Featured Publications

Featured Publications

Here’s a list of external publications and events featuring Lubrication Expert Rafe Britton.

If you would like Rafe to contribute to an article, webinar or journal article, please get in touch using the contact form.

Statewide Oil IW Event, Nov 22

During the Statewide Oil’s Victoria IW event, Rafe was asked to speak on the topic of engine oils. The key messages?

  1. Lubricants are highly engineered, precision products
  2. Even with the coming EV revolution, lubricants will continue to be part of the solution
  3. What precision formulation looks like
  4. Why there are so many lubricant specifications, and the role OEMs, governments and industry bodies play in shaping them
  5. The future of engine oils

Hackaday.io AMA, Oct 22

Modern lubricants are extremely complex and highly engineered materials, often built atom by atom to perform a specific job under specific, often extremely challenging, conditions. Oils and greases are much more than just the slippery stuff that keeps our mechanical systems running, and while you might not need to know all the details of how they’re made to put them to use, a little inside information could go a long way in making sure your mechanism lasts.

We’ve invited Rafe Britton on the Hack Chat to talk about all aspects of lubrication engineering. With degrees in engineering and physics, Rafe runs Lubrication Expert and the Lubrication Explained channel on YouTube to help his clients figure out what they don’t know about lubrication, and how to put that knowledge to use in the real world. Be sure to bring your questions and concerns about lubrication, as well as your lubrication success stories and failures — especially the failures!

IPA National Conference, Oct 22

Did you know that 23% of all the world’s energy is lost to friction? As industry races to net zero, lubricants are being largely ignored as an inexpensive way to significantly reduce our carbon footprint. But there are three key ways that lubricants are going to be essential to the energy transition:

1. Energy efficient lubricants: a change of lubricant can in many cases reduce the power requirement of a system by up tp 10%
2. Reliability improvement of exisiting equipment: the longer you can make your current fleet last, the less energy is required to remanufacture worn parts.
3. As an enabler of emerging technologies: new lubricant formulations are an essential part of EVs, wind turbines, alternative fuel combustion and more.

LRVS, Sep 22

During the 2022 edition of the Lubrication and Reliability Virtual Summit, Rafe Britton spoke about the need for the lubricants industry to engage the public more actively through education. He spoke about how his experience on YouTube has changed the way that training is delivered and how we can use data and analytics to shape the experience of the learner.

EPT Clean Oil YouTube, Sep 22

In episode 63 of EPT Clean Oil’s In The Middle, Technical Specialist Lubrication Expert, Rafe Britton, helps us understand how exactly we can advance our knowledge while staying apprised of today’s turbomachinery lubricant-related challenges. In today’s highly technical world, there is a wide variety of training delivery options available to us, and in the lubricants industry specifically. While the focus today may tend to be on virtual training, Rafe explains there are still some aspects of in-person and hybrid-style training that can’t be 100% replicated virtually nor ever should be.

Lubes 'n' Greases, Sep 22

The annual cost of corrosion worldwide is about $2.2 trillion, or more than 3% of the world’s GDP, according to the World Corrosion Organization, a nongovernmental organization of the United Nations. This is double the percentage impact due to friction reported by Peter Jost, commonly referred to as the founder of tribology, in his seminal 1960s report on the costs to the British economy of poor lubrication and maintenance.

Rafe Britton contributed to the article “Cracking Corrosion’s Code” by Trevor Gauntlett, outlining the ways in which lubricant formulation plays an important role in protecting machine components against corrosion.

Maintonia Webinar, Jul 22

Rafe Britton was invited to be part of Minimac Systems Pvt. Ltd. ‘s Maintonia Webinar series as a guest speaker.

The presentation on “How to combat Water Contamination & Foam Formation in Lubrication Systems?” was “great, subjective, and informative”. To see the webinar you can access the recording – https://lnkd.in/eF3MC2PC

Maintonia is an excellent, free resource. It’s definitely worth subscribing.

Industry Partners Australia, May 22

A large industrial gas turbine is a high rpm, 100-tonne juggernaut worth many millions of dollars. All that prevents the total failure of this asset is a thin film of lubricant barely a few microns thick.

Yet considering the importance of this single point failure mode, rotating machinery engineers know remarkably little about lubricants beyond the brand and viscosity. This isn’t confined to the turbo machinery world; very competent engineers and asset managers the world over typically know little of lubricant chemistry, despite its widespread use in almost all machine components.

