White Paper: Physical Sciences

White Paper: Debunking the Myth of “Lubed for Life” using the Science of Self-Lubrication


The liberal use of buzz words such as “self-lubrication”, “maintenance free”, and “lubed for life” has led to a broad misunderstanding of what these terms actually mean. That confusion has led to misapplication of products resulting in failures, downtime, and bottom-line losses in productivity and dollars.

This white paper aims to ferret out the truth from fiction with respect to what it means to be a truly self-lubricating bearing system. In essence, self-lubricating bearing must provide its own lubrication throughout the entire life of the system without the aid of some external source and for any period of time.

In contrast, while innovations such as oil-impregnated seals and wipers, along with long-term lubrication reservoirs and felt wicks may extend the life of a bearing system, they cannot be classified as “self-lubricating”. They require maintenance attention to oil levels that dissipate, age, and become ineffective over time.

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