Why Lubricant Additives are Important
Humans have employed lubricants for centuries. From wheel-axle bearings to automotive motors, lubricants of natural and chemical origins have provided the ability to operate smoothly. With today’s more complex machinery, different components require diverse types of lubricants (base oils). As a result, particularly in industrial applications, these lubricants require additives.
Functions of Lubricant Additives
Additives are organic or inorganic constituents formulated for the improvement of specific qualities of base stock operating under diverse conditions. These include types created to provide or enhance the chemical, physical and anti-friction properties.
Additives can reduce the pour point of a lubricant. They can also:
- Prevent the lubricant from losing its thickness (viscosity) when operating at high temperatures
- Act as metal deactivators
- Inhibit the formation of rust and corrosion
- Impede the forming of foam by the lubricant
- Modify the coefficient of friction
While enhancing the performance of the lubricant, the additives also act to prolong the life of the machinery.
There are different additives for different applications. Additives can include detergents, anti-wear additives, friction modifiers, antioxidants, corrosion inhibitors, viscosity index improvers, and more.
Are Lubricant Additives Important?
Ask anyone who operates any type of sophisticated equipment why lubricant additives are important? The answer will be as simple or complex as the equipment requiring it. Without additives, any lubricant cannot perform its necessary and even essential function. The machinery will be negatively affected without this very important addition. The result can be excessive wear-and-tear, increased oxidation, degradation and the failure of the equipment to operate at its maximum potential.