Lubricant Basics

Just about any piece of mechanical equipment requires the use of a lubricant.  From small machines to complex engines, having proper lubrication is critical to making sure your equipment runs longer  and more efficiently.

But why exactly do we need lubrication? Quite simply, lubricants, whether they are oils or greases, reduce friction between surfaces.  This reduces heat generation and prevents metal surfaces from grinding against each other.    While some lubricants provide different protection and serve various purposes, this is their primary function.

Even metal surfaces that may seem smooth have peaks and valleys (called asperities) that cause friction and damage.  As shown below:

Lubricants create a barrier between these surfaces, which prevents wear and breakage while reducing heat: