Q:

Why does oil reduce friction?

A:

Quick Answer

Oil reduces friction because it acts as a lubricant, smoothing and cushioning bumps between rough surfaces while also flowing past itself in parallel layers. This second form of lubrication, in which oil moves in multiple directions simultaneously, is referred to as laminar flow.

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Full Answer

Different layers of oil tend to move in the same direction with the nearest surface. As a result, one surface moving out of sync with another is able to slide by freely.

By helping moving parts operate smoothly, oil enables machinery to work with less effort, saving energy. It also decreases the wear and tear on their mechanisms, extending the lives of their mechanical components. Both of these effects contribute to lower overall operating costs.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    When is friction unwanted?

    A:

    Friction is unwanted in any situation in which free and continuous motion of mechanical parts is necessary. Some examples include the moving parts inside of an engine, door hinges and water slides.

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  • Q:

    How is friction unhelpful?

    A:

    Friction is a force that opposes motion, so it is unhelpful in all situations where the motion of an object is desired. A by-product of friction is that energy is wasted in the form of heat, which can cause problems in temperature-sensitive environments.

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  • Q:

    What is sliding friction?

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    Sliding or kinetic friction is the drag force that results from two surfaces being pressed against each other while moving in relative motion. The sliding coefficient of friction is the dimensionless factor of this pressing force, resulting in the drag force for two specific surfaces.

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  • Q:

    What would happen without friction?

    A:

    Friction is the resistance force that appears when two bodies or substances are rubbed together. It slows things down and opposes motion. Without friction, people would not be able to walk, run, write or play sports. Things would continue to move unless they hit anything in their way. Static friction also holds screws and nails in wood and without it, the parts wouldn't hold together.

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