Oiliness Concept - Boundary Lubrication

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Oiliness Concept - Boundary Lubrication

Lubricants required to operate under boundary lubrication conditions must possess an added quality referred to as oiliness or lubricity to lower the coefficient of friction of the oil between the rubbing surfaces. Oiliness is an oil enhancement property provided through the use of chemical additives known as antiwear (AW) agents. AW agents have a polarizing property that enables them to behave in a manner similar to a magnet. Like a magnet, the opposite sides of the oil film have different polarities. When an AW oil adheres to the metal wear surfaces, the sides of the oil film not in contact with the metal surface have identical polarities and tend to repel each other and form a plane of slippage. Most oils intended for use in heavier machine applications contain AW agents. 

Examples of equipment that rely exclusively on boundary lubrication include reciprocating equipment such as engine and compressor pistons, and slow-moving equipment such as turbine wicket gates. Gear teeth also rely on boundary lubrication to a great extent.

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