Certain elements of lubricants can pose danger to the environment and the health of the people. It is crucial to learn about the toxicity of the components used in lubricating substances like lubricant oil and grease in order to identify its danger.
The base oil is the key part lubricating oil and grease. The American Petroleum Institute, the biggest trade association for the oil and natural gas industry in the United States classifies base oils into five different groups. Oils belonging to Group I and II oils are something to be very careful of.
The Group I oils consist of compounds recognized as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These substances are present in nature and can also be manufactured. The y are found in coal, tar and also other sorts of oils. These compounds are contaminations that have been left behind after the refining procedure and the reason oils coming from group I are considered to be carcinogenic.
The Group II oils are explained as being mildly hydrotreated. Although there are no human data that exist for these substances, researches involving animals have produced results suggesting possible carcinogenicity for oils belonging to this group.
In using lubricants that contain base oils belonging to Group I and Group II, it is important to assess the chances of the lubricants coming in contact with the environment and how it can be prevented or minimized.
There are lots of aftermarket lubricant additives with claims of enhancing the performance of your industrial grease or oil. How true are these claims? And what makes after market lubricant additives special?
The claims of these additives improving lubricant performance are largely unsupported. If you visit an automotive store and look at the data sheets for their additive products, you will find that almost all are identical. Most of the supposedly special aftermarket lubricant additives use SAE 50 base oil and the typical additives found in your standard lubricant packages. An exemption are the lubricant additives that use polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE.
However, PTFE has been found out over and over to have no beneficial effects. PTFE was designed more than five decades ago. The company behind the compound stated it offers no advantage as an active ingredient in lubricant additives and oil packages for internal combustion engines.
PTFE lubricant additives have also been tested by NASA. Their tests revealed that the products offer no improvement in the performance of the lubricant. In some cases, the use of the additives had negative effects. The solids in the additives had the tendency to gather at inlets or paths, preventing the passage of oil and depriving parts of lubricant.
Simply put, there are no trustworthy studies that support the claims of these aftermarket additives. There is a reason why there are a lot of fines and legal actions being taken against companies that produce these additives. There is also a reason why machine and car manufacturers don’t recommended these sort of products.
The eco-friendliness of products are becoming the selling point of many businesses. But this trend does not seem to apply when it comes to lubrication. The biodegradable lubricants have been around for quite some time now but the number of machine shops that use these products are still far too few. A big reason why machine shops are slow to make the change has to do with information and routine.
There are two basic approaches to green lubrication. The first is to search for ways to eliminate or minimize the amount of lubricants being disposed in the environment. The second is to make use of products that are suited for environment-sensitive applications. The heavy involvement of government agencies drives the implementation of practices for the first approach.
And although agencies are trying, this level of influence does not extend to the types of products.
It is hard for people who have been using the same lubrication products for years with the desired results to shift to a new lubricant. There are risks involving costs and performance which the current economy makes it hard for businesses to take. The government cannot force shops to use lubrication products unless they are willing to cover the losses resulting from such changes. A good amount of knowledge regarding products and practices are needed to guide decisions towards eco-friendly or green lubrication.
Biodegradable lubricants degrade when exposed to certain microorganisms. And although this property is beneficial to the environment, this also results to shorter life of the lubricant. Not all lubrication applications are free from microbial contaminants.
Grease is essential to keep equipment running efficiently and minimize wear damage. In order to accomplish this task, the lubricant must be in good working condition. Industrial grease and other kinds of lubricants start to degrade once put into service. Working conditions like heat, loading forces, and contamination can cause the grease to deteriorate, negatively affecting its lubricating capability. If the lubricating capability is compromised, so does equipment life and performance.
The primary purpose of lubricant analysis is to prevent the aforementioned problem from happening. After the grease is put into service, periodical testing is performed to determine the rate of deterioration which is then used to determine the schedule for reapplication. The aim is to replace or reapply grease before deterioration can affect equipment performance and health.
Aside from being a preventative maintenance process, lubricant analysis is also used for troubleshooting. The result of the analysis can be used to detect problems in their early stages which can help full-blown failures from occurring. The condition of the grease is helpful for identifying problems way before equipment shows signs of trouble.
The frequency of grease analysis differs according to equipment. Lubricant analysis can be costly if done unmindfully. Lubricant analysis must be frequently performed for critical equipment. Critical equipment refers to those that have the highest value to the operation. These are the equipment that when experience failures can really affect productivity or halt the operation.
Plyometric boxes or jump boxes are used for athletic training and exercise. Athletes jump on these boxes that come in different heights to train jumping power or explosiveness. Depending on the weight of the individual, these boxes are exposed to 50 to more than 100 kilograms of dynamic force. A plyometric box that is unable to handle these forces can come apart and can cause injury.
