Lubricants are necessary to run many pieces of technology and equipment. Lubrication keeps metal parts from grinding to a halt and ceasing to function. The smooth glide of gears, chains and other parts requires regular lubrication. With all the different types available, here’s a quick guide to choosing the right one for your project.
There are certain projects that need lubrication but not the gunk left behind by traditional lubricants. Using a dry lubricant made from particles such as PTFE, graphite, silicone or molybdenum work at the molecular level to create a slippery surface. Often mixed with a solvent, the particles spray on then dry quickly. Dry lubricants from a lubricant supplier in VA are often used for hinges, threaded rods, locks and 3D printer rails.
Thin liquids with long polymer chains is the simple definition of oil. Many also feature additives for specific purposes. The most well-known oil is motor oil for vehicles with regular replacement every few thousand miles. However, all types of machines use oil to keep running smoothly from sewing machines to weed eaters. Oil is thin enough to fit into small spaces but can be washed away and absorb water.
Sometimes parts get stuck, build up with rust or refuse to come apart. Penetrating lubricants can be a savior in these situations. Low-viscosity oils feature additives to work into tiny spaces. The penetrating work helps break apart rust and lubricate as it penetrates.
Thickeners are added to an oil, particularly mineral oil, to create grease. Many also feature lubricating particles to adhere to surfaces better than slippery oil. Grease is often used in the automotive industry to properly lubricate chains, gears, linkages and bearings. The thick lubricant seals out dust and water but are messy and don’t work with fast-moving or fine mechanisms.
Keep your machines operating smoothly by regularly checking the lubricants. Choosing the right lubricant for the job can make all the difference in the smooth operation of your machine.