What Are Lubricants/Oil and Why Are They Important to Machines?

Lubricant is a substance or material that's applied between two surfaces of objects that move relative to each other; to prevent or reduce friction so that its movement can be easy, cooling, provide rust and corrosion protection, and cleaning lubricated components.

Prevent or Reduce Friction

Lubricants can prevent or reduce friction by forming a layer (lubricant film) between the surfaces of the components that move relative to each other, so there is no direct contact between surfaces.


Absorbs heat directly from machine components, then cooling it in the oil cooler (if the lubricating system is equipped by an oil cooler) or in the sump tank (oil tank). Therefore, it is crucial to keep the oil volume at a sufficient level (between 'min and max' level).

Provide Rust and Corrosion Protection

Provide a protective layer on the surface of machine components; so that there is no direct contact with contaminant materials in the lubricant that can cause rust (water or air).

Some lubricants have a base additive, which neutralizes acids that occurs during the operation process, which prevents corrosion of the machines component.  

Cleaning Lubricated Components

Lubricants can clean machine components by capturing dirt/contaminants, both internal contaminations occurring during operation (wear metal) or external contamination (dust); then, the oil is cleaned in the filter (if equipped with filter system) or collected in the sump tank. That is why; crucial to periodically replace lubricants. In addition to providing new oil, also remove impurities that occur during operation.

Power Transmission

Transfer of power is a function of hydraulic oil, ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid), and the Power Steering fluid that acts as a medium of transfer of power. They work as a power transfer by moving the actuator with the pressure generated by the pump flow.


In the transformer, one of the main functions of lubricant is as an insulator that provides insulation in the transformer windings to prevent arcing or short circuits. 

Muhammad Saputra Application Engineer, Email : a3.msaputra@gmail.com

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