May 15, 2020 By admin Off

4 Types of Lubricants and How to Use Them

Oils are thin liquids made of long polymer chains, with additives for various extra properties. Common additives include antioxidants to keep the oil from oxidizing, corrosion inhibitors to prevent parts from corroding, and detergents to keep deposits from forming. These long chains are hard to squeeze out from between surfaces, making oils useful as a slippery barrier between them. Oils come in different “weights” (such as 5W or 10W), which correspond to viscosity. The lower the number, the thinner the oil, and the more easily it will flow.

Is your robot grinding to a halt? Have a door that makes an annoying SQUEAK every time you open it? Don’t reach for the WD-40 yet! In general, the most common application of a lubricant is to reduce friction between surfaces, but not all lubricants are equal. In this handy guide, we’ll go over a few of the most common lubricants, how they work, and when to use them.

Uses: Hinges, bearings, tool maintenance, sharpening blades

Types: Motor oil, 3-in-1 oil, sewing machine oil, bar, and chain oil

Don’t Use When:

  • The surfaces being lubricated are exposed to dust or dirt, which can eventually gum up and cause more friction
  • You need to keep things around the surfaces clean because oils are low in viscosity and thus tend to drip and run
  • The surfaces are exposed to water or anything that can wash the oil away. It won’t last long! (While oil can help make things water-resistant, it can also absorb water over time. The more water that absorbs into the oil, the lower its adhesion will be, causing it to wash off of the very parts that need lubrication.)

Don’t Use When:

  • The surfaces being lubricated are exposed to dust or dirt, which can eventually gum up and cause more friction
  • You need to keep things around the surfaces clean because oils are low in viscosity and thus tend to drip and run
  • The surfaces are exposed to water or anything that can wash the oil away. It won’t last long! (While oil can help make things water-resistant, it can also absorb water over time. The more water that absorbs into the oil, the lower its adhesion will be, causing it to wash off of the very parts that need lubrication

Use When:

  • You want to lubricate something without the resistance inherent in using grease
  • You need lubrication to wick into a small space, without having to take anything apart

Use When:

  • You need lubrication to stay put and stick to surfaces for a long time
  • You want to seal out contaminants such as water or dust
  • You use a machine so infrequently that you may forget to oil it

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Oils are thin liquids made of long polymer chains, with additives for various extra properties. Common additives include antioxidants to keep the oil from oxidizing, corrosion inhibitors to prevent parts from corroding, and detergents to keep deposits from forming. These long chains are hard to squeeze out from between surfaces, making oils useful as a slippery barrier between them. Oils come in different “weights” (such as 5W or 10W), which correspond to viscosity. The lower the number, the thinner the oil, and the more easily it will flow.

Uses: Hinges, bearings, tool maintenance, sharpening blades

Types: Motor oil, 3-in-1 oil, sewing machine oil, bar, and chain oil

Use When:

  • You want to lubricate something without the resistance inherent in using grease
  • You need lubrication to wick into a small space, without having to take anything apart