Water Based Lubricant or Hydro Lubricants

New to me - using water as a functional component in lubricants.  Have you seen this type of lubrication used?  To what outcome? I just read some material from Kluber and it sounds pretty interesting so would appreciate some feedback.

Keep a mild groove on,

Terrence O'Hanlon, CRL

CEO and Publisher


Uptime Magazine

Original Post

Water based hydraulics are used extensively in tire curing plants where oil based lubricants would be a fire hazard. We used a vegetable oil emulsion in a ductile iron pipe foundry on the casting machines for the same reason. The lubricity is obviously truly awful but once you get over that and design around the very low viscosity, it's not really that much different. "OEM" is one of the major manufacturers of the fully water based systems. The vegetable oil emulsions give you enough lubricity that you can still use conventionally designed hydraulic equipment. Another nice advantage is in FDA (food production) applications. It's just water, or water and vegetable oil. It is completely nontoxic, or at least until it gets gummed up with metals and other wear materials.

There are also fire retardant hydraulic fluids. These are phosphate esters. On the plus side, they have a much higher flash point compared to refined petroleum products and maintain about the same lubricity so all your equipment doesn't have to be changed out. That's about the end of the advantages. First major disadvantage is that they are extremely toxic and environmentally nasty. Second major problem is that they are fire retardant, not fire proof. We had this stuff on a kiln in Kentucky and during an accident which lit a hydraulic line on fire, it looked like a Bugs Bunny cartoon...every single hydraulic line burned up like it was filled with black powder in about 30 seconds.

 Phosphate esters hydraulic fluids are very nasty to handle and work with.

I had to deal with it while working on aircrafts and is not anything I am found of remembering.

The effects of it on your skin, eyes should it mist is quite nasty.

On the plus side it does a great job at removing regular paint and any plastics.

Very interesting to fallow this thread on water based lubricants.

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