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Understanding Viscosity When Choosing Industrial Lubricants

Jun 2nd 2020

Industrial lubricants are used throughout a variety of industries and they are essential for many different reasons. However, a recent study has shown that only 42% of manufacturers are using the correct procedures to manage their lubricants and 63% of these companies report that they don’t conduct staff training on lubricants as often as they should. This lack of understanding can lead to problems and waste that could otherwise be avoided. To help rectify this, let’s start by looking at one crucial facet of industrial lubricants: viscosity.

Understanding Viscosity

Oil viscosity is one of the most important properties to consider when it comes to choosing synthetic lubricants. However, understanding this importance can be confusing, especially if you’re sifting through pages of technical jargon.

The viscosity of a lubricant is what affects heat generation and the ease in which a machine can start and operate under specific conditions. When choosing a Castrol industrial lubricant for a machine that’s operating in cold temperatures, for instance, the viscosity will play a huge role in how long it takes for the machine to start running at full capability.

To put this into an understandable perspective, many oils will thin in higher temperatures and thicken in colder conditions. However, some Castrol industrial lubricants have been designed to resist these temperature changes, making them more predictable and reliable in various conditions. This ability is indicated in the viscosity index. The higher an index is, the fewer changes in viscosity it will be prone to.

Most commonly, the viscosity of oils such as Castrol lubricants is measured by kinematic viscosity. This is achieved by measuring how much time it takes for the oil to flow through a capillary tube designed for this purpose. The longer it takes, the higher the viscosity of the oil. Simply put, the thicker the oil the higher the viscosity.

Yet another factor in viscosity measurement is its ability to prevent sheering during use. This happens when one plane of lubricant is torn away from another, reducing effectiveness. When in specific conditions, such as extreme temperature or continuous loading, Castrol lubricants may not retain their fail to retain their normal states. If conditions like these aren’t rectified quickly, damage can occur when the oil film is worn away. A failure like this can even happen within hours if conditions are extreme enough.

Know What You Need Before You Buy

The type of Castrol industrial lubricant you choose will depend on the type of machine you’re running, as well as the conditions you will be running it in. While there is no ‘one size fits all’ lubricant, understanding your viscosity needs can help you to make a more well-informed decision. This, in turn, can help keep your machines running longer and can help to prevent unnecessary damage or failures while in use.

If you need further advice on which lubricant to choose, speak with your lubricant distributors for help selecting the best product for you. A professional will also be able to advise you on how to best store and recycle your lubricants so that you can prevent undue accidents and waste.