The Benefits Of Inert Lubricants

Inert lubricants are widely used in industry because they present a number of benefits which aren’t present with petroleum- and chemical-based lubricants. These lubricants have special properties that make them a much better option for industrial purposes than many other greases and lubricants, allowing lubrication to be put in locations and on materials that would otherwise not be able to be effectively lubricated.

Defining Inert Lubricants

In order to understand the benefits of inert lubricants and why they’re so vital to industry, it’s important that you first understand exactly what inert lubricants are. An inert lubricant, also known as a PCTFE (polychlorotriflouroethylene) lubricant, is one that has been saturated with halogen in order to make it chemically inert. This means that the lubricant isn’t going to react with chemicals in order to form new compounds such as dangerous gasses. The process of making the lubricants inert also renders them nonflammable, meaning that using them eliminates the danger of fire that can be associated with petroleum-based lubricants. Other features of inert lubricants include a high thermal stability, high density, and a low compression factor.
Usefulness of Inert Lubricants

As mentioned above, inert lubricants are nonflammable. This makes them ideal for use in high-heat environments where traditional lubricants could not be used because of the danger of ignition. The high thermal stability of these lubricants is very useful in these environments as well because the lubricants will continue to do their job even when less stable lubricants would have broken down or become too thin to be very useful.

Because the lubricants do not react chemically with materials they can be used on metals which are generally quite reactive in order to prevent oxidation and to provide necessary lubrication. This allows the inert lubricants to not only keep machinery working by keeping the parts lubricated but it also can greatly extend the life of chemically-sensitive parts by preventing unwanted chemical reactions such as rust which can greatly damage those parts and reduce their functional lifespan by years.

The low compression factor of inert lubricants can make them very useful in hydraulic systems. Because the lubricants don’t compress very much when pressure is applied to them, they can provide significant resistance in hydraulic drums (which in turn gives more power to the hydraulic system as a whole without the need for a larger amount of fluid in the system.

Inert lubricants also have a high density as compared to some other forms of lubrication, which allows them to serve as a better lubricant that is much more likely to coat the system that it is used in. Combining the high density with the high thermal stability of these lubricants lets you see how the lubricants can be effectively used in engines and other heavy machinery in order to provide adequate protection for the system without the fear of a loss of viscosity or thermal breakdown which could cause the lubricant to become too thin to use effectively.
Along similar lines, inert lubricants also have what is known as a high dielectric strength; this means that they can resist a significant amount of electricity before they start to break down (in much the same manner as they can resist heat.) This allows them to be used effectively in the lubrication of electrical systems where a short or exposure to voltage might cause other lubricating materials to break down much sooner.

Other Benefits

In addition to the benefits that are mentioned above, inert lubricants provide an alternative to some other petroleum-based lubricants. They are made from specific polymers instead of being produced directly from petroleum, meaning that they do not have the same dependence on fossil fuels that a number of other lubricants have. Because these inert lubricants aren’t going to react chemically with the materials that they’re used on, they can also be used more freely without having to worry about causing accidental damage to some sensitive equipment.
Aside from the reduced reliance on fossil fuels, inert lubricants also are much less likely to cause environmental damage that usually results from large fires or the release of hazardous gasses because of the inert properties that these lubricants display. This means that they can assist industry in reducing its environmental impact and having a reduced carbon footprint.


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