Rafe Britton demystifies the “black art” in an IPA Masterclass.

Pangea SI Podcast, Apr 22

In April 2022, Rafe sat down with the folks from Pangea Strategic Intelligence to discuss the crucial role that lubricants play in modern society. “In Europe alone, an average of around 5 million tonnes of lubricants are consumed every year. They are a requirement to keep everything where there is relative motion functioning but they also face challenges with regards to regulations, sustainability and innovation.”

ABN Resource Pod & Blog, Mar 22

What is the biggest personnel challenge facing your organisation right now? Talent attraction, employee retention and leadership are the 3 key areas ABN Resource are most asked about.

ABN Resource Director James Moorhouse and Lubrication Expert Rafe Britton held a joint podcast to discuss talent management in the lubricants industry.

In this episode, James breaks down the most successful strategies on talent attraction of people within our industry and from adjacent industries. You can also hear thoughts on talent retention, diversity and inclusion, career and skills development and advice on how to overcome the key personnel challenges facing the lubricants industry.

ALIA Webinar, Mar 22

Rafe Britton had the opportunity to present on gas engine technologies for the Asian Lubricants Industry Association.

In this ALIA webinar, the increased thermal stresses of gas combustion will be discussed and on how this leads to various concerns about the operation of the engine and performance of the lubricant. We will look at how a gas engine oil’s life can be optimised through a combination of formulation technologies and oil analysis data, as well as discuss on how the rise of alternate gas sources (bio- and landfill- gas) is further challenging oil drain intervals. Finally we will speculate on the future opportunities for the lubricants industry with regard to gas combustion engines.

EPT Clean Oil YouTube, Feb 22

“where I would like to see this discussion go is to broaden beyond the idea of lubricant just being an asset rather than it being a standalone asset. I’d like to see the discussion framed more as lubricants being an integral part of the asset.

So you don’t split out the lubricant from the turbine. The lubricant is an integral part of the turbine just in the same way that the thrust bearing is. So that kind of holistic approach reviewing it as part of the turbine, I think is really going to help shape maintenance strategy.” 

Rafe Britton, Technical Specialist, Lubrication Expert, Australia

EPT Clean Oil YouTube, Jan 22

“Turbomachinery lubricants have never had more demands placed on them than they have in today’s environment. Most OEM upgrades have been in the pursuit of efficiency and durability. So on the efficiency side, generally with turbines, this means higher temperatures. Higher temperatures means more thermal load on the oil. But we’re having to take that thermal load with smaller and smaller reservoirs. We’re also having to do that with smaller and smaller clearances. On top of that, the way that turbines are operated has been changing. So all of these factors are coming together to place much more load on the oil, and the oil is now having to do more work than ever.” 

Rafe Britton, Technical Specialist with Lubrication Expert in Australia

Maintenance Disrupted, Nov 21

Rafe Britton and Blair Fraser held a joint podcast on Industry 4.0 and trends in maintenance.

Blair works at UE Systems and has experience across a very large range of fields. His podcast is an excellent window into the needs of the maintenance community and some of the new/emerging best practices that are moving the industry forward.

Highly recommend that you subscribe!

The Maintenance Community, Oct 21

Rafe Britton hosted a webinar on UpKeep’s maintenance community Slack group regarding the complexities of lubricants chemistry. This is a fundamental belief of Lubrication Expert – that the mechanical engineers dominating the asset management space don’t sufficiently understand the chemistry of lubricants, which leads to many errors on site. By breaking things down to a high-school level, we can better understand lubricant selection, contamination, failure and incompatibility.

Versions of this presentation are contained within the LX Pro training platform, so sign up if you’d like to know more!

LRVS, Sep 21

Rafe Britton delivered a presentation at the Lubrication and Reliability Virtual Summit entitled “Storytelling with Data; how to wade through a sea of used oil analysis results to find actionable insights”. This presentation emphasised the role of so-called “soft” skills in industry. All the engineering and analysis in the world can only take you so far if an improvement idea cannot effectively be sold to upper management.

He also sat on the discussion panel for “future of formulation technology for lubricants”.


Asset Management Council, Jan 21

Rafe Britton hosted a webinar for the Brisbane chapter of the Asset Management Council. The topic was “fundamentals of used oil analysis” and Rafe as able to use the opportunity to highlight the many ways in which used oil analysis is not being used effectively, but rather as a “tick the box” exercise in most industries.

Here’s to hoping a few more people understand the value of used oil analysis data thanks to the presentation!