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3 Major Types Of Gear Motor Lubricants And Their Properties

November 23, 2021

Gear motors need to be regularly lubricated with grease, oil, or other types of lubricants to keep them functioning smoothly. The need for lubrication arises out of the nature of gears themselves, which are often made of metal and grind against one another. When they mesh with each other, the gears can wear down and consequently damage the gear motor. In order to prevent this, 3 major types of lubricants are generally used by manufacturers to coat the gears and reduce friction.

Here are 3 lubricants that are widely used in AC gear motors today:

Mineral Oils

These oils are a byproduct of the distillation process that produces petroleum. Mineral oils are often used in AC gear motors to reduce friction. They’re most compatible with helical and spur gears because of their extreme pressure additive properties.

Hydraulic Oils

Hydraulic oils are important to the life of an AC motor because they help dissipate heat from it. Thus, they primarily act as a coolant for such motors. The oil also protects the internal components of the AC motor by helping in lubrication, ultimately contributing to its preservation and preventing corrosion. Moreover, hydraulic oils effectively decrease gear shaft wear in most motors.


Grease is a sticky, oily liquid that is used in small AC motors to make sure that the metal parts in contact don’t suffer undue wear and tear. When it comes to consistency, grease is radically different from mineral and hydraulic oils. The primary advantage of grease-based lubricants is the ease of application, lack of leakage like oil lubricants, and a hassle-free inspection. The only downside of grease lubricants is their inability to consistently and thoroughly lubricate the gears, unlike their oily counterparts.

In Conclusion

The major difference between oil and grease-based lubricants is viscosity, which becomes an important selection criterion. The viscosity level of a lubricant determines the amount of heat that can be dissipated from a surface. Thus, selecting a high viscosity lubricant will not dissipate heat in the motor as efficiently as a low viscosity one. However, lubricants with lower viscosity bring challenges in the form of unnecessary leaks and constant visual inspections. Hence, it’s important to strike a balance between the two and select a lubricant depending on ambient temperature, motor specifications, and its application.

Bauer GMC supplies the best gear motors in the market today. Contact us now to learn more about everything that we can do for you.