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Expert Enlightens Budding Chemical Engineers On Principles Of Lubrication

A Lubrication Field Engineer with 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc), Engr. Mayowa Bankale, has enlightened chemical engineering students of Covenant that successful operation of any machine would only be determined by whether the equipment was designed to the job it was being used for, whether it was made of the correct materials, and well installed in terms of alignment, piping and loads among others.

Engr. Bankale made the submission on Thursday, October 25, 2018 as the Guest Speaker at a recent Town and Gown Seminar of the Department of Chemical Engineering, where he made a presentation titled, ‘Principles of Lubrication’. He said successful operation of any machine would also be determined by adequate maintenance; lubrication, which entailed the right lubricant, the right amount in the right place and at the right time; and supported with performance monitoring programmes.

The Guest Speaker, a 2012 Chemical Engineering graduate of Covenant, averred that equipment failure could be caused by any one of the preceding conditions, but often caused by combinations of several factors. He added that knowledge of lubrication principles helped to improve understanding of equipment operation and performance.

While speaking on lubrication, Engr. Bankale defined it as any procedure that had the effects of reducing friction and wear. He said friction was resistance to motion encountered during sliding and rolling actions, and the types of friction included static, kinetic (sliding) and rolling. On wear, he said it was the loss or destruction of surface materials and the wear could come in various forms: abrasive, adhesion, corrosion, pitting and cavitation.

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Friction and wear, he noted, could be reduced by ensuring that surfaces were as smooth as possible, changing materials of the surface, changing from sliding to rolling friction, and using a lubricant to separate the surfaces as lubricating the surfaces separated the surfaces from direct contact. “Lubrication is good because it minimises wear and friction, fills the gaps, provides cooling, keeps the machine clean, holds contaminants suspension, and prevents corrosion and rust.

Engr. Bankale, who pointed out that moving metal components separated by a lubricant formed the basis for understanding lubrication, explained that the lubrication principles applied to all types of lubricated machine elements that included gears, rolling element bearings, plain journal bearings, piston ring and cylinder liner, cam and followers. He stressed that the principles also applied to all types of lubricants like mineral oils, synthetic oils, semi-synthetic oils, and greases.

According to him, there were various types of lubrication, some of which included static, dynamic, and boundary lubrications. “Static lubrication is when the pressure required to separate surfaces comes from an external source. Dynamic lubrication is when the pressure required to separate moving surfaces is generated within the oil and it occurs when there is relative motion between surfaces and oil pressure is generated purely due to the shape of the surfaces, while boundary lubrication entails small pockets of lubricant trapped by asperities in contact and there is extensive surface-to-surface contact,” he stated.

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In his comments at the occasion, a senior faculty in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Professor James Omoleye, said he was impressed by the coming of Engr. Bankale. He posited that products of the Department knew what the faculty took them through and as they went to the field, they realised there was a difference between the ideal and the fact. “The more we see of our ex-students the more of such we’ll have,” he enthused.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Head, Department of Chemical Engineering, Dr. Anthony Ayeni, said the Town and Gown Seminar was an interaction that could help the students, being the primary beneficiaries, as well as faculty and staff. He stated that the subject area the Guest Speaker wanted to speak on would be of benefit to his Department as members of faculty were already working on it.

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