Lubricators and Lubrication Systems Information

Lubrication systemLubricators and lubrication systems are used to apply controlled or metered amounts of lubricant. Applications include:

  • compressed air lines
  • dies
  • chains
  • cables
  • bearings
  • gears
  • pumps
  • spindles
  • other rotating or moving machine components


Important parameters to consider when specifying lubricators and lubrication systems include:

  • capacity
  • lubrication flow rate
  • operating pressure
  • maximum operating temperature

Capacity refers to the volume of lubricant that the reservoir can hold. The flow rate is the rate at which the lubrication is dispensed. Operating pressure refers to the maximum allowable pressure that the lubricator can be operated. This specification only applies to pneumatically or hydraulically-operated lubricators. Gravity-fed lubricators operate at atmospheric pressure. Maximum operating temperature is the full-required range of ambient operating temperature.


Media choices for lubricators and lubrication systems include dry lubricant, grease, oil, and air and oil. Operation or actuation mechanisms include electric, electrochemical, gravity, hydraulic, manual, mechanical, and pneumatic. Delivery methods for lubricators and lubrication systems include constant level, full flow, metered quantity, mist or fog or micro-fog, and spray. Constant level lubrication systems are designed to keep a constant level of lubrication fluid in a bearing housing or gearbox. They are also referred to as fixed level. Full flow lubricators dispense unmetered liquid lubricant. A metered quantity lubricator dispenses a measured or metered amount of lubrication with each application. These lubricators often require metering valves that dictate the amount of lubrication applied. Features common to lubricators and lubrication systems include adjustable volume, low level safety switches, pressure switches, temperature switches, pressure gauges, temperature gauges, integral filters, and heat exchangers.


There are many other types of lubricators and lubrication systems. Oil mist, fog, and micro-fog lubrication systems deliver a mixture of atomized, micron sized oil particles and air. They can be used for cooling off bearings or cutting tools applications. A spray lubricator sprays lubrication onto a surface to be lubricated. Feed types include single line or single point, dual line, multi-line, and circulating oil.

  • Single line or single point lubricators are directly mounted to lubrication point or remotely located and delivered via a tube or hose.
  • Dual line lubricators are central lubrication systems where lubricant is fed to remote points from a single source by two main lines.
  • Multi-line lubricators are central lubrication systems where lubricant is fed to remote points from a single source by two main lines.
  • Circulating oil lubricators are closed loop systems. The oil is circulated from the reservoir to the lubrication point and then back to the reservoir.

Other types of lubricators and lubrication systems are also available.

Related Information

CR4 Community—Mist Lubrication System

CR4 Community—Lubrication System Design

CR4 Community—Lubricant Types and Grades

Image credit:

Sneaker 79 / CC BY-SA 3.0