Grease (lubricant)

Grease is a semisolid lubricant. Grease generally consists of a soap emulsified with mineral or vegetable oil.[1] The characteristic feature of greases is that they possess a high initial viscosity, which upon the application of shear, drops to give the effect of an oil-lubricated bearing of approximately the same viscosity as the base oil used in the grease. This change in viscosity is called shear thinning. Grease is sometimes used to describe lubricating materials that are simply soft solids or high viscosity liquids, but these materials do not exhibit the shear-thinning properties characteristic of the classical grease. For example, petroleum jellies such as Vaseline are not generally classified as greases.

Greases are applied to mechanisms that can only be lubricated infrequently and where a lubricating oil would not stay in position. They also act as sealants to prevent ingress of water and incompressible materials. Grease-lubricated bearings have greater frictional characteristics due to their high viscosity.

Properties

A true grease consists of an oil and/or other fluid lubricant that is mixed with a thickener, typically a soap, to form a solid or semisolid. Greases are a type of shear-thinning or pseudo-plastic fluid, which means that the viscosity of the fluid is reduced under shear. After sufficient force to shear the grease has been applied, the viscosity drops and approaches that of the base lubricant, such as the mineral oil. This sudden drop in shear force means that grease is considered a plastic fluid, and the reduction of shear force with time makes it thixotropic. It is often applied using a grease gun, which applies the grease to the part being lubricated under pressure, forcing the solid grease into the spaces in the part.

Thickeners

Micelle scheme2-en
An inverse micelle formed when a soap is dispersed in an oil. This structure is broken reversibly upon shearing the grease.

Soaps are the most common emulsifying agent used, and the selection of the type of soap is determined by the application. Soaps include calcium stearate, sodium stearate, lithium stearate, as well as mixtures of these components. Fatty acids derivatives other than stearates are also used, especially lithium 12-hydroxystearate. The nature of the soaps influences the temperature resistance (relating to the viscosity), water resistance, and chemical stability of the resulting grease.

Powdered solid greases

Powdered solids may also be used as thickeners, especially as clays, which are used in some inexpensive, low performance greases. Fatty oil-based greases have also been prepared with other thickeners, such as tar, graphite, or mica, which also increase the durability of the grease.

Engineering assessment and analysis

Lithium-based greases are the most commonly used; sodium and lithium-based greases have higher melting point (dropping point) than calcium-based greases but are not resistant to the action of water. Lithium-based grease has a dropping point at 190 to 220 °C (350 to 400 °F). However the maximum usable temperature for lithium-based grease is 120 °C.

The amount of grease in a sample can be determined in a laboratory by extraction with a solvent followed by e.g. gravimetric determination.[2]

Additives

Gear greases consist of rosin oil, condensed with lime and stirred with mineral oil, with some percentage of water. Special-purpose greases contain glycerol and sorbitan esters. They are used, for example, in low-temperature conditions. Some greases are labeled "EP", which indicates "extreme pressure". Under high pressure or shock loading, normal grease can be compressed to the extent that the greased parts come into physical contact, causing friction and wear.

EP grease contains solid lubricants, usually graphite and/or molybdenum disulfide, to provide protection under heavy loadings. The solid lubricants bond to the surface of the metal, and prevent metal-to-metal contact and the resulting friction and wear when the lubricant film gets too thin.[1]

Solid additives such as copper or ceramic powder are added to some greases for static high pressure and/or high temperature applications, or where corrosion could prevent dis-assembly of components later in their service life. These compounds are working as a release agent. Solid additives cannot be used in bearings because of tight tolerances. Solid additives will cause increased wear in bearings.

History

Grease from the early Egyptian or Roman eras is thought to have been prepared by combining lime with olive oil. The lime saponifies some of the triglyceride that comprises oil to give a calcium grease. In the middle of the 19th century, soaps were intentionally added as thickeners to oils.[3] Over the centuries, all manner of materials have been employed as greases. For example, black slugs Arion ater were used as axle-grease to lubricate wooden axle-trees or carts in Sweden.[4]

Classification and standards

Wheel Bearing Grease
Red wheel bearing grease for automotive applications.

Jointly developed by ASTM International, the National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) and SAE International, standard ASTM D4950 “standard classification and specification for automotive service greases” was first published in 1989 by ASTM International. It categorizes greases suitable for the lubrication of chassis components and wheel bearings of vehicles, based on performance requirements, using codes adopted from the NLGI's “chassis and wheel bearing service classification system”:

  • LA and LB: chassis lubricants (suitability up to mild and severe duty respectively)
  • GA, GB and GC: wheel-bearings (suitability up to mild, moderate and severe duty respectively)

A given performance category may include greases of different consistencies.[5]

The measure of the consistency of grease is commonly expressed by its NLGI consistency number.

