Glossary of Lubrication Terms

This glossary is designed to help the understanding of some of the terms used in Tribology and Lubrication Engineering. Quickly look up a definition or explanation for a topic.
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Tackifier (Tackiness Additive or Agent) –  A high molecular-weight, fluid polymer added to greases to improve adhesiveness.

TAN – Total acid number.

TBN – Total base number.

Thermal Stability
– The ability to resist chemical degradation at high temperatures.

Thixotropy – The tendency of grease or other material to soften or flow when subjected to shearing action. Grease will usually return to its normal consistency when the action stops.  Thixotropy is also an important characteristic of drilling fluids, which must thicken when not in motion so that the cuttings in the fluid will remain in suspension.

Tribology – The science of the interactions between surfaces moving relative to each other.  Such interactions usually involve the interplay of two primary factors:  the load, or force, perpendicular to the surfaces, and the frictional force that impedes movement. Tribological research on friction reduction has important energy conservation applications since friction increases energy consumption.

Turbine Oil
– A top-quality rust- and oxidation-inhibited (R&O) oil that meets the rigid requirements traditionally imposed on steam-turbine lubrication. Quality turbine oils are also distinguished by good demulsibility, a requisite of effective oil-water separation. Turbine oils are widely used in other exacting applications for which long service life and dependable lubrication are mandatory. Such applications include circulating systems, compressors, hydraulic systems, gear drives and other equipment. Turbine oils can also be used as heat transfer fluids in open systems, where oxidation stability is of primary importance.