There are many kinds of materials used for plyometric boxes. There are foam, plastics, metal and wooden boxes. The metal boxes are the most durable. However, a mistimed jump can end up with the shin hitting the box. This can really hurt a lot and lead to a serious injury.
The metal boxes are also quite heavy which can be problematic if you have a small workout space as it will require quite a bit of moving. The plyometric boxes that are made of foam or plastics are the safer way to go. They are also the most expensive ones and the forces that they are constantly exposed to can cause the material to deform.
This brings us to the wooden boxes. Wood is not the most durable or softer material. However, with polyurethane adhesives and proper bonding, the boxes can be made to withstand all the forces you create when jumping on it. Plus, it is must lighter than metal and can easily be added with cushioning to keep you safe.
Chrome is a popular surface finishing technique used for metal and plastic objects. Chrome finish is used for many decorative and practical purposes. The luster of polished chrome is very elegant. Chrome creates a hard-wearing protective barrier against abrasion and corrosion. However, chrome is not invulnerable. Leaving chrome unprotected from moisture and other elements can compromise its appearance and protective ability. Chrome plated items and equipment must be regularly cleaned.
There are many kinds of fancy cleaning products in stores that are supposedly designed for cleaning chrome. There are many products boasting advanced technology powering its cleaning capability. This can be quite confusing for someone looking for the best cleaning product. Despite the all the advanced competitions, the simple all-purpose oil is still one of the best cleaning product for chrome. This kind of oil can be used for cleaning and as a lubricant for simple tasks.
There are cleaning products that rely on certain chemicals improve its cleaning power. Some of these chemicals are damaging to chrome. In order to remove stains and dirt, these chemicals also strips off the chrome plating little by little.
An all purpose oil is easy and safe to use for cleaning. Simply apply oil on the surface that needs cleaning and let it soak for around a minute or two. Stains or buildups from corrosion are softened and can be removed by a brush. A nylon brush is enough for most cleaning duty. A steel wire brush can be used for more difficult to remove stains and dirt for hard chrome.
There are various kinds of industrial grease that are available. Certain kinds of greases are more popular than the others. This is the case with aluminum-complex and lithium-complex grease with the latter being the more popular kind. More manufacturers produce lithium-complex greases and this is not only because of the demand of the consumer.
In terms of performance, the two kinds of grease are very similar with the aluminum-complex grease edging out in certain aspects. The issue with aluminum-complex grease that hinders its popularity is its higher price. To many operations managers, its advantages in terms of performance not enough to justify the price. The end result is that aluminum-complex greases becomes a last resort. It is only selected if there is no other choice.
The difference in performance between the these two kinds of greases depend on the manufacturing process and formulation used by the lubrication company. In order to accurately evaluate whether it is worth using one over the other, comparison information from the lubrication company itself must be seen and analyzed.
Although the cost by and large puts aluminum-complex grease at a disadvantage, there are aspects in which it normally has advantage over lithium-complex greases. Aluminum-complex greases are generally more resistant against oxidation and water washout. These properties, however, are still dependent on the actual formulation. A weakness of aluminum-complex greases is work stability.
Work stability is the ability of a grease to withstand recurring working while having only minimal change in its consistency or structure. In other words, these aluminum-complex greases might break down more easily and not be able to maintain its consistency.
A common chore when it comes to lubrication is choosing between mineral-based and synthetic lubricants. Both types of lubricants have pros and cons. Synthetic lubricants have longer lifespan and have excellent properties that makes them usable in applications in which mineral oil lubricants can’t. A synthetic lubricant, however, cost significantly higher than its mineral oil counterpart. Its use requires careful deliberation and must consider how the high cost can be recouped. So when do you use a synthetic lubricant?
One of the best qualities of synthetic lubricants is its ability to tolerate harsh operation conditions. It is ideally used in environments that are very hot or cold. Its use is also recommended for situations where the temperature regularly changes from very cold to very hot.
Synthetic lubricants also have longer lifespan compared to mineral oils. This makes it ideal to use on lubrication points that are hard to get to and you cannot get into without stopping the operation. By doing so, you are able to increase the time between operation stoppage and helps improve the productivity of the operation. Another quality of synthetic lubricants is its great protection against corrosion. This makes it perfect to be used on very expensive equipment or machines that requires the best kind of protection.
There are synthetic lubricants that have good biodegradability which makes them ideal for applications where leakage to the environment can be an issue. An example for sort of use are for heavy equipments that are used for digging or dredging of canals, rivers and other water ways. Its biodegradability makes it less harmful to the environment.
There many finishing methods used to protect metal from corrosion. The protection offered differ according to the type of finish. Chrome plating is finishing method where a thin layer of chromium is electroplated onto a metal object. It can also be used for certain types of plastic.
