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Most Common Reasons for Contaminated Lubricants

Industrial lubricants play vital roles in overall machining health, worker safety, and production rates. But contamination is an unfortunate reality that many professionals face due to a lack of proper care and handling. While not every contaminant is hostile, exposure to any contamination can drastically degrade a lubricant’s ability to perform. Here are some of the most common reasons and causes of contamination in lubricants.

Too Much Contact With Water

Usually, bulk storage can create a host of issues. While this is an effective storage solution for many and is highly recommended, it’s essential to get these storage efforts perfect from location to spatial awareness and everything in between. Choose a safe, clean, and dry location to ensure compatibility.

Factor in altering weather patterns and how this may affect the space’s ability to keep water out. A few common issues with water contact usually stem from rainwater, flood damage, or freezing temperatures causing condensation.

Excessive Humidity Exposure

Another issue with fluctuating weather conditions is the humidity levels. When exterior temperatures are on a roller coaster ride and patterns shift, the humidity levels vary from high to low.

If your lubricants are not in a climate-controlled environment, the humidity levels can dramatically alter the quality of your lubricants. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on optimal storage climate to help mitigate these issues.

Unsanitary Containers

When transferring a lubricant from one container to the next, it is vital for the new container to be clean and compatible. By putting your lubricant in an unsanitary container, you risk irreversible damage to the quality and essentially increase your risk of production dysfunction. You can prevent lubricant contamination by ensuring you use new, clean, and compatible containers on each transfer.

Exposure To Debris

Another common reason for contaminated lubricants is exposure to debris. It’s vital each lubricant remains in an air-tight container suitable for its chemical compounds, and that transfers or access is carefully considered and well-managed.

The air has billions of pollutants, and the lubricity factor will draw in debris and particles from anywhere when given enough exposure time. Mitigate exterior exposure by performing proper containment and transfer methods.

Protecting the quality of your lubricants is a high priority for all industrial facilities. Regardless of the fluid type and function, protect them from contamination and follow all proper handling procedures.

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Written by Logan Voss

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