A summary of the history of beverage packaging line conveyor development and of the accompanying advances in conveyor lubrication is followed by a description of the functions and properties required of lubricants used on modern conveyors, together with an explanation of the physical processes involved in friction and lubrication. The chemical composition of traditional soap based anionic lubricants, which rely on salts of certain fatty acids, is discussed together with the technical and environmental problems associated with their use. New cationic lubricants, based on fatty amines rather than fatty acids, have recently been developed. These are much more tolerant of hard water, and thus less likely to form the insoluble deposits which frequently cause problems when conventional lubricants are used in hard water areas. The lubricity, durability, foaming characteristics and biocidal properties of products of this type made from different amines are discussed together with their compatibility with the materials used in conveyors, containers and packaging equipment, their status with regard to human and environmental safety and their stability under industrial conditions. Possible future trends are briefly outlined.
Keywords : chemistry composition conveyor lubricant properties