Lubrication in Engines

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Unit 12 – Applications of Mechanical Systems in Engineering

Know about the purpose and uses of lubricants and lubrication systems

P1)

Oil - Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oils are a triglyceride that is extracted from agricultural crops, these oils are natural products and therefore their chemical composition changes from one crop to another. They are used in engines and chainsaws as a lubricant instead of petroleum based oils. Canola Oil – made from rapeseed – is an example of a vegetable oil, it is cleaner than petroleum based oils and has less health risks as petroleum oils are commonly carcinogens and can cause eczema, but still is an excellent lubricant. Furthermore Canola oil is non-toxic for the environment.

Grease

Grease is a semi-solid lubricant. Greases have an initial high viscosity but after application the viscosity decreases. An example of a grease used as a lubricant is Silicone Grease, it is a good lubricant and provides resistance to corrosion. It’s used as a lubricant for bike chains and airsoft gun mechanisms and it’s made when silicone oil is mixed with a thickener. Silicone grease does not swell or soften rubber and so is used for lubricating rubber parts and preserving them. The temperature range of it is around -40 to 200°C with some extremes than can be manufactured. Due to its cheap cost and high availability, silicone grease has many different uses such as waterproofing underwater lights and cameras and possibly any other moving part.

Solid Lubricant – Graphite

Graphite is used as a lubricant due to its structure of molecules, it is made out of sheets of carbon atoms where the atoms have a strong bond with others in its plane, but a weak bond with atoms above or below the layer. This makes it a good lubricant because the layers of atoms can easily slide off one another. It is used as a lubricant when there are very high or low temperatures involved, for example a gear lubricant in mining machinery and most...
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