Frequently Asked Questions on Lubrication
  • Food Grade Lubricants

    Q. 1.What are MOSIL Food Grade Lubricants?

    MOSIL Food Grade Lubricants are potentially indirect food additives, as they may incidentally come into contact with the food items due to leaks, spillages or faults in equipment. All lubricants used in food processing and packaging must be food grade.

    Q. 2.When is a lubricant food grade?

    A lubricant qualifies as food-grade when, in the event of contamination, it is no more than 10 mg per kg of the foodstuff in question and must not cause any physiological hazard or affect the food’s odour and taste in any way. Food Grade Lubricants are special blends of base fluids and additives and should confirm to the erstwhile US FDA standards and registered by NSF International in the H1 category.

    Q. 3.How safe are MOSIL Food Grade Lubricants in food production?

    All products in the MOSIL Food Grade range comply with stringent international standards for Food Grade Lubricants handed down by the NSF International(H1). They are produced in line with the Good Manufacturing Practice and as a part of ISO 9001.

    Q. 4.What are the regulatory standards for food lubricants?

    In the absence of any international system to regulate Food Grade Lubricants, the industry has adopted the strict requirements of the US System as international best practice.

    Q. 5.What is the US System and does MOSIL Food Grade Lubricants comply?

    All products in MOSIL Food Grade Range comply with the NSF International (H1), the standard which has replaced previous USDA systems for lubricants where incidental contact with food is likely. MOSIL Food Grade Products also comply with the technical qualifications published in the Federal Register. FDA 21 CFR 178.3570. as well as with the FDA Standards for raw materials used in Food Grade products (such lubricants) within the United States, including imports and exports. In addition, MOSIL Food Grade products are manufactured according to the Good Manufacturing Practice and as a part of ISO 9001.

    Q. 6.Does MOSIL Food Grade Lubricants have USDA H1 approval?

    There is no obligation for lubricant manufacturers to adhere to the now-defunct USDA H1 rules, nor does the USDA endorse or recognise any past authorisations for Food Grade Lubricants.

    Q. 7.What has replaced USDA H1 approval?

    NSF(National Sanitary Foundation) International took on the procedures and systems of USDA H1. It continues to manage the USDA list, which is known as the NSF White Book of Proprietary Substances and Nonfood Compounds. NSF registration procedures are identical to the former USDA rules, including the classification H1 and H2 products.

    Q. 8.On what basis is NSF International H1 approval allocated?

    Lubricants are made only from components that have been evaluated and approved by US FDA and declared safe for use in food processing preparations. The maximum concentration of a lubricant allowed in food in 10ppm. Manufacturers of Food Grade Lubricants described by FDA regulations must also follow Good Manufacturing Practise as a specific quality time.

    Q. 9.What is the HACCP system of regulatory standards?

    The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System (HACCP) dates back to the 1960s when it was developed by the American Space Agency, NASA, in order to make risk-free food for astronauts. NASA identified points where contamination is likely to occur so that appropriate process controls could be implemented during production. That system is now federally mandated in the USA for use as a critical contamination prevention program under the food safety in seafood, meat and poultry processing facilities. The EU also employs the HACCP system to regulate all EU Companies involved in handling foodstuffs. In India, although the HACCP system is not mandatory, good manufacturing units have started adopting to HACCP Systems.

    Q. 10.What is the legislation on the longevity of Food Grade Lubricants?

    It should be noted that neither the FDA, NSF International nor the EU has made any statements with respect to food-grade lubricants in use. MOSIL recommends that, in the absence of relevant local legislation, the maximum amount of contamination of food itself by a Food Grade Lubricant should be 10ppm (10 mg/ kg) - the same limit set by the FDA for all non food compound, regardless of age. At concentrations below this limit MOSIL believes that MOSIL Food Grade Lubricants should not impart undesirable taste, odour or color to food, nor should they cause adverse health effects.

  • Grease

    Q. 1.What is penetration of a grease?

    Penetration of a grease is the relative thickness of a grease.

    Q. 2.How much grease should be put in a bearing?

    It is recommended to only fill 33% of the free space of an antifriction bearing. As an exception, for low speed and highly dust prone application, one may fill up to 100% free space in the bearing.

    Please note that - overfilling of the bearing leads to more failure of the bearings as compared to under-fillings of the bearings.

