Machinery, particularly plant and agricultural machinery, will often rely on a range of lubricants to keep working at optimal performance and efficiency. But storing these lubricant effectively, and preventing cross contamination is essential, if you want to prevent mechanical breakdowns, and keep your machinery in great condition. So what do you need to know about lubricant storage and handling? Well, here at Compass Fuel Oils, we are the UK’s leading provider of fuel oils like red diesel and kerosene, as well as lubricants and greases. And this is our guide to everything you should know about the correct handling and storage of lubricants.
How important is lubricant storage and handling?
The correct storage and handling of lubricants for any kind of mechanical work or agricultural machinery is more important than you might think. In fact, there are a number of things to consider, including:
- Shelf life
- Storage environment
- Dispensing equipment
Lubricant storage and shelf life
Storing your lubricants in ideal conditions is the only way to keep them in a usable, or optimal condition for a long period of time. But every lubricant or additive has a shelf life, beyond which, it will no longer offer the high level of performance your machinery will require. To prevent this, be sure to note the dates or labels on products, and rotate stock on a first-in, first-out basis. Unopened, factory-sealed containers of lubricant can be stored longer than those that have been opened for partial dispensing.
The right storage environment for your lubricants
Correctly storing your lubricants and greases is essential. All mechanical lubricants are vulnerable to contamination by dust or dirt, and they can also be damaged by fluctuating temperatures. In fact, increasing and decreasing temperatures can cause thermal siphoning, in which air moves in and out of the container’s head space and the atmosphere, even in sealed containers with no oil going in or out. This results in contamination and degradation of the oil. Extreme hot or cold temperatures can lead to chemical degradation as well.
To prevent this, be sure to store your lubricants inside, in a clean, dry and stable environment with steady temperatures. Lubricants should not be stored near sources of heat or steam.
Lubricants and dispensing equipment
When it comes to handling your lubricants, you need to be sure to use the right dispensing equipment. Cross-contamination can occur if your dispensing equipment is used for multiple lubricants, or if your dispensing equipment is dirty. As a result, you should avoid using dispensing equipment with different lubricants, where possible. You should also make sure that all dispensing equipment is cleaned and flushed between uses, even if it was only used with just one lubricant. This is because dirt, dust, old oil residue and other contaminants can linger, causing future contamination.
For high quality lubricants and greases, as well as all manner of fuel oils, delivered across the UK in just 1-3 days, get in touch with the team here at Compass Fuel Oils today.