Engineering tradeoffs - Synthetic lubricants

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Astronuc
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This seems like a valuable and worthwhile article for those involved in machinery.

Synthetic lubricants in precision mechanisms - an overview
Maria Tillwich
Dr. Tillwich GmbH, Horb, W. Germany
Journal of Synthetic Lubrication

Volume 5, Issue 2 , Pages 91 - 104

This paper looks at the speciality application field of precision mechanisms, the tribological regime under which they operate, and the consequent requirements for precision lubricants. These include low evaporation rate, good drop cohesion, high ageing stability, resistance against contamination, and particularly an inertness in relation to polymers and lacquers.

The range of lubricants available today is reviewed in relation to these requirements and to the materials likely to be used in precision instruments and mechanisms, and it is concluded that since no one lubricant can solve all the problems encountered in specific mechanisms, the selected lubricant is a compromise.
I embolded a key point - engineering often involves a trade-off among properties. For example, in my experience, the desirable microstructure of an alloy from a mechanical standpoint may not be the same as one desirable from a corrosion resistance standpoint - and they could be mutually exclusive. Similarly, there is a tradeoff between strength/hardness and toughness.
 

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Integral
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According to the Russian who was conducting our http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIZ" [Broken] class, trade offs are just an opportunity for a breakthrough development. All you need is the correct problem solving approach.... Go back to the the TRIZ link!
 
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