Every day, industries worldwide strive hard to keep their equipment running smoothly and efficiently, and they do so by effectively maintaining their machines and ensuring their regular and adequate lubrication.
Lubrication forms an integral part of machine maintenance, and helps to reduce friction and keeps various machine parts in their best possible shape. Lubricants have so many vital functions in the life of a machine that one would think that the more it is applied, the better it is. However, over-greasing or regreasing frequently can cause many problems that can turn into costly mistakes.
The lubrication of machines should follow a specific program and set a schedule, the amount of grease/oil needed at each relubrication should be set by proper calculation.
Below are some of the consequences and problems which can arise due to over greasing and improper lubrication.
Loss Of Energy
Bearings require a certain amount of force or torque to continue their motion. During this process, the bearings churn through the lubricant, splashing it to all surfaces inside the machine. The lubricant churning, however, can cause extreme loss of energy when applied at a high level.
When the lubricant level is too high, the bearings will be forced to produce extra torque and will have to work harder to move and push through the added grease. This increased effort makes the machine inefficient, and now it has to apply a lot more force than before to complete a simple task. This increased energy consumption will also mean high energy bills for the industry.
Increase In Temperature
The churning of the excess lubricant also causes an increase in temperature. High operating temperatures can have a negative impact on the lubricant's service life, reducing it to half. For every 10°C rise in the operating temperature of the machine above 65°C, the lubricant's service time will decrease by half. This means that if a grease were to last for one month at 150°C, it would last for two weeks at 160°C and one week at 170°C before it needs to be replaced or re-lubricated.
Lubricant starvation is the point where a machine becomes devoid of grease or oil, and there is not enough lubrication between the parts. It can happen due to lubricant leakage but is usually a direct consequence of over greasing.
Due to over greasing, as described above, the life of the lubricant is reduced to half, and this means that it won't be offering protection for long and will run out way before the next scheduled relubrication. During this time, the machine parts will wear out, and the friction between them due to lack of the lubricant will cause equipment failure. Lubricant starvation will result in expensive repairs, maintenance, replacement, and downtime.
At high temperature, caused by excessive lubricant churning, the oxidation of grease is accelerated, as well as the rate of oil bleed. Oil bleed or leakage is the phenomenon where oil gets separated from the thickener and leaks out from the component, leaving the thickener behind. This thickener becomes hard over time and forms a crusty build-up which eventually blocks the various parts of a machine preventing any new grease from entering their core.
The thick build-up of the thickener over some time results in the degradation of the components and complete component failure at one point.
In addition to damaging and degrading various components of a machine, over greasing can also damage the equipment's seal. The excess lubricant can easily find its way between the lip seal and cause it to rupture. This allows different contaminants like water and dirt to leak and enter the bearing housing. Seal failure can significantly impact your machine, causing you to flush your system entirely.
These are some of the consequences and effects of over lubricating your industrial equipment. For any further queries, visit our website https://www.micro-lube.com or contact us today at 1-888-865-2271.