The following are things are aspects that define an application. Failure to consider the important aspects of an application will increase the risk of something going wrong.
The highest and lowest expected or design required temperatures and how the application is going to run under high and low temperature is important information when analyzing a lubricant application.
Residence Time and Life
The demands of lubrication for life applications are more challenging than applications where re-lubrication is possible. Applications with temperatures that exceed the limits of a lubricant can be used if the residence time in the application is brief enough to satisfy the demands of that application. It is generally preferable to use a lubricant that has a much longer life, even if it is more expensive, to reduce the total cost and risk.
Type of Application
The type of application impacts many aspects of lubrication. The type of application is also useful in choosing a lubricant based upon the lubrication engineer’s application experience.
The materials that the lubricant will be in contact with and could be in contact with should be considered. The lubricant chosen should be compatible with the application materials over the expected operating temperature conditions.
A tribocontact is a point where two materials meet that either slide or roll against one another. The materials that are in contact, load, speed, and duty cycle should be considered when choosing a lubricant.
The requirements of any specification(s) that are in place must be considered. If a lubricant meets all of the functional requirements but does not match the characteristics in the lubricant specification, will it be possible to change the specification to describe the new lubricant?
Health and Safety
In the United States, there are three categories for food grade lubricant that affect the lubricant components that can be used. Some components have hazards associated with them. Some components can become hazardous in certain applications. The hazard risk, in the context of the application, to benefit of must be considered.
Packaging, Labeling, and Delivery
This aspect of lubrication engineering is often overlooked until late the process. It is important to consider how the lubricant will be delivered to the customer and how the consumer will apply the lubricant from the package to the end use. The label on the lubricant must communicate any GHS hazards along with other relevant information.
How much lubricant will be needed and how much time does the supplier have from the time an order is placed to the time when it is delivered? What are the expected order patterns?