What Is Lubrication System? – Types, Function, Parts, Diagram

You may know that automobiles need to change engine oil from time to time for proper maintenance. But do you know exactly what the function of engine oil is, well if you get it right then oil is used for the purpose of lubrication?

So today we see, What Is Lubrication? – properties of a good lubricant, types of lubricants, and types of engine lubrication systems.

What Is Lubrication System?

What Is Lubrication System
Lubrication System Diagram

Lubrication is usually done to reduce friction between surfaces that slip on each other by applying lubricants on them. Engine lubrication is the process in which metal parts are separated by the flow of lubricating substances between them. Lubricants are available in liquid, solid or gas, but liquid is the most common form of lubrication used in engines.

Necessity Of Lubrication

We all know that when two surfaces move relative to each other, there will be friction between them. Heat will be generated on the surfaces due to friction which contributes to energy loss.

Friction and its undesirable effects affect the engine as they also have running parts. This results in engine failure and can also make it a victim of failure. Lubrication is mandatory to avoid all these problems.

In addition to these lubricants, some additional functions act as sealing between the piston rings and the cylinder liner.

Properties Of Lubrication

1. Viscosity

Viscosity is the inherent property of fluids to resist flow. Now assuming both glasses have honey and one glass has warmed up while pouring, you can see that the heated glass flows faster than the other, this shows that the viscosity changes with temperature.

Therefore the lubricant we select for a particular working temperature must have a higher viscosity than required to ensure proper operation.

2. Oiliness

It is defined as the ability of the lubricant to stick to the surface of metals. Even at high loads and high speeds, the oil must maintain its appearance as a thin film between the metal surfaces, this property is also known as the film strength.

In addition to these the lubricant should not decay, finally the metal surface of the lubricant must be stable both physically and chemically, i.e. it must maintain its property in all physical conditions and it must be inert to other substances. Lubricants should have these properties to ensure lubrication action.

Components Of The Lubricating System

  1. Oil Pan
  2. Pickup Tube
  3. Oil Pump
  4. Pressure Relief Valve
  5. Oil Filter
  6. Spurt Holes
  7. Galleries
  8. Sump

Types Of Lubricants

  1. Animal Lubricants
  2. Vegetable Lubricants
  3. Mineral Lubricants
  4. Synthetic Lubricants

Animal Lubricants

Animal lubricants are synthesized from animal fats and they are stable at high temperatures, but are not preferred in engines because they produce fatty acids.

Vegetable Lubricants

Vegetable oils that are extracted from vegetables are biodegradable, but the disadvantage of these oils is that they are not stable at high temperatures.

Mineral Lubricants

Mineral oils that are extracted from crude oil refining are largely used as engine lubricants.

Synthetic Lubricants

Synthetic oils are artificially made lubricants that can maintain their properties at very high temperatures.

Types Of Lubrication

  1. Mist Lubrication System
  2. Dry Sump Lubrication System
  3. Wet Sump Lubrication System
    • Splash System
    • Semi-Pressure System
    • Full-Pressure System

Mist Lubrication System

Mist Lubrication System
Mist Lubrication System

This type of lubrication system is used for two-stroke engines. The lubrication process is achieved by adding 2 to 3% lubricant to the fuel. Here the carburetor takes the oil into the fuel mixture and the mixture is introduced into the engine.

The fuel evaporates inside the engine, but the oil in the form of mist accumulates on the bearings and lubricates them. Some oil moves with the fuel inside the engine cylinder and lubricates the piston and cylinder.

You must have seen people putting oil in petrol tanks in the old model of TVS 50. This is because the employer missed the lubrication system.

This type of lubrication system is simple and costs less, but there is a possibility of oil burning inside the engine. This results in high lubricant consumption and it also accumulates on the surfaces of the cylinder which is not desirable.

Wet Sump Lubrication System

Wet Sump Lubrication System
Wet Sump Lubrication System

This type of lubrication system consists of an oil sump located at the bottom of the crankcase. The oil is taken from the sump for lubrication and the excess oil is returned to the sump by gravity.

Wet sump lubrication systems can be further classified into three types:

  1. Splash Lubrication System
  2. Semi-Pressure Lubrication System
  3. Full Pressure Lubrication System

Splash System

This lubrication system consists of a sump, strainer, oil pump, and an oil trough. In this type of system, a scoop is provided to the gaps of the connecting rods and an oil passage is drilled into the connecting rod.

The oil from the sump is filtered by the sieve and pumped to the trust by the sump. When the crankshaft rotates the scoop sinks into the oil trough causing oil splash. The splashing oil lubricates the piston and cylinder walls meanwhile, the oil enters through the drilled passage for lubricating the bearings.

