Basic Grease Technology

Posted by Tertius Bester on

What is grease lubricant used for?

 Grease lubricates components where oil will not stay in position. They provide a seal to prevent the ingress of water and contaminants. A good example is an open gear that drives a component on an excavating machine. A grease stays in position for a long time and it facilitates longer service cycles.

 Why is the grease used instead of oil?

 The higher the NLGI grade, the thicker the grease. NLGI 1 and NLGI 2 are the most used. But why use grease over oil? Greases are better for leakage control and provide better seals against contaminants. Think boat trailer bearings exposed to water and other contaminants. Grease can remain in equipment longer and tolerate a variety of extreme conditions.

 Applications that do not need these extremes can be oil lubricated, or coated.

 Coat exposed threads with petroleum jelly or aerosol lubricants like WD 40. A Silicone Lubricant that waterproofs and protects metal surfaces. Also used on non-metal surfaces such as rubber, plastic, and vinyl. This formula dries fast and leaves a clear, non-staining film that doesn't stick or make a mess.

 Is grease better than oil?

 Oil vs. Grease

 Oils lubricate intense friction and high-speed applications like overhead cams in combustion engines. But other components that endure heavy loads like open gears or cv joints, need a grease. Grease stays in place and provides a long-lasting barrier between metal components. Coat exposed components on your motorcycle with a silicone lubricant spray. It is effective to control corrosion and it is not messy. Petroleum jelly is also a good alternative to coat threads.

What is vehicle lubricating grease composed of?

 Greases contain oil, thickeners (sometimes called soaps), and fillers. The process is simple but the details are complex. The lubricating oil can be petroleum or synthetic and can vary in viscosity. The soap and filler components are very useful in extreme applications.

What does the color of grease mean?

 The color of grease identifies the product and serves as a quality indicator in storage. As grease degrades and becomes contaminated, it usually will begin to darken. The color of the grease is not indicative of its performance characteristics. Select grease according to application. A calcium-complex NLGI 2 is a good wheel bearing grease. Manufacturer specifications include application.

 What is the difference between NLGI 1 and NLGI 2 grease?

 There are two basic types of grease for most equipment and machinery applications:

NLGI #1 grease and NLGI #2 grease, where less thickener makes a #1 grease more tractable and slippery. A #2 grease has a little more thickener. Stiffer and great for all-purpose applications.


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