    Q. 3.How can I determine the service temperature range of a grease?

    The upper service temperature is determined by ascertaining the evaporation loss and the thermal stability of the base oil, dropping point of the grease and the maximum serviceable temperature of the additives incorporated. The lower service temperature is ascertained by testing the low-temperature torque of the grease and the pour point of the base fluid. The temperature range indicated in the product bulletin in only meant to be an indicator for the actual use. The real temperature range should be determined by considering other factors like operating condition, atmosphere and type of application.

    Q. 4.The colour of the grease has changed within a short period after putting it in the application. Should I throw away the grease as the quality does not seem to be okay?

    NO. There are few additives incorporated in few types of grease that change the colour due to the change in the surface chemistry immediately(or within a short duration) on coming in contact with rotating surfaces (dynamic load condition). This change in colour is within the known behaviour of the grease and does not affect the performance of the grease adversely (or in any other manner).


    You may continue to use the grease till its intended life. (You may contact us for any further clarification you require w.r.t. a particular product of MOSIL)

    Q. 5.Is it common to observe oil separation in Greases?

    “Bleeding” or Oil separation is a naturally occurring phenomenon and should not be construed as a problem. The storage temperature in excess of 45 deg C accelerates oil separation. The excess oil can be safely stirred back into the grease within the container. It has also been observed that the higher penetration greases (Lower consistency) tend to have more oil bleeding as compared to thicker greases.

    Q. 6.The colour of grease has become darker as compared to when I first opened the container. Should I throw away the grease?

    No. It is perfectly alright to use the grease.

    Q. 7. The viscosity of the base oil available from your end is reported at 40ºC and 100ºC. How do we know the base oil viscosity of the grease at our application operating temperature?

    The viscosity at various temperatures can be calculated using the ASTM Standard Viscosity - Temperature Chart (ASTM D341-03). One may use various utilities available on the Public Domain of World Wide Web to calculate the viscosity at a particular temperature provided you know either the viscosity at a particular temperature and viscosity index or viscosity at a another temperature.

  • HACCP & Lubrication

    Q. What is HACCP?

    Quality, Hygiene and Product Liability concerns are extremely important factors in the food and beverage industry. The Critical control points (CCP’s) that are identified through HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) system help to ensure quality and safety by eliminating any sources of contamination.

  • Oil

    Q. 1.What is viscosity of Oil?

    Viscosity of an oil is a relative thickness that determines the flowability of the oil.

    Q. 2.What is a flash point of an Oil?

    Flashpoint of an Oil is the temperature at which 5% of the oil starts generating enough vapours to ignite the oil in the presence of an external source.

    Q. 3.The colour of the oil has changed within short duration of putting it in application. Should I throw away the oil as the quality does not seem to be ok?

    NO. There are few additives incorporated in few types of oils (more common in case of gear oils) that change the colour due to change in the surface chemistry immediately (or within short duration) on coming in contact with rotating surfaces (dynamic load condition). This change is colour is within the known behaviour of the oil and does not affect the performance of the oil adversely (or in any other manner).


    You may continue to use the oil till its intended life. (You may contact us for any further clarification you require w.r.t. a particular product of MOSIL)

    Q. 4.What is the best place to draw sample of oil for further testing and analysis?

    The best place to draw a sample of oil is from the downstream of any application. Ideally one should draw as many samples as possible so as to get the most accurate analysis done. E.g. For large lubricating or gear oil systems, draw the sample from the oil in circulation and from the bottom of the sump/ reservoir. In hydraulic systems, draw a sample from the header tank, downstream of filters etc.

    Q. 5.How are base oils classified?

    Base Oils are classified as Mineral , Synthetic & Vegetable oil.

    Mineral Oil: Derived from crude oil.

    Synthetic Oil: Man made through synthesizing process.

    Vegetable oil: Derived from plants.

    Q. 6.Which are the most important base oil properties ?

    Viscosity, Viscosity Index, Flash Point, Pour Point, Volatility, Oxidation and Thermal stability, Aniline Point (a measure of base oil solvency toward other materials including additives), and Hydrolytic Stability (the lubricants resistance to chemical decomposition in the presence of water).

