Choosing lubricants for use within food and pharmaceutical processing & manufacturing equipment poses several problems to the engineer, firstly the products must be totally non-toxic and satisfy the regulations for non food compounds used in food manufacturing plants.
These strict guidelines mean products are selected based upon their use/classification with either incidental food contact USDA H1 (now NSF H1 class) or H2 Class (without risk of food contact).
Secondly they must perform well as lubricants, often extreme high or low temperatures or aggressive cleaning processes are encountered, all of which can adversely effect the life of the lubricant.
In bakery applications for example, the ovens can reach above 260C. Conveying components, chains, bearings and other components operating in these conditions can often require frequent relubrication or cleaning to remove unwanted lubricant residue build up.
Food grade high temperature oil BACO 220
Food Grade Low Temperature Grease LTG70
Lubricants used in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical packaging must be food approved. There are numerous applications which includeprevention of ingredients from clumping together and from sticking to the tablet punches or capsule filling machine. Lubricants also ensure that tablet formation and ejection can occur with low friction between the solid and die wall.
The lubricants also decrease friction at the interface between a tablet’s surface and the die wall during ejection and reduce wear on punches & dies. They also prevent sticking to punch faces or in the case of encapsulation prevent sticking to machine dosators, tamping pins, etc.
Lubricants also enhance product flow by reducing interparticulate friction.