- The necessity of industrial lubricants is expected to sustain and grow the market.
- Industrial lubricants are toxic and environmentally damaging, which may restrain market growth.
- Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region.
An industrial lubricant is a substance that is used to reduce friction between surfaces that are in mutual contact with each other. It also transmits forces and acts as a coolant between the surfaces. The property of reducing friction is called lubricity. Lubricants contain around 90% base oil (crude oil) and less than 10% additives. Synthetic liquids that include polyolefins, esters, silicones, fluorocarbons, and others are often used as base oil. The additives play an important role in reduction of friction and wear and offer increased viscosity, resistance to corrosion and oxidation, aging or contamination, and others.
Industrial lubricants play an important role in reduction of wear and tear, and aids in increasing the durability of tools and moving parts, in addition to reduction in the time spent in servicing of the parts. These are some of the major factors that are expected to propel growth of the industrial lubricants market. However, lubricants both new and recycled ones damage the environment on account of their high potential to cause water pollution. Furthermore, the additives that are present in lubricants are poisonous to the flora and fauna present. The oxidation products in recycled industrial lubricants are extremely harmful. An industrial lubricant’s degradability depends upon the base fluid, however very toxic additives can have a negative effect on the degradability of the industrial lubricants as well.
Some of the major players operating in the industrial lubricants market include British Petroleum Plc, Cargill Incorporated, Chevron, Total S.A., Binol Biolubricants, Conocophilips Company, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Fuchs Lubricants, Sinopec Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation, Miller Oils, Panolin International, Petrobras, Petrochina Company, Renewable Lubricants Inc., Royal Dutch Shell, and Statoil Lubricants, among others.
Industrial lubricant market is experiencing an increase in the demand of dry and bio-based lubricants. Due to EU regulations bio-lubricants have been used in Europe for the past 20 years. Various regulations and schemes such as the EU Ecolabe in EU countries and growing environmental concerns has resulted in the growing adoption of industrial bio-lubricants
Dry industrial lubricants comprise of graphite and molybdenum, amongst others that offers excellent lubrication properties at temperatures of around 350 °C, which is greater than their liquid and oil-based counterparts. This has resulted in increased R&D activities in the field of dry industrial lubricants. For instance, the Technical Standards Development and Application Demonstration Base of Graphene-Modified Lubricant was launched at LiuGong’s global R&D Centre in Liuzhou, in July 2018. It was built by the China Innovation Alliance of the Graphene Industry in association with Guangxi Liugong Machinery.
Several additives are added to industrial lubricants in order to impart the required performance characteristics to the lubricants. Currently, automotive lubricants contain around 10 additives, which accounts to around 20% of the lubricant. Some of the additives used in lubricants include pour-point depressants, corrosion inhibitors, and friction modifiers, amongst others.
The industrial lubricants market is expected to exhibit growth at a substantial rate in Asia Pacific region. The Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region in the global industrial lubricants market during the forecast period. This is due to growth of the automotive sector in the region. According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufactures, since 2006, Asia Pacific has witnessed significant increase in number of passenger cars, which accounted for around 50% of the world’s passenger cars in 2016. The Alliance of Automobile Manufactures also states that the Asia Pacific region was also dominant the market for motorcycles, which accounted for around 80-90% of the total motorcycle production and consumption, globally in 2015. These factors are expected to increase demand for industrial lubricants in the region.