    Q. 7.In how many groups American Petroleum Institute (API) had categorized all base oils ?

    The American Petroleum Institute (API) has categorized base oils into five categories (Group I to Group V )

    Q. 8.How mineral oils are assigned in these groups ?

    Groups I, II and III are all mineral oils with an increasing severity of the refining process.

    Group I base oils are created using the solvent-extraction or solvent-refining technology.

    Group II base oils are produced using hydrogenation or hydrotreating.

    Group III base oils are made by hydrogenation process coupled with high temperatures and high pressures.

    Q. 9. How synthetic oils are assigned in these groups ?

    Group IV is dedicated to a single type of synthetic oil called polyalphaolefin (PAO).

    Group V is assigned to all other base oils, particularly synthetics. Some of the most common oils in this group include diesters, polyolesters, polyalkylene glycols, phosphate esters and silicones.

    Q. 10. Why Group III oils sometimes advertised as Synthetics?

    There is an understanding that the refining process has severely modified the original hydrocarbon, thus synthesizing the more highly pure product.

    Q. 11. Why chosing oil is more important ?

    Whenever you will buy a grease or oil ,there will be  some expectations in mind such as its service life , higher operating temperatures etc. For meeting these conditions chosing a proper oil as a base component is very useful.

    Q. 12. Even though synthetic oils have many advantages, why mineral oils are popular ?

    While synthetic oil are ideal for applications like engine oils, gear oils, bearing oils and other applications, mineral oil remains the predominant oil of choice due to its lower cost and reasonable service capabilities.

    Q. 13. Which base oil group constitutes major share of the lubrication industry ?

    Group I base oils contribute to approx. 28 % of the lubricants used.

    Group II base oils holds 47 % of the lubricants used.

    Group III accounts for less than 1 % of the lubricants used.

    Q. 14. What are additives ? And its types?

    Oil additives are chemical compounds that improve the lubricant performance of base oil.

    Anti oxidants, Anti foam agents, Antiwear, Extreme pressure, Demulsibility, VI improvers, Corrosion inhibiters are various additives added to oil as per application.

  • Shelf Life & Storage

    Q. 1.What are the conditions that affect the storage of Lubricants?

    The storage environment greatly affects the shelf life of lubricants and greases. Conditions, which should be monitored, are:


    Temperature: both high heat (greater than 45°C) and extreme cold (less than –20°C) can affect lubricant stability. Heat increases the rate of oil oxidation, which may lead to formation of deposits and viscosity increase. Cold can result in wax and possible sediment formation. In addition, alternating exposure to heat and cold may result in air being drawn into drums, which may result in moisture contamination. A temperature range of –20°C to 45°C is acceptable for storage of most lubricating oils and greases. Ideally the storage temperature range should be from 0°C to 25°C.


    Light: light may change the color and appearance of lubricants. Lubricants should be kept in their original metal or plastic containers.


    Water: water may react with some lubricant additives, sometimes forming insoluble matter. Water can also promote microbial growth at the oil/water interface. Lubricants should be stored in a dry location, preferably inside.


    Particulate Contamination: drums and pails should not be stored in areas where there is a high level of airborne particles. This is especially important when a partially used container is stored.


    Atmospheric Contamination: oxygen and carbon dioxide can react with lubricants and affect their viscosity and consistency. Keeping lubricant containers sealed until the product is needed is the best protection.

    Q. 2.What are the recommended storage conditions and practices for lubricating Oils and greases?

    Store lubricating Oils and greases in a cool dry area where airborne particles are at minimum. Indoor storage also prevents deterioration of label and container from weathering. The ideal storage temperature range is from 0 deg C to 25 deg C.


    If drums must be stored outside, use plastics cover or tip oil drums to direct water and contamination away from the bungs. Always store greases upright to prevent Oil separation.


    When necessary, bring grease to satisfactory dispensing temperature just prior to use.

    Rotate inventory, check the container fill date and use the oldest container first.


    Keep container tightly covered or closed, to avoid contamination.


    Wipe off the tops and edges of the containers before opening to avoid contamination.


    Use clean tools and equipment when pumping or handling lubricants and greases.

    Q. 3.What is the shell life of a lubricant?

    Shelf life of a lubricant is the usable life of the grease in unpacked condition to derive optimum performance. The shelf life depends on the unique properties of various raw materials used, their effect with each other (and the packing material)over a period of time etc.

