Lubricant Storage And Handling: It Matters More Than You Think

June 17, 2022

Lubricant Storage And Handling: It Matters More Than You Think

Both the physics of machines and practical experience have made it clear that machines cannot fight friction without lubrication. Quality lubrication eliminates contaminants and other elements that increase the friction between the machine parts and cause wear and tear.

What will happen to your machine if the lubricant you are using is not pure and clean? It will fail to do its job of reducing contaminants and even add to the cause.

Read Also: What Are The Benefits Of Regular Oil Analysis?

Poor in-plant storage and handling is often the root cause of chemical and moisture contamination. Hence, the storage and handling of lubricants is a more important task than most of us think it to be. The following blog elucidates the top reasons why proper lubricant storage and handling matters.

The 3Cs In Lubrication Storage And Handling

The easiest way to confirm you are doing well in terms of lubricant storage and collection is to make sure you and your team are pondering on these three elements.

  • Contamination: avoid any type of contamination in the products.
  • Confusion: take measures to prevent any confusion about any product, label them correctly, and ensure appropriate usage.
  • Containment: ensure containment to prevent environmental pollution.

To improve the performance and service of lubricants their storage and handling procedures should be checked. Storage and handling are usually treated as afterthoughts. But, these afterthoughts have a significant impact on the performance of the lubricant program.

Lubricant Packaging

Lubricants are packaged in various forms such as drums, pails, totes, and bulk tanks to cater to different consumption rates and storage facilities. To select the packaging that best suit your needs consider the following points:

  • What is your average consumption rate? You can determine it based on historical data. This will help you determine the usage in a given period.
  • Maintain a safety stock at optimum level. This stock can account for emergency refills.
  • Try to ensure a first-in-first-out inventory system to ensure that the usage and storage flow can be maintained within the space limitations.
  • Determine the storage condition of your storage facility. Storage environment and storage conditions greatly influence the shelf life and purity of a lubricant.

Recommended Storage Life

Most lubricants have a manufacturer’s or lubricant distributor advised shelf life based on the additives they contain. For instance, the effectiveness of lubricants containing rust inhibitors after six months in storage. Conversely, some turbine lubricants with light additives can last on the shelf for up to three years.

However, the shelf life of your lubricants highly depends on the storage conditions. Hence, most manufacturers provide proper storage guidelines for every lubricant to maximize the shelf life. Some conditions are proven to be effective for most lubricants, a few of them are listed below.

Temperature fluctuations cause air siphoning. Along with air, moisture and other elements also enter the container and result in contamination.

Extreme temperatures can cause chemical degradation. Depending on the formulation a rust lubricant may become less stable in an oil base leading to precipitation. This precipitation increases by manifolds in extreme cold and hot temperatures.

A humid environment is not appreciable in storage facilities. Petrol-based lubricants are usually hygroscopic. When they are exposed to open air they readily absorb airborne moisture. The moisture immediately starts breaking down the additive package. This accelerates the oxidation of the lubricant’s base, once it is put into service.

About Micro-Lube

Micro-Lube is a full-service conveyor lubrication Company with international experience and a genuine commitment to professional, affordable, and personalized service to its diverse customers. Our lubricants are available in various packaging to cater to all kinds of clients’ size needs. Similarly, our storage tools are the best to use for the sophisticated job of lubricant storage and keep them in usable condition for a long time.

Our staff has over ten years of “hands-on” experience in conveyor and chain lubrication which has earned our customers’ confidence in our products and services. Contact us here for more information.

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