Lubrication is the process, or technique employed to reduce wear of one or both surfaces in close proximity, and moving relative to each another, by interposing a substance called lubricant between the surfaces to carry or to help carry the load (pressure generated) between the opposing surfaces. The interposed lubricant film can be a solid, (eg graphite, MoS2) a solid/liquid dispersion, a liquid, a liquid-liquid dispersion (greases) or exceptionally a gas.
In the most common case the applied load is carried by pressure generated within the fluid due to the frictional viscous resistance to motion of the lubricating fluid between the surfaces.
Lubrication can also describe the phenomenon such reduction of wear occurs without human intervention (aquaplaning on a road).
The science of friction, lubrication and wear is called tribology.
When we talk about (adequate) lubrication smooth continuous equipment operation is assumed, with only mild wear, and without excessive stresses within the lubricated conjunctions to cause seizure at the conjunction, or break of any part of the equipment, and when such a catastrophic event does occur it means that the lubrication has broken down.
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