|Synthetic oils reduce friction, primarily because all of their molecules are of
similar size and shape, while traditional oils have molecules of varying shapes and
additives such as paraffin wax. The test results from synthetics are impressive.|
synthetics have a dirty secret--as do all oils. And in more ways than one. First of all,
synthetics will destroy certain types of seals--seals that are in common use. These seals,
made of buna rubber or silicone compounds, do not last long in the presence of synthetic
So, what are you going to do? You want the increased performance of synthetics, and all
the attendant cost-savings. But, you can't afford the downtime, labor, and materials to
replace every seal in your plant. Whether you are a print shop or a press room, that kind
of downtime can put you out of business for good. Hmm.
Let's take another look at the situation. What do you do to as part of your preventive
maintenance to reduce oil operating temperature? You change the oil. But, oil doesn't wear
out. It just gets contaminated with carbon, metallic particles, and other abrasives--along
with corrosive agents, water, and various minor substances. Not only must the oil
lubricate metal-to-metal, but it must also lubricate between the metal and those abrasive
particles. Worse yet, those abrasives gum together, and stick to surfaces. So, even after
you change the oil, you still have destructive crud in the system. And it finds its way
back into that fresh, clean oil. Hmm, again.
What happens if you disassemble the machine, clean all the parts, and then run it? It
runs cooler, and uses less energy. The oil is cooler, too. Until you start to build up
crud. And then you're back to the same old situation. Hmm.
Do you see a pattern, here? That's right, dirt is the enemy. So, how do you get rid of
it? Changing and filtering your oil helps immensely, but such measures won't remove
built-up abrasive crud. That's the bad news. The good news is you can use a a metal
cleaning additive that will clean, and keep clean, all of the internal working parts of
your machinery or equipment.
And it works effectively with natural, petroleum derived
lubricants. So, while you may not be able to replace that natural oil with synthetic, you
can make it perform much, much better. Traditional oils, in combination with the right
metal cleaning additive, can provide huge cost-savings and long service life. Clean metal
surfaces, free of third party abrasive residues, allow the oil to do its job.
That's the dirty secret of lubrication. Now, don't take this article as a slam against
synthetic lubricants. Quite the contrary. You should use them whenever you can, but the
sad truth is you can't safely use them in many industrial and commercial applications. In
fact, in some industries, you simply cannot use them because seals that will tolerate them
will not work in the processes that industry requires.
One thing many lubrication vendors are doing is hawking synthetics as the cure-all, and
they are wrong for doing so. In fact, you undercut the viability of synthetics when your
oil and the guts of your machines are dirty. So, the first step is to clean that oil,
using an additive designed to do the job.
The fine folks at www.auto-rx.com have developed such an
additive and believe it is the only one formulated for industrial and commercial
application. How do you know this additive will do any good? Try some in one machine, and
see how it works. If you like the results, use it on your other machines.
Oh, one other thing some vendors forget to mention. No oil or additive can make up for
improper machine alignment or balancing. If you are having excess vibration or excess
heating, make sure your machine is mechanically set up right. Make sure it has the proper
voltage on all three phases, with less than 2% phase imbalance.
And make sure you are not
mixing incompatible greases (a common error). Mindconnection has a grease application chart to help you determine
this. The fine folks at www.auto-rx.com have the additive you need.