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With lubricants , lube or lube viscous liquids, as are lubricant of the friction reduction are referred to. They are used in medicine, technology, crafts or even for sexual practices.

Technology and laboratory

In engineering, the term lubricant is generally used for friction-inhibiting substances . However, in certain areas and for some products, the term lubricant is also common. For example, lubricants are used to assemble hose and pipe connections that have to be pushed onto the corresponding connections. Even when installing a car tire on the rim , the rim edge is brushed with a lubricant so that the rubber tire slides more easily into the rim. The assembly of two-wheeled tires is also easier with tire mounting wax.

Plastics technology

In the case of plastics , the sliding properties are specifically changed through the use of lubricant additives . The most important external effect of lubricants is to reduce the adhesion of the hot polymer melt to surfaces. A distinction is made between “internal” and “external” lubricants. Internal lubricants are viscosity reducers which are soluble in the polymer and which increase the flowability of the polymer melt, while external lubricants are incompatible in the polymer. They are pushed to the surface of the plastic during and after processing. The polar groups used in lubricants are mainly alcohols , acids , soaps , amides and esters . In polar plastics such as PVC , of course, purely non-polar substances such as polyolefin waxes are also used as lubricants. Commercially available lubricants are available in fine gradations between purely external and purely internal effects and thus also in very different polarities. They are added to processable mixtures in amounts of 0.2% to 2%.


A lubricant is used to insert probes, endoscopes or ultrasound heads into the body through natural openings in order to keep skin irritation as low as possible. Examples are the introduction of feeding tubes , Wendl tubes , urinary catheters , endotracheal tubes at the intubation or in the sigmoidoscope . Medical lubricants often contain an additive to a disinfectant such as B. Endosgel or a local anesthetic such. B. Lidocaine or Instillagel, because mucous membranes are very sensitive to pain, but at the same time they also absorb the drug quickly.

In obstetrics , lubricants can be used both in the opening phase and in the expulsion phase to facilitate the birth process. The use of olive oil as a lubricant in veterinary medicine , gynecology and obstetrics has been mentioned since ancient times. For reasons of side effects such as allergies, infections and external reactions, lubricants have rarely been used in obstetrics in the last two centuries. As a result of modern developments, there are now polymer gels that meet the requirements of an obstetric lubricant ( sterility , hypoallergenicity, mucosal compatibility, etc.).

Furthermore, lubricants are used in massage therapy , a branch of physical medicine . The use of lubricants is a controversial issue.


Lubricant tube with packaging box from KY Jelly (a popular brand of lubricant)
Various lubricants

Lubricants also reduce friction on the sensitive mucous membranes of the external genital organs . Lubricants can compensate for insufficient natural lubrication . They improve the stimulation of the clitoris during sexual foreplay and make it easier for the penis to penetrate the vagina or anus during intercourse . Even with the masturbation and the fisting find lubricants for this purpose use. They moisturize dry mucous membranes, thus preventing pain or are only used to enrich the love life.

, The lubricant not in water or silicone oil based, plastic toys or can contraception used condoms damage. These are usually made of natural rubber - latex manufactured and therefore can react on contact with organic oils and fatty lotions and thereby tear or at least be permeable to viruses. In the case of condoms, protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases is no longer guaranteed in such a case.

Web links

Commons : lubricant  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Klaus Dransfeld , Paul Kienle , Georg Michael Kalvius : Physics I Mechanics and Warmth . Oldenbourg Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-486-59874-0 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  2. Wilfried J. Bartz: On the history of tribology . expert verlag, 1988, ISBN 3-8169-0313-4 , p. 74 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  3. ^ Franz Eiben: Signpost car - motorcycle - bicycle . Books on Demand, 2012, ISBN 978-3-8448-7806-6 , pp. 57 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  4. Ralph-Dieter Maier, Michael Schiller: Kunststoff Additive Handbuch . Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH Co KG, 2016, ISBN 978-3-446-43291-8 , p. 593 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  5. Martin Bonnet: Basics of plastics technology, processing, material selection and case studies . Springer-Verlag, 2016, ISBN 978-3-658-13828-8 , pp. 131 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  6. Hans Domininghaus: plastics properties and applications . Springer-Verlag, 2007, ISBN 978-3-540-26433-0 , pp. 259 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  7. Georg Kähler, Martin Götz, Norbert Senninger: Therapeutic endoscopy in the gastrointestinal tract . Springer-Verlag, 2015, ISBN 978-3-662-45194-6 , pp. 50 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  8. Dieter Jocham, Kurt Miller: Practice of Urology . Georg Thieme Verlag, 2007, ISBN 978-3-13-156743-7 , p. 303 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  9. Susanne Schewior-Popp, Franz Sitzmann, Lothar Ullrich: Thiemes Pflege (large format) The textbook for nurses in training . Georg Thieme Verlag, 2012, ISBN 978-3-13-152442-3 , p. 618 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  10. A. Lange: Physical Medicine . Springer-Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-642-55837-5 , p. 240 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  11. a b Hans-Joachim Ahrendt, Cornelia Friedrich: Sexualmedizin in der Gynäkologie . Springer-Verlag, 2015, ISBN 978-3-642-42060-3 , pp. 234 ( limited preview in Google Book search).