Lubrication Fundamentals, Revised and Expanded: 3rd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Lubrication Fundamentals, Revised and Expanded

3rd Edition

By Don M. Pirro, Martin Webster, Ekkehard Daschner

CRC Press

578 pages | 363 Color Illus.

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Careful selection of the right lubricant(s) is required to keep a machine running smoothly. Lubrication Fundamentals, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded describes the need and design for the many specialized oils and greases used to lubricate machine elements and builds on the tribology and lubrication basics discussed in previous editions.

Utilizing knowledge from leading experts in the field, the third edition covers new lubrication requirements, crude oil composition and selection, base stock manufacture, lubricant formulation and evaluation, machinery and lubrication fundamentals, and environmental stewardship. The book combines lubrication theory with practical knowledge, and provides many useful illustrations to highlight key industrial, commercial, marine, aviation, and automotive lubricant applications and concepts. All previous edition chapters have been updated to include new technologies, applications, and specifications that have been introduced in the past 15 years.

What’s New in the Third Edition:

  • Adds three new chapters on the growing renewable energy application of wind turbines, the impact of lubricants on energy efficiency, and best practice guidelines on establishing an in-service lubricant analysis program
  • Updates API, SAE, and ACEA engine oil specifications, descriptions of new engine oil tests, impact of engine and fuel technology trends on engine oil
  • Includes the latest environmental lubricant tests, definitions, and labelling programs
  • Compiles expert information from ExxonMobil publications and the foremost international equipment builders and industry associations
  • Covers key influences impacting lubricant formulations and technology
  • Offers data on global energy demand and interesting statistics such as the worldwide population of nuclear reactors, wind turbines, and output of hydraulic turbines
  • Presents new sections on the history of synthetic lubricants and hazardous chemical labeling for lubricants

Whether used as a training guide for industry novices, a textbook for students to understand lubrication principles, or a technical reference for experienced lubrication and tribology professionals, Lubrication Fundamentals, Third Edition, Revised and Expanded is a "must read" for maintenance professionals, lubricant formulators and marketers, chemists, and lubrication, surface, chemical, mechanical, and automotive engineers.


"… a key foundation reference which any serious practitioner in our field should have—and read… it could easily fit into the course materials used in some of the new undergraduate programs arising in our universities."

—Robert M. Gresham, Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers

"This book is of great value for those working in industries where effective lubrication is a key factor for obtaining solutions with a high reliability. The book gives an excellent description of the lubrication mechanisms and the impact of lubricant selection on performance. The authors have done a great job in compiling lubrication knowledge of so many applications in a single book."

—Piet M. Lugt, SKF Engineering and Research Centre, University of Twente, The Netherlands

"…an intensely practical and thorough reference resource, both for those involved in the practical side of lubricants and lubrication such as designers, lubricant salespersons and service engineers, and also for researchers who should know more about lubricants and lubricated machines. I heartily recommend it."

Tribology Letters, June 2016

Table of Contents


Premodern History of Petroleum

Petroleum in North America

Development of Lubricants

History of Synthetic Lubricants

Future Prospects


Lubricant Base Stock Production and Application

Lubricant Base Stocks and Their Application

Role of Crude Oil in the Manufacture of Base Stock

Refinery Processing—Separation versus Conversion

Conventional Solvent Processing

Conversion Processing

Base Stock Composition


Lubricating Oils


Physical and Chemical Characteristics

Evaluation and Performance Tests

Engine Tests for Oil Performance

Automotive Gear Lubricants



Lubricating Greases

Why Greases Are Used

Composition of Grease

Manufacture of Grease

Grease Characteristics

Evaluation and Performance Tests


Synthetic Lubricants


Organic Esters


Phosphate Esters


Environmental Lubricants

Environmental Considerations

Definitions and Test Procedures

Environmental Criteria

Environmental Characteristics of Various Base Stocks

Product Availability and Performance

Product Selection Process

Converting to EALs



Basic Principles

System Components

Controlling Pressure and Flow


Oil Reservoirs

Oil Qualities Required by Hydraulic Systems

Hydraulic Fluid Types

Hydraulic System Maintenance


Lubricating Films and Machine Elements: Bearings, Slides, Guides, Ways, Gears, Cylinders, Couplings, Chains, Wire Ropes

