Lubricants play a critical role in nearly every type of machinery, and their performance is often critical to the speed, reliability, and life of the machines. As part of the product development process, lubricant manufacturers are continually faced with the need to evaluate the performance of candidate lubricants under many different conditions. Likewise, manufacturers of machinery frequently need to test the performance of alternative lubrications in order to determine the formulation that will enable their products to deliver the best performance and life. In the past, lubricant evaluation was typically based on intuition and experience. Today’s requirements for products to run faster, longer, and more efficiently make it essential to use a scientific approach in lubricant development and application. This application note provides an overview of lubrication science and engineering and then discusses the latest methods for comprehensively characterizing the performance of lubricants in nearly any application.

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