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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Comment and opinion
In this issue we have five very different but extremely interesting papers covering work being undertaken in the field of tribology.
Messrs Sinha, Mukherjee and De from the Indian School of Mines present work on assessing the useful life of lubricants by using neural networks. This technique may well be a new approach and follows on from their previously published work in the field of the assessment of lubricant life.
The paper from CPI Engineering Services provides a very useful background to the different types of synthetic food grade lubricants currently available. Mention is made of the concern of the lack of a "certification" system for new lubricants in this area. The ending of the FSIS listing has created a problem for users and those in the marketing and technical side of the lubricants industry. Although much discussion has taken place it seems that no alternative system will be in place in the near future.
Statoil covers the gradual conversion of mineral based hydraulic fluids to those considered to be more environmentally friendly. The Swedish forest industry is where this change has been occurring and the paper provides details on the reasons for the change. Also it emphasises the need for some international labelling/certification system that can accommodate a changing technical world and provide some practical guidance to the user.
The next article in this issue concerns the problem of micro pitting. This is a situation that has been bought about by increased oil temperatures and changes to gear metallurgy. The Mobil/Flender paper describes how the problem can be overcome during product development. However the need to maintain the performance balance of the lubricant is essential and this, as the paper points out, will mean an increase in the screening tests and performance tests needed during the lubricant development phase.
The final item in this issue involves the very important topic of oxidation stability. Three scientists at the A.V. Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis in Moscow report on their investigations into the action of aromatic amine-alkali metal salt type of anti-oxidant and micellar inhibition.
The middle three papers were originally presented at the excellent Esslingen Tribology 2000 Plus symposium held in January this year but I think the subject matter covered will be of interest to a wider readership.