Types of Lubricating Films

Plain Bearings

Rolling Element Bearings

Slides, Guides, and Ways

Linear Motion Guides


Lubricant Characteristics for Enclosed Gears

Lubrication of Open Gears


Flexible Couplings

Drive Chains

Wire Ropes


Application of Lubricants

All-Loss Methods

Reuse Methods

Other Reuse Methods

Centralized Application Systems


Internal Combustion Engines

Design and Construction Considerations

Fuel and Combustion Considerations

Operating Considerations

Maintenance Considerations

Engine Oil Characteristics

Oil Recommendations by Application


Automotive Transmissions and Drive Trains



Drive Shafts and Universal Joints


Other Gear Cases

Automotive Gear Lubricants

Torque Converter and ATFs

Multipurpose Tractor Fluids


Automotive Chassis Components

Suspension and Steering Linkages

Steering Gear

Wheel Bearings

Brake Systems

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck Chassis


Stationary Gas Turbines

Principles of Gas Turbines

Jet Engines for Industrial and Marine Propulsion Use

Gas Turbine Applications

Lubrication of Gas Turbines


Steam Turbines

Steam Turbine Operation

Turbine Control Systems

Lubricated Components


Hydraulic Turbines

Turbine Types

Lubricated Parts

Lubricant Recommendations


Wind Turbines

Wind Turbine Overview

General Considerations for Wind Turbine Lubrication


Nuclear Power Generation

Reactor Types

Radiation Effects on Petroleum Products

Lubrication Recommendations



Reciprocating Air and Gas Compressors

Rotary Compressors

Dynamic Compressors

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Compressors


Lubricant Contribution to Energy Efficiency

Friction Loss Mechanisms

Hydrodynamic Fluid Films

Friction Losses in Hydraulic Systems

Vehicle and Internal Combustion Engine Efficiency


Handling, Storing, and Dispensing Lubricants

Hazardous Chemical Labeling for Lubricants





Practices for Lubricant Conservation and Machinery Reliability

Overview of In-Plant Lubricant Handling

Product Selection

In-Service Handling

In-Service Lubricant Purification

Reclamation of Lubricating Oils

Reclamation Units (Oil Conditioners)

Waste Oil Collection and Routing

Equipment Commissioning and Flushing

Final Disposal


In-Service Lubricant Analysis

Establishing an In-Service Lubricant Analysis Program

Used Oil Analysis Program Startup Recommendations

In-Service Lubricant Analysis Testing

Interpretation of Used Oil Analysis Results

About the Authors

Don M. Pirro is the global alliance technical manager at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, Paulsboro, New Jersey. He started his career in 1978 as a test engineer for Ingersoll Rand’s Turbo Compressor Division. He has more than 36 years of lubrication experience with ExxonMobil in various technical positions. He is the author or contributing editor of several scholarly articles on synthetic lubes, environmental awareness applications, grease technology, lubricant interchangeability, used oil analysis, and marine lubricants. He graduated from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, with degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration.

Ekkehard Daschner is the industrial lubricant section head and greases technology program lead at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, Paulsboro, New Jersey. Daschner earned his mechanical engineering degree in Germany and started his career in an aluminum company. In 1982, he joined the Mobil Oil AG R&D laboratory in Germany supporting product development projects. After holding various positions in technical support, he was appointed Area Sales Director and Brand Manager in Germany and the European headquarters in London and Brussels, and later served as European and later as Global Industrial and Marine Equipment Builder Services Manager.

Martin Webster is a senior research associate at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, Annandale, New Jersey. He earned his BS and MS in aeronautical engineering and his PhD in tribology from Imperial College, London, UK. In 1986, he was awarded the Bronze Medal in tribology from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in the UK. After spending four years working in the UK, he joined ExxonMobil in 1989. At ExxonMobil, Martin has held various positions in research and product development and is currently involved in the study of fundamental lubrication mechanisms at the company’s Corporate Strategic Research Laboratory.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Industrial & Technical
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Design / General