In Roman times the first 'greases' were animal fats used to lubricate the wheels of chariots, so this idea has been around a while.
In simple terms a grease is a thickened oil, the thickener acts as a sponge to hold the oil in place. Under pressure the 'sponge' releases the oil film to lubricate the contacts.
Oils come in many different types, both mineral and synthetic, with different properties depending on their chemical make up. In a lubrication application the oil creates a sacrificial layer or film which shears and isolates the moving surfaces. Within oils many different additives can be used to enhance their properties including their viscosity, viscosity index, oxidation resistance and corrosion protection.
A grease can be based upon a mineral or synthetic oil, thickened with a metallic soap or sometimes an absorbent particle, clay, silica or PTFE, and, additives can be either within the base oil or held within the matrix. Solid additives are also sometimes included to reinforce the boundary lubrication properties of the material under extreme pressure.
A Dry Film Lubricant is either a solid lubricant that is added to a coating which is bonded to the surface like a ‘low friction paint’ or a layer of un-bonded solid lubricant is applied between surfaces to act as a sacrificial layer or film.
Aerosol or spray lubricants are one of the above oils, greases or dry film lubricants (or a mixture in some cases), suspended in a carrier fluid or solvent with the addition of a propellant to push it out of the can. Depending upon the nozzle and pressure, sometimes the product is a fine atomised mist, and sometimes a stream of fluid.
Will this lubricant cause stress cracking of my components?
A significant portion of lubrication failures can be attributed to mixing without taking into consideration compatibility.
The plastic/ lubricant compatibility chart on the download tab of this page should be used as a guide to determine compatibility.
IKV offer a full range of specialist lubrication products. Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements or to arrange a free on-site survey. We also offer compatibility testing as part of our service and have extensive laboratory facilities to enable analysis of specific combinations of materials.