In order to lubricate successfully, a basic understanding of a lubricant’s function is necessary. A lubricant, whether it is oil or grease, can at any time perform up to six basic functions simultaneously.
These functions are to:
• Reduce friction
• Reduce wear
• Absorb shock
• Reduce temperature*
• Minimize corrosion
A major benefit of reduced friction is reduction in operating temperature. Caution must be observed in the overall assessment here. Because excessive lubricant may cause fluid friction, which may in turn raise the temperature.
Assuming that the correct quantities of lubricant are used, lubricants can be an excellent dissipater of heat, especially in re-circulative oil (or splash oil) systems where the oil is passed over the moving part – where it not only lubricates, but also absorbs the heat and returns to the reservoir where it cools before recommencing the cycle. (Sometimes it is necessary to pump the lubricant through oil cooler, which will allow for a smaller reservoir.)