According to MachineryLubrication, improper lubrication is one of the three main causes of equipment failure. There are a number of issues that can occur with your equipment as a result of improper lubrication.
Equipment wear is very common, particularly where there are issues with lubrication. Mechanical wear happens when surfaces rub against each other, so inadequate lubrication is a common cause of wear. There are different types of wear that can occur depending on the cause.
Abrasive wear is caused by particles in the system. These can come from contaminated lubricants, dirt in the system or wear. The particles cause surface fatigue, pitting and scoring the equipment surfaces.
Adhesive wear is the result of two surfaces coming together and transferring material from one to the other. This occurs when the load is too much for the lubricant, there is not enough lubricant between the surfaces or if the wrong viscosity of product is used.
Other types of damage can occur as a result of selecting the wrong type of lubricant for your equipment. Some of the additives in lubricants do not react well with certain types of metal and materials. For example, some EP (extreme pressure) additives react with yellow metals so cannot be used in equipment with brass components. Certain base oils and additives can also react with materials in seals and other components or paints used in the equipment. It is very important to check that your lubricants are compatible with your equipment.
Contamination, extreme temperatures, incorrect product, water ingress, excessive oxidation; there are many potential sources of equipment damage related to lubrication. By ensuring that you have the correct products for your application and a thorough proactive lubrication management plan in place, you can make significant cost savings and improve the reliability and efficiency of your equipment.