Lubrication is a process that controls the effect of friction and reduces the level of wear experienced by two or more surfaces that are in close contact to each other. There are a myriad of substances used as lubricating agents, but the most effective are oil or grease-based. Often employed in various machinery, lubrication systems deliver a precise amount of a particular lubricant when the machine is in operational mode.
An effective lubrication system can reduce the generation of heat, friction, wear, and energy, as well as decrease the consumption of lubricant. A byproduct of such reductions includes the reduction of noise from increased friction levels produced by moving parts. More than that, lubrication systems minimize the risk of corrosion and protect machinery from contaminants. In addition, they improve the overall efficiency of the machine, increase its service life, and reduce maintenance and repair costs.
Generally, a lubrication system will include a pumping element, lubricating tank, electrical control device, dividers, distributors, and distribution lines that have pipes and fittings. While the main components remain the same, lubrication systems vary based on the particular requirement of the machinery and the industrial sector you are operating in. That being said, we will outline three of the most common lubrication systems below.
1. Grease Lubrication System
In this system, greasing pumps are utilized to properly provide grease to certain lubrication points. Typically, a dual line and progressive system is used for the main system. A dual line system has a modular design, and it is better suited for industries that operate large machines and have multiple lubrication points. This system is quite common in the iron and steel industries, cement plants, platforms, large cranes, cargo handling equipment, etc. Meanwhile, a developing/progressive system correctly distributes grease into separate outlets with the help of a progressive spool arrangement. This system is a good option for small, medium, and large sized machines that necessitate the complete control of plant operations.
2. Oil Lubrication System
For the total loss of lubrication, oil or fluid grease produces a thin film of oil on most machinery parts for added protection. Additionally, it can be renewed with an automated lubrication system through an electric oil pump. The main systems involved in this lubrication process are single line and 33V systems.
3. Air-Oil lubrication System
With air-oil lubrication systems, the quantity of oil is pulled apart by the flow of air in the narrow tube. From there, it is transported in the direction of the lubrication point. Furthermore, the bearing is consistently supplied with small drops of oil from the outlet of the nozzle while the carrier air leaves the bearing completely oil free. This system consists of an air-oil stream that can cool and carry tiny quantities of air-oil particles to the lubricating points. Moreover, it is suitable for large machines that are common in industrial sectors.
Other popular methods for lubrication include spray, oil mist, and splash lubrication systems.
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