    The shelf life of most Mosil greases is 3 years from the date of manufacturing, provided the greases are packed in the original untampered containers.

    MOSIL uses a twin seal type container so as to avoid any contamination of the greases inside the container after it has been opened by breaking the first security seal on the rim of the container.

  • Industry


    Q. 1.Why do we need speciality lubricants for textile industries ?

    Textile Industries have multiple production steps for the manufacturing of textile goods. Most of these processes consume a lot of power. For productivity improvement, these processes need to be carried out in an as efficient manner as possible. This usually leads to higher speeds, longer interval between stoppage of equipment etc. These all translate into higher constraints in running the equipment. This calls for perfect lubrication of all the moving parts and hence a need to lubricate in the most efficient manner.

    Q. 2.How can you avoid incompatibility between lubricants ?

    While applying a new lubricant, one should flush out the previous lubricant to avoid incompatibility issue and ensure that new lubricant performs at optimum level.

    Q. 3.How improper lubricant can hamper production in textile industry ?

    Improper lubrication can hamper production primarily due to
    1. Unplanned breakdown and thus affecting the production.
    2. Contamination of lubricant with the textile that can lead to rejection of final processed material.

    Q. 4.Major Challenges in Textile Industries ?

    Each stage of production in the textile industry presents its friction characteristic due to process and environment variation. Hence there is need of due dilligence while selection most appropriate lubrication system that will optimize operational life of equipment and improve productivity.

    Q. 5.Major Lube Challenges in Knitting Process ?

    Needle Lubrication is a challenge in knitting process as finished product directly come into the contact of lubricant. Contamination of knitted fabric with needle oil leads to rejection. Although one may attempt to overcome this challenge by making more easily emusificable and soluble oils, the fact remains that oil contamination is due to improper selection of lubricant. Inadequate performance of lubricant leads to wear and tear of needles that leads to contamination of knitted fabric with oil and possible losses due to stains.

    Q. 6.Why lubrication of gears is important in Textile Industry?

    Gear Lubrication is important in the textile industry as it has maximum high-speed applications and with speciality lubricants, we can achieve good boundary lubrication properties which are essential in a lubricant that will help in the reduction of pitting etc during start and continuous running of the gears.

    Q. 7.Can Grease help reduce operating temperature in Draw frame top roll end bushes ?

    A grease with low base oil viscosity (between 15 cst to 20 cst) and effectively controlled solid particle size plays a major role in reduction of operating temperatures of top roll end bushes, especially at high drawing speeds of over 500 metres per minute.

    Q. 8.How can we increase efficiency of gear boxes in textile industry ?

    Textile industry have multiple production steps for manufacturing process which are at high speed, there shouldn't be any sludge formation for efficient running of gear box, For avoiding sludge formation we can use synthetic gear oils or PAG based gear oils.

    Q. 9.Why you cannot rely only on drop point to decide suitability of a particular grease ?

    Dropping point of a lubricating grease is an indicator of the grease that it is no more a thickened lubricating medium. The dropping point indicates the upper temperature limit at which a grease retains its structure, not the maximum temperature at which a grease may be used. The final processed materials may get rejected at quality check.

    Q. 10.What are the lube challenges in carding process ?

    In carding process the challenge is friction between fibre and metal which can lead to excessive fiber breakages and reduce processing efficiency. We require a lubricant with good adhesive and non - staining properties to optimize processing efficiency.

    Q. 11.Most Important machine elements in textile industry ?

    Roller bearings forms a very important element in textile industry and basic function is to transmit load and power via rolling elements located between bearing and rings.

    Q. 12.What are the lube challenges in bottom roller bearing ?

    Bottom roller bearing usually sustain high load, so lubricant used should have excellent EP Properties that can be achieved by either using high viscosity base oil or EP additives such as solid lubricants etc. or a combination of both.

    Q. 13.What are the lube challenges in dyeing process ?

    Steam and water is in continuous contact which leads to corrosion and shorter re-lubrication interval. Challenge for lubrication is to have water & steam resistant properties which will lead to increasing of re-lubrication interval.

    Q. 14.What are challenges in Stenter Lubrication ?

    Chain lubrication is major challenge since the temperature is high which lead to evaporation of oil from chain and carbon formation on chain can make it difficult to drag therey increasing the load (torque) on the chain. We require a high temperature, clean non- carbonizing lubricant to ensure longer chain life.


