The type of lubricant used has a significant impact on the lifetime performance and reliability of a machine. Optimal lubricant selection and management depends on understanding the lubrication regime (i.e., boundary, mixed or hydrodynamic lubrication), lubricant properties, established classifications, maintenance plans and an ability to interpret and apply the producerís product specifications to the equipment.
The performance of lubricants is rapidly changing. Improvements are driven by environmental and performance requirements. In industry the trend is for the use of more environmentally acceptable lubricants, especially for open systems like in sheet metal forming. Secondly, advanced maintenance management systems are being introduced to reduce maintenance costs and improve machine reliability. The reduction of waste oil disposal by extending oil change intervals is also a point of concern. In automotive engineering improvements are driven by increasing restrictions on CO2 emissions to be realised by fuel economy and new engine technologies.
To meet these ever increasing demands conventional base oils are gradually being replaced by a new generation of oils with packages of additives to further enhance already existing base oil properties or add new ones. An integral approach of the machine lubrication aspects listed above is presented...