Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication March April 2017

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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42 | March - April 2017 | ubricants can provide a variety of different functions within a given system. They generally are expected to decrease friction, wear and heat in machine components. One of the more overlooked aspects of a lubricant is its ability to influence environmental emis- sions. By selecting the proper oil, you can help to reduce some of the harmful contam- inants that are spewed into the environment without sacrificing the needs of the machine or the performance of the lubricant. Emission Factors When you think of emissions, the first thing that often comes to mind is your personal vehicle's exhaust pipe. These emis- sions add up over time and have led to laws being passed to limit the idle time of large semi-trucks. Some states even require mandatory testing of vehicle emissions, which is known as smog testing. Much of this has to do with how fuel is consumed during the combustion cycle. The more completely the fuel is burned, the fewer harmful emissions are produced. Base Oils While several factors can affect how lubricants impact environmental emissions, let's start by examining the fundamental building block of a finished lubricant, the base oil. A base oil is oil without any addi- tives. Base oils are commonly classified into three categories: mineral, vegetable and synthetic. The majority of the market share is still dominated by mineral base oils, with synthetics rapidly gaining ground. Vege- table oils are increasing in popularity but are mostly relegated to environmentally safe areas, total-loss systems and some food-processing applications. Each base oil has its own strengths and weaknesses, which will determine how much influence it has in controlling emissions. The Traction Coefficient One property that can improve a machine's efficiency and lessen energy and fuel consumption is known as the traction coefficient. Consider that if you are able to decrease the amount of force required to move a load across a lubricant film, you can reduce the amount of fuel consumed and the number of emissions produced. The traction coefficient is simply the amount of force required to move a load divided by the load. The closer this ratio is to 1, the more force is required to move the load. As the ratio decreases, less force is needed to move the same load. Mineral oils by nature have millions of combinations of molecular shapes and sizes in each drop. This inconsistency in molecular size results in a higher traction coefficient. Synthetic base oils are manmade compounds and have much more consistency in several key areas, including their fluid properties and molec- ular size. This allows a load to move more easily across the lubricant film, thus less- ening energy consumption and emissions. To envision how this works, imagine pushing a sheet of plywood across a series L A u t o m o t i v e LUBRICANT Choose the Right to Reduce AIR POLLUTION IN THE TRENCHES We s ca sh | Nori a Corpor at ioN

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