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The Right Metal Lubricants for the Job

March 25, 2019 1:59 pm0 comments

Modern industry is a marvel of engineering and technology, but no matter how powerful or advanced a workshop’s or factory’s machinery is, mundane needs such as specialty lubricants should be kept in mind. Wholesale industrial supplies for a factory or workshop will include wholesale oil, and different types of specialty lubricants will help keep machines running smoothly and prevent scraping or damage to hardware during work. Even vehicles such as airplanes, for example, need aviation products like lube for the engine parts to prevent maintenance issues from arising. An oil wholesale distributor should be found nearby when a factory or other industrial site is set up, and a fine working relationship with them will mean a steady supply of specialty lubricants for the job. What is there to know about the machine maintenance industry today?

Fluids for the Workplace

Any machine, big or small, will need specialty lubricants to keep it running smoothly and safely during work, especially since some machines may be working hours or even days at a time without rest. American manufacturing is enormous, and this in turn results in a healthy market for specialty lubricants and other machine products to keep everything running correctly. To put this in numbers, a report by Future Market Insights found that in 2016, around 2.5 million metric tonnes of metalworking fluids were sold to factories and other wholesale consumers around the world. A year later, Future Markets Insight reported that just over $4 billion USD worth of metalworking fluids would probably be consumed for lubricating transport equipment around the world.

Any responsible factory owner or other manager will keep track of their oil and specialty lubricants needs, but some factory owners fall short, and the results can be dire. A recent study showed that according to manufacturing companies, nearly 70% of unplanned equipment shutdowns were due to incorrect lube selection or management within the last three years. Similarly, an international study recently showed that only 42% of manufacturing companies have the correct procedures in place to manage all their workplace lubrication needs effectively. On top of that, 63% of them believe that they don’t conduct regular staff training on lubrication use as much as they should. But if a workplace trains its employees carefully on lubrication application and types, then many mechanical failures can be prevented, and this in turn can help save the company money.

Types of Specialty Lubricants

What do these lubricants look like? Today’s market for wholesale industrial goods boasts a variety of such oils and lubricants, and some in fact are synthetic solutions. Semi-synthetic lubricants, in particular, contain under 30% oil content in concentrate while pure synthetics don’t even have any oil in them at all. A recent survey also showed that 89% of lubrication professionals weigh in an oil’s viscosity when they select a lubricant, and different viscosity levels may be more appropriate for different types of machines than others.

Overall, these lubricants have four main jobs: cooling, lubrication, corrosion control, and chip control. When a heavy piece of machinery is working for hours or days on end, this may involve a lot of spinning and grinding gears, moving pistons, conveyor belts, scraping surfaces, and more. Any number of wear and tear hazards may be the result of this constant friction unless lubricants are in place, and modern specialty lubricants are designed to prevent many of these issues. Naturally, sheer lubrication is a major function of these lubes, allowing two surfaces to glide against each other with minimal scraping or friction that would slow down the work or cause heat and sparks. Lubes can prevent metal surfaces of all kinds from getting too hot, and excess heat may melt or warp some metal surfaces or goods. Lubes may also prevent corrosion, such as in industries that work with hazardous gases or fluids that may damage metal over time. Many alloys in modern industry are designed to resist corrosion from salt water or chemicals, but lubrication can help, too. Lubes may also prevent two metal surfaces from striking or scraping each other in such a way that they knock off chips of material from each other’s surfaces. Chips can interfere with function and cause wear and tear, something to be avoided.

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