    Q. 1.What are the major challenges faced by cement industry in lube selection ?

    Severe operating conditions, Heavy Conamination by Supsended Solids in the environment, High value manufacturing equipments, continuous process, energy intensive industry, very high breakdown cost. Maintenance Engineers in a cement plant are experts in maintianing equipments, but do not have great insights on correct lubrications. So they end up going by either OEM recommendations, or continue what has been historically used in the plant.

    Q. 2.Why do we need specialty lubes in cement industry ?

    Production of cement is a continuous process which involves components like bearings & gears of rotary kilns, mills, roller press, crushers ec. Wrong choice of lubricants or use of general purpose lubricants may lead to premature failure of components or breakdown resulting in loss of production and increased maintenance cost. Hence to optimize the efficieny & life of components as well as to avoid unscheduled maintenance specialty lubricants are necessary in cement industry. If working conditions are studied thoroughly and then a suitable lubrication product is selected, it may improve operating efficiency of equipment, enhance component life, and reduce downtime very significantly.

    Q. 3.Why it is necessary to clean the assembly before application of lubricant?

    Various reasons warrant cleaning of equipmenet prior to application of lubricant or relubrication. However, primary reasons may be as under:
    If the new lubricant is incompatible with previous one, it may lead to harming equipment. It is hence important to remove all traces of previous lubricant completely by cleaning.
    2. Cement plants invariably operate in high dust area and cleaning of assembly leads to removal of dust and other contamination from the system before they start damaging the equipments.

    Q. 4.Can grease reduce operating temperature of components ?

    Yes. If the primary reason of the assemblies to run at high temperature is friction then it can be controlled by using appropriate grease which will minimize the friction so the reason of the temperature rise will be eliminated.
    However, if the increase in temparature is related to process or radiation heat, a grease may not be able to help much in terms of reducing the temperature of components.

    Q. 5.How sludge formation can be controlled in gearboxes of cement industry ?

    Sludge formation takes place in presence of oxygen, water/Moisture & heat.
    This can be avoided by proper sealing of gearbox to avoid contamination with water & oxygen
    Excessive high operating temperature can weaken the bonds between oil molecules which can allow it to react (with what! pl elaborate) which can results in foaming which is prone to form carbon residue, and lead to sludge formation. Managing the high temperature through proper lubrication or process control may also help control sludge formation.

    Q. 6.How power consumption can be minimized by using proper lubrication?

    Excessive torque leads to more power consumption in case of electrical devices.
    Proper lubrication reduces friction and thereby torque & associated power consumption.

    Q. 7.How vibration can be controlled by using proper lubricant ?

    Primary causes of vibrations are imbalance, misalignment, wear, loose connection etc.
    If the vibration is caused due to wear then it can be minimized by using effective lubrication. For other reasons, one should look at appropriate tools to ensure perfect alignment of all assembly components.

    Q. 8.How do environmental condition affect relubrication ?

    Humidity, excessive heat, dirty or dusty atmostphere, chemical environment can adversely affect performance of the lubricant.
    Excessive heat can weaken bonds of lubricant, chemical environment can react with some chemical components of lubricant which can results in degradation. Dirt & dust can contaminate lubricant resulting in more friction that leads to high operating temperature & hampers life of the component as well as unexpected maintenance breakdown.

    Q. 9.How maintenance cost can be minimized by using effective maintenance tool such as lubricant ?

    Maintenance cost consists of cost of components to be replaced, production loss due to downtime, cost of lubrication, cost of manpower etc. If the specialty lubricants are used for such application which will enhance life of components, avoid unexpected breakdown, shortens maintenance downtime which will results in more output thereby reducing the overall maintenance cost ratio.

    Q. 10.What is the benefit of used lubricant analysis in case of critical applications in cement plant?

    Used lubricant analysis monitors sample for mechanial, operational & environmental factors that can affect equipment & lubricant life.
    This can offer following benefits :
    1. Less lubricant to purchase
    2. Fewer machine parts to be kept in inventory
    3. Less used lubricant requiring disposal
    4. Less Labour cost
    5. Less Downtime
    6. Less probability of unexpected failure