Chrome plating provides a very good protection against corrosion. It creates a barrier that prevents the metal to react with the moisture in the air. It also used for decorative purposes. In increases the hardness of the surface of an object and makes cleaning easier. lubricants are often used for cleaning chrome surfaces. There are main types of chrome plating, the decorative and hard chrome. Decorative chrome, as implied by the name, is used to make objects more aesthetically pleasing and adds a bit of durability. Hard chrome is widely used in industrial setting to reduce friction and improve resistance against abrasion and corrosion. It is often also used as a filler or bulking material to restore worn parts into their original shape or dimension.
The thicker the chrome plating, the better protection it provides against oxidation. Its thickness, however, comes with a price. As the plate becomes thicker, surface imperfection are also amplified and will require further processes such as polishing. Thick chrome plating are also prone to chipping.
Chrome plating itself is not invulnerable against oxidation. Leaving a chrome plated object in a place with high humidity will result to the plating developing some rust or staining. The rust is relatively easy to remove. A stiff nylon brush and a 3-in-1 lubricating oil is often sufficient enough for cleaning rust on chrome plating.
There are some other chemicals that are used for cleaning chrome and metal surfaces. However, some of these chemicals have been found to cause degradation on the surface of the metal or the plating. Be careful when using such cleaning chemicals.
Many facilities around the globe are blind to the immense dangers posed due to improper storage and handling of industrial lubricants. Fundamentally, proper lubrication involves keeping lubricants cool, clean, properly labeled, in their specific right amount, and right place.
I. To avoid contacting lubricating oil with the body or skin; put on oil-proof safety gloves and gear with efficient protection. If the lubricants do come into contact with the skin use a protective cream to get them off and rinse thoroughly.
II. When handling lubricant drums, at least two people should be on hand to upend and overturn the drums. The drums should also never be let to free roll. If a drum bursts a seam and spills it may create a slip hazard or even a fire hazard.
III. In the case of an inadvertent spill, which then produces a slip hazard or may be a fire hazard, the spill should immediately be cleaned up using absorbent drying granules. Biodegradable and Eco-friendly lubricants also come into play during large outdoor spillages as they do not pollute the environment.
IV. In a case where the lubricants come into contact with the eyes, thoroughly rinse with warm water for at least ten minutes and contact a physician for further analysis.
V. Great care should be maintained when using hand tools. The right tool should be used for the specific job. Improvisation of hand tools for unintended jobs should be avoided.
VI. To avoid cases of inhalation of oil mists and fumes always wear a protective mask when handling products with such mists and fumes. Also ensure the working premises are well ventilated.
VII. Petroleum is generally flammable and thus highly likely to cause fire hazards. Smoking should be strongly prohibited around any kind of petroleum product. In the event of fire, sound the alarm and call the firefighting services.
VIII. Work-lifts and ladders should be inspected from time to time to ensure they are in good condition, and grease and oil free. While climbing on the ladders, use both hands and carry equipment in a bag or the pockets.
IX. A lubricant identification and labeling system should be implemented and maintained at the workplace to avoid lubricant cross contamination which may lead to devastating results.
X. Pressurized equipment should be handled with care and while ensuring the use of protective gear to prevent injection injuries. Injection injuries, like that caused by a pressurized grease gun, should solicit immediate medical attention and treatment to avoid bacterial infections.
At the core of safety while handling industrial lubricants, is training. Essentially, workers must be trained, well-trained, on the practices involved in safely handling industrial lubricants. For the protection of the equipment and the safety of workers, it’s imperative to comprehend fully the safety precautions.
Industrial lubricants are very important in the modern economy. Industries are all over the world producing important machines and other materials that are important for our daily needs. However, lubricating oil can also present a danger whenever disposed of in the wrong manner. There are several alternatives that can be used instead of disposing the lubricants and this not only reduces the impact of the lubricant on the environment, but also provides for an eco-friendly mode of disposal. In the next couple of paragraphs, we will take a brief look at this very important issue and how it affects us all.
In the industry, there may be times when you have to dispose the lubricants. For instance, when the lubricant has been contaminated by another substance. However, most of the time, throwing away the lubricant is just like throwing away precious money since there are better ways to make use of the lubricant. It also has a direct impact on the plant and animal life around us which could eventually lead to impacting the quality of our lives as well.
When industry lubricants are disposed, they pose serious threats to the environment. This is a threat we are all trying to eliminate by going green. By being eco-friendly and purifying or re-using the lubricants in the industry, we save a lot of money that would have been spent buying more industry lubricants. There is the risk of pollution to the environment around us which degrades the quality of the soil as well as killing the living organisms that are in the soil and water bodies nearby. This has a very huge impact to the entire ecosystems hence the need for better lubricant disposal methods. This will mean a better environment around us and more savings for industries.