its temper. attach themselves to the surface of fresh metal. . the service condition requirements are to be related to the properties of the lubricants. If a lubricant used at high temp. Lubricants for cutting tools In this operation. Therefore the main functions of cutting fluids are To cool the tool. cutting oils like mineral oils of low viscosities containing additives like fatty oils. undergoes volatilization of a portion of it. which will have different lubricating properties like higher viscosity. For heavy cutting. to cool the metal-work piece.Selection of lubricants In selecting a lubricant for a particular job. a metal is continuously removed from the surface and causes high friction. which results in excessive power consumption and liberation of high amount of heat. sulphurized fatty oils and chlorinated compounds. leaving being a residual oil.

mica etc are employed either in dry powder form or as emulsion in oil or water . Lubricants for delicate instruments Delicates instruments like watches.For light cutting most effective lubricants are oil-emulsions. concrete mixer. sewing machines thin vegetable oils are employed e. So they should possesses good oiliness. Lubricants for very high-pressure and low speeds such as tractor roller. railway track joints Under these conditions. oil/grease films can not be maintained. but they are most effective as cooling media. Lubricants for gears They are subjected to extreme-pressure. d. Oil-emulsions have smaller lubricating effect than cutting oil. b. Petroleum oils containing additives. not to be removed by centrifugal force from the place of equilibrium and have a high-load carrying additives. water is present in them as an external phase. So solid lubricants like graphite. are used as lubricants for internal combustion engines c. due to high heat capacity of water. Lubricants for internal combustion engines The lubricants are exposed at high temperatures.

so highly refined mineral oils of high insulating quality and chemical stability are employed. low viscosity and low cloud point is needed.f. So napthalene based oil are employed mostly. When the transformer is on-load such exposure coupled with elevated temperature. when the transformer is on load. Lubricants for refrigeration system Oil with low pour-point. electrical stress and catalytic influence of copper leading to the formation of acids and sludge. while sludge coats the windings and thus increasing the temperature. Lubricants for transformer The functions of the lubricating oil in an electrical transformer are to insulate the winding and to carry away the heat generated. The production of these injurious substances should be as small as possible. the transformer tank. the cotton insulation. High temperature promotes formation of more acids and sludge. Acids tend to attack the copper conductors. Transformer liquid is exposed to air. . g.