The correct lubricant
The correct lubricant
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The correct lubricant

Last updated on 2016-05-22

About the Book

'The correct lubricant' is suitable for plant and fleet personnel at all levels, from artisans to engineers and managers, as well as for oil industry representatives and field engineers.

The book covers basic practical information about lubrication and lubricants.

Viscosity, the most important lubricant characteristic in both oils and greases, is covered first, together with viscosity index. Then some other important characteristics, followed by base oils including some synthetics, and finally the critical performance requirements for various applications.

The second part of the workshop deals with applications, starting with engine oils, then automotive gear and transmission oils, greases, industrial gear oils, circulating oils, compressor oils, hydraulic fluids, fire-resistant fluids, machine tool oils, oil cleanliness, storage and storage stability, finally briefly rust preventives and cutting fluids.

In addition to the essential requirements in each application, this part focuses on the difficult question: When is it advisable, or even necessary, to use synthetic lubricants?

The last part is included for people who use the book as a textbook.  They will be challenged to find the correct lubricants to solve various practical problems. If they manage to complete this task, they will show that they have learned a great deal about lubricants.

To help the learners remember important aspects of each chapter, there are many questions and also three revisions in the text. The answers are at the end of the book and on our web page.

Table of Contents

DISCLAIMER 2

OVERVIEW 3

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 6

1. THREE BASIC ASPECTS OF LUBRICATING OILS 7

1.1 Viscosity (kinematic, dynamic viscosity, ISO VG) 8

1.2 Viscosity of engine oils (SAE, multi-grade) 9

1.3 Viscosity of automotive gear oils 10

1.4 Viscosity index (and viscosity modifiers) 10

1.5 Pour point (and pour point depressant) 11

1.6 Flash point and Noack volatility 11

1.7 EXERCISE (viscosity-temperature chart) 12

1.8 Foam, entrained air and air release (and defoamant) 14

1.9 Base stocks (saturates, aromatic hydrocarbons, Group I+, II+, III+) 15

1.9.1 What does 'synthetic' mean? 16

1.9.2 Polyalphaolefins (PAO) 16

1.9.3 Other synthetic hydrocarbons 16

1.9.4 Switching to PAO 17

1.9.5 Polyalkylene glycols (PAG) (also polar compounds) 17

1.9.6 Esters (and biodegradable lubricants) 17

1.9.7 Naphthenics 18

1.10 Oil performance (and additive requirements) 18

1.11 Water separability (demulsibility) 19

1.12 Supplemental ('proprietary') additives 19

2. REVISION 1 20

3. AUTOMOTIVE LUBRICATING OILS, ENGINES

3.1 Engine oils (also ZDTP, detergents and dispersants) 21

3.2 API (American Petroleum Institute)service categories 22

3.3 Sulphated ash 22

3.4 TBN (Total Base Number) 23

3.5 ILSAC (International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee) 23

3.6 ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles) 24

3.7 Equipment manufacturers (OEM, a brief note) 25

3.8 What oil to use in car engines / Engine oil selection (a brief summary) 26

3.9 Two-stroke petrol engines 27

3.10 Outboard engine and gear oils 27

3.11 Four-stroke motorcycle engines 27

3.12 Gas engines 27

3.13 Marine engines and emergency power generation 28

3.14 Railroad engine oils 28

3.15 Gas turbines 28

3.16 Automotive gear oils for manual gearboxes and axles 29

3.17 Limited-slip differentials 29

3.18 Eaton (formerlyFuller) / ZF-FreedomLine30

3.19 Caterpillar TO-4 30

3.20 Allison 30

3.21 Total Acid Number (TAN) 31

3.22 Automatic transmission fluids (ATF) 32

3.23 Farm equipment oils (UTTO, STOU) 32

3.24 Brake fluids 33

4. REVISION 2 33

5. LUBRICATION CONDITIONS

5.1 Hydrodynamic lubrication 34

5.2 Boundary lubrication (lubricity, anti-wear, EP) 34

5.3 Elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) 35

6. INDUSTRIAL GEAR OILS 36

6.1 Worm gears (PAG) 37

6.2 Continuously variable transmissions (small, industrial type) 38

6.3 Open gears 38

7. GREASES 39

7.1 Grease thickeners 39

7.2 Grease compatibility 39

7.3 Grease consistency 40

7.4 Grease lubricated rolling element bearings 41

7.5 Typical replenishment instructions for big electric motors 42

7.6 Grease-filled gearboxes 42

7.7 Grease selection 42

7.8 Grease or oil? 43

8. BEARINGS, CIRCULATING OILS 44

8.1 Rolling element bearings 44

8.2 Plain bearings 44

8.3 Paper machines 45

8.4 Steam turbines 45

9. COMPRESSORS

9.1 Air compressors (also coalescer filters) 46

9.2 Vacuum pumps 48

9.3 Other gases 48

9.4 Refrigeration compressors 49

10. HYDRAULIC FLUIDS 50

10.1 Fire-resistant fluids 53

10.2 Oil cleanliness 53

11. LUBRICANT STORAGE 54

12. TRANSFORMER OILS 54

13. SHELF LIFE OF LUBRICANTS 54

14. MACHINE TOOLS 55

15. CUTTING FLUIDS (for grinding and metal cutting) 55

16. RUST PREVENTIVES 55

17. REVISION 3 56

18. CHALLENGE 57

ANSWERS 58

CHARTS 67

About the Author

Petr Vavruch
Petr Vavruch

Petr Vavruch, Pr Eng, Ing. (Prague), spent most of his working life with Mobil Oil and its successor (due to sanctions against apartheid South Africa) Engen.

He is a senior member of engineering societies in South Africa and, during his career at Engen, was also a member of STLE and presented two papers at STLE annual meetings.

After graduating from the Czech Technical University in Prague, he helped to design original automatic transmissions for road vehicles. In South Africa, he worked in the Chrysler car factory, designed instruments at the CSIR, and worked in the Mechanical Research Department of ESCOM.

At Mobil, Petr was a Field Engineer (Fuels & lubricants), Administrative Manager of Mobil Diesel Club and a Planning Engineer for automotive engine oils and other lubricants.

During the last 10 years at Engen, he was in charge of specifications and formulations of industrial and marine lubricating oils and specifications of base oils – also helping to solve production and field problems with these products.

Petr participated in or was in charge of a number of projects, e.g. new air compressor oils, synthetic lubricants, the universal diesel engine oil, a new range of engine oils, metalworking fluids, hydraulic fluids, industrial gear oils, open gear oils, turbine oils, marine engine oils and refrigeration oils.

He is now retired, has written a textbook for technical colleges and edited a number of 'Technology' textbooks for high schools. He lectures for The South African Institute of Tribology and works part-time at the University of Cape Town helping 3rd year students with mechanical design. Once a year, he is a moderator at the Mechanical Engineering Faculty of the University of Stellenbosch.

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