What is a lubrication system

Category: Lubrication

lubrication refers to a method for reducing friction between machine elements. A lubricant is used between the friction partners moving towards one another. Lubrication is part of the tribology in mechanical engineering. The lubrication is used, for example, in roller bearings and in central lubrication systems. (P)

Also often searched for: lubrication technology, lubrication

How does lubrication work?


Lubrication can be divided into three broad categories.

Boundary layer lubrication

  • the surfaces of the respective friction partners are covered with a lubricant
  • the lubricant penetrates the body
  • a reaction layer is formed
  • the roughness peaks of the friction partners hold the load

Partial lubrication

  • the roughness peaks and the lubricating film on the bodies hold the load

Full lubrication

  • the lubricating film holds the load
  • there are three further subdivisions:
    • hydrostatic / aerostatic lubrication: The lubricant is pumped into the lubrication gap. This process is complex and expensive.
    • hydrodynamic lubrication: The lubricant is transported into the lubrication gap by the movements of the body surfaces. This process is significantly slower due to the resulting mixed friction and stick-slip.
    • elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHD lubrication): The process is similar to hydrodynamic lubrication, but with EHD lubrication an elastic deformation of the body is taken into account.

A fourth technique is hardly used in practice, but was formulated in its theory as early as 1991.

Super lubrication / super lubrication ability

With super lubrication there is almost no friction between the contact surfaces of the bodies. This happens when two crystalline surfaces slide improperly on top of each other. It will be used, among other things, in the automotive industry, where diamond-like carbons (DLCs) are used.

Lubrication method

Different lubrication methods are used for lubrication. It is about the correct dosage of the lubricant in the right place. The lubricant can be drained off again if it is used incorrectly. The lubrication methods can also be differentiated according to the number of lubrication points. A distinction must be made between the following lubrication methods:

Lifetime lubrication

With this lubrication process, the lubricant is only added once and is not renewed until the end of the workpiece's service life. Lifetime lubrication is used for rolling bearings and linear guides in drive technology. If the application or use continues for too long, the complete function of the lubrication is no longer guaranteed. Therefore, the useful life should not be exceeded or not significantly exceeded, since the lubricant (reservoir) cannot be topped up.


Self-lubrication works without additional lubricant at the corresponding friction point, since the friction parts or workpieces have a low frictional resistance. This process is used with graphite or plastic. Another possibility is to embed the lubricant in bearing shells, which release the required amount of lubricant again and again.

Splash lubrication

Splash lubrication is mainly used for less saturated gearboxes, with the lower rotating gears absorbing the lubricant and thus literally immersing it. Care should be taken with this procedure as the oil level must not be too high or too low. The lubricant can also reach higher-lying lubrication points if the gear unit is designed accordingly. Such higher-lying lubrication points can, for example, be roller bearings.

Circulating lubrication

Circulating lubrication is so called because it represents a cycle. This consists of a reservoir, supply and return. Sometimes the lubricant can be prepared in between. Circulating lubrication is used, for example, in combustion engines. By reusing the lubricating oil / substance, less of this resource is required and, due to its isolation, little or no lubricant is released into the environment.

Loss lubrication / consumption lubrication

This lubrication method describes the supply of lubricant to the appropriate lubrication point, e.g. when oiling or greasing. In the case of loss lubrication, the addition of the lubricant can take place either manually, semi-automatically or fully automatically.

Number of lubrication points

  • Single lubrication is used when only one lubrication point has to be processed.
  • Central lubrication (ZS) is used when several lubrication points have to be processed. The advantages of central lubrication are lower lubricant consumption and wear.

Lubrication tools

Lubrication tools are used to ensure that the correct amount of lubricant is supplied and the correct lubrication intervals are maintained. Lubrication tools include

Spray hoses
for large and small flow rates / with or without shut-off valve / with round nozzle or flat nozzle.
Guns or lubrication pumps with accessories
this includes grease guns, compressed air grease guns, grease guns, pressure pumps,
Measuring container

Measuring vessels made of tinplate with curved or flexible spouts, oil cans made of zinc sheet, polyethylene cans

Lubrication hoses
with protective screen or assembly pliers
made of tinplate or polyethylene (with rigid or flexible outlet)
Polyethylene atomizer for water or oil.

Manufacturer of lubrication tools

With the Lubritool lubrication tool, RÖHM brings an innovative new product onto the market that enables automated lubrication in seconds.
The company THK supplies accessories for the lubrication itself. This consists of greases, lubrication tools and accessories or adapters for lubrication holes.


Lubricants have different Possible applications in lubrication. Which includes:

  • Engine oils to prevent friction in piston engines
  • Lubrication of the bearings to prevent bearing damage
  • Lubrication of the roller bearing to prevent wear
  • Cooling lubricants in machining
  • Sheet metal forming technology
  • Grease lubrication and Oil lubrication

Manufacturer of lubrication systems

The traditional Swabian company bielomatik manufactures central lubrication systems for lubrication. This includes:
  1. Single line lubrication systems for oil and fluid grease
  2. Progressive lubrication systems for oil, fluid grease and grease
  3. Circulation lubrication systems
  4. Oil / air lubrication systems
  5. Strip lubrication systems
  6. and other accessories.
ALS lubrication technology
ALS is a manufacturer, supplier and developer for lubrication technology. The company offers different types of lubricators such as oil filling devices, grease pumps or electronically controlled lubricators.
Sinntec is a supplier of components for central lubrication. These include central lubrication units for the metalworking industry or central lubrication for wind turbines.
Perma is a supplier of single-point and multi-point lubrication systems that are used in the areas of conveyor belt systems, electric motors, pumps and fan systems.
SKF GmbH offers lubrication systems (e.g. SKF centralized lubrication systems) and supplies lubricants and components for lubrication systems.
Lincoln GmbH as part of the SKF Group also builds centralized lubrication systems, lubrication systems and lubrication devices that are used worldwide.
CHP is involved in the development, manufacture and installation of lubrication systems. The products range from simple manual lubrication systems to large turnkey systems.
ZIMM Maschinenelemente supplies lubrication systems for screw jack systems. Castrol lubricants and greases are also used here.

"Lubrication" category