After lubrication, the excess oil returns to the sump. This type of lubrication system is used only in small stationary engines.

The problem with this type of system is that it depends on the lubricant level in the trough. A lower amount of lubricant results in failure while higher amounts result in greater consumption of lubricants.

Semi-Pressure System

As the name suggests part of the components in this type are lubricated by oil splashes and the rest are lubricated by pressurized methods. In this type, the oil from the sump is filtered with a strainer and pumped through the oil pump.

The oil is pumped into straight lines to lubricate the main and camshaft bearings. On the other hand, the remaining parts are lubricated by oil splashes or nozzles. The system also has an oil pressure gauge that indicates whether the oil supply is adequate. This type of lubrication system works comparatively better than the splash type.

Full-Pressure System

The whole system is lubricated through a pressurized pump. Instead of splashing a hole is drilled in the connecting rod through which the oil enters from the lower end to the upper end for lubrication. This system can supply lubricants at a pressure of 1.5 to 4 bar and is preferred by most manufacturers.

Now let’s move on to the last type in the main classification which is the dry sump lubrication system.

Dry Sump Lubrication System

Dry Sump Lubrication System
Dry Sump Lubrication System

This system has a storage tank located outside the engine block. Here the oil returns to the tank through a pump and not by gravity. It consists of a sump, a cleaning pump, a filter, a filter bypass valve, a storage tank, a pressure regulator, an oil cooler, and an oil pump.

The oil from the sump is pumped by a scavenger pump and then filtered by a filter. The filtered oil enters a storage tank where it is pumped by an oil pump for lubrication.

The oil from the pump is cooled by an oil cooler before going for lubrication. This system can supply oil at a pressure of three to 8 bar and pressure relief is used to relieve excess pressure.

The function of the filter bypass is to ensure the movement of oil in case of any blockage in the filter. This type of lubrication system is used in heavy-duty engines and high-performance vehicles.

Function Of Lubricating System

The hand pump transfer cylinder oil from the storage tank to the service tank. From here the oil flows to the engine-driven lubricators by gravity.

The main engine lubricating oil pump takes suction from the lubricating oil sump tank through a duplex strainer. It supplies the oil to the main engine through a cooler and Auto backwash filter.

From the storage tank, the lubricating oil is transferred to the lubricating oil sump tank by gravity when needed. The purifier feed pump takes suction from some tank with lubricating oil and delivers it to the purifier through heat up. The purified oil is delivered back to the sump.

The used oil from the stuffing box is drained into the dirty oil tank, and the purifier purifies the dirty oil and transfers it to the clean oil tank. The CJC filter further purified this oil and transfers it to the lubricating oil sump tank.

Operating Conditions Of Lubricating System

In any dynamic system, the process is reflected by its parameter. Any parameter deviating in value from its normal levels will signify a change in the system process.

For example, if the oil temperature at the engine inlet is higher than normal, it indicates incorrect setting on the viscosity regulator. If the oil pressure at the engine inlet is lower than normal, it indicates a filled filter.

Safety Features Of Lubricating System

Safety equipment on the operator of any deviation. The highlighted devices of the system act as front-line safety provisions, which trigger actual safety alarms, shutdowns, or isolation. Temperature Transmitters, Pressure Transmitters, and Level Transmitters also provide the first level of protection against system breakdowns.

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FAQ’s

What is meant by a lubricating system?

A lubrication system is a means by which a material is placed between two rubbing surfaces to reduce friction. For example, if you rub your hands together they will heat up due to friction and eventually, your skin will burn

What are the 4 types of lubrication systems?

1. Mist Lubrication System
2. Dry Sump Lubrication System
3. Wet Sump Lubrication System
– Splash System
– Semi-Pressure System
– Full-Pressure System

What is the function of lubricating system?

The function of the lubrication system is to distribute oil to the moving parts to reduce friction between the surfaces rubbing against each other. The lubrication system used by the Wright brothers is quite simple.

What is a lubricating system in engine?

The engine lubrication system is meant to distribute oil to moving parts to reduce friction between surfaces. Lubrication plays an important role in the life expectancy of an automotive engine. What it does – reduces friction between two surfaces.

What can you do to maintain your lubrication system aceable?

1. Make sure the lube unit and sump tank are clean.
2.Check that sump tanks are ready for operation.
3. Check that the temperature of the oil is quite high.
4. Check that the shut-off valves on the main pumps are open.
5. The filter elements should be clean.
6. Turn on the lubrication pump.

Lubrication System

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