The main elements of standard ATSM D4950 and NLGI's consistency classification are reproduced and described in standard SAE J310 “automotive lubricating greases” published by SAE International.

Standard ISO 6743-9 “lubricants, industrial oils and related products (class L) — classification — part 9: family X (greases)”, first released in 1987 by the International Organization for Standardization, establishes a detailed classification of greases used for the lubrication of equipment, components of machines, vehicles, etc. It assigns a single multi-part code to each grease based on its operational properties (including temperature range, effects of water, load, etc.) and its NLGI consistency number.[6]

Other types

Silicone grease

Silicone grease is an amorphous fumed-silica thickened, polysiloxane-based compound, which can be used to provide lubrication and corrosion resistance. Since it is not oil-based, it is often used where oil-based lubricants would attack rubber seals. Silicone greases also maintain stability under high temperatures. They are often used, in pure form or mixed with zinc oxide, to join heat sinks to computer CPUs.

Fluoroether-based grease

Fluoropolymers containing C-O-C (ether) bonds for flexibility are soft, and often used as greases in demanding environments due to their inertness. Fomblin by Solvay Solexis and Krytox by duPont are prominent examples.

Laboratory grease

Laboratory grease 1
Grease is used to lubricate glass stopcocks and joints. Some laboratories fill them into syringes for easy application. Two typical examples: Left - Krytox, a fluoroether-based grease; Right - a silicone-based high vacuum grease by Dow Corning.

Apiezon, silicone-based, and fluoroether-based greases are all used commonly in laboratories for lubricating stopcocks and ground glass joints. The grease helps to prevent joints from "freezing", as well as ensuring high vacuum systems are properly sealed. Apiezon or similar hydrocarbon based greases are the cheapest, and most suitable for high vacuum applications. However, they dissolve in many organic solvents. This quality makes clean-up with pentane or hexanes trivial, but also easily leads to contamination of reaction mixtures.

Silicone-based greases are cheaper than fluoroether-based greases. They are relatively inert and generally do not affect reactions, though reaction mixtures often get contaminated (detected through NMR near δ 0[7]). Silicone-based greases are not easily removed with solvent, but they are removed efficiently by soaking in a base bath.

Fluoroether-based greases are inert to many substances including solvents, acids, bases, and oxidizers. They are, however, expensive, and are not easily cleaned away.

Food-grade grease

Food-grade greases are those greases that come in contact with food. Food-grade lubricant base oil are generally low sulfur petrochemical, less easily oxidized and emulsified. Another commonly used poly-α olefin base oil as well The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has three food-grade designations: H1, H2 and H3. H1 lubricants are food-grade lubricants used in food-processing environments where there is the possibility of incidental food contact. H2 lubricants are industrial lubricants used on equipment and machine parts in locations with no possibility of contact. H3 lubricants are food-grade lubricants, typically edible oils, used to prevent rust on hooks, trolleys and similar equipment.

Water-soluble grease analogs

In some cases, the lubrication and high viscosity of a grease are desired in situations where non-toxic, non-oil based materials are required. Carboxymethyl cellulose, or CMC, is one popular material used to create a water-based analog of greases. CMC serves to both thicken the solution and add a lubricating effect, and often silicone-based lubricants are added for additional lubrication. The most familiar example of this type of lubricant, used as a surgical and personal lubricant, is K-Y Jelly.

Cork grease

Cork grease is a lubricant used to lubricate cork, for example in musical wind instruments. It is usually applied using small lip-balm/lip-stick like applicators.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Richard L. Nailen, Engineering Editor (April 2002). "Grease: What it is; How it Works". Electrical Apparatus.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Use of ozone depleting substances in laboratories. TemaNord 2003:516. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2011-03-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Thorsten Bartels et al. "Lubricants and Lubrication" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2005, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a15_423
  4. ^ Svanberg I (2006). "Blacks slugs (Arion ater) as grease: a case study of technical use of Gastropods in Pre-industrial Sweden". Journal of Ethnobiology. 26 (2): 299–309. doi:10.2993/0278-0771(2006)26[299:BSAAAG]2.0.CO;2.
  5. ^ Totten, George E.; Westbrook, Steven R.; Shah, Rajesh J., eds. (2003). Fuels and lubricants handbook: technology, properties, performance, and testing (volume 1). “ASTM manual” series, volume 37 (7th ed.). ASTM International. p. 560. ISBN 978-0-8031-2096-9.
  6. ^ Rand, Salvatore J., ed. (2003). Significance of tests for petroleum products. “ASTM manual” series, volume 1 (7th ed.). ASTM International. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-8031-2097-6.
  7. ^ Gottlieb, Hugo E.; Kotlyar, Vadim; Nudelman, Abraham (1997). "NMR Chemical Shifts of Common Laboratory Solvents as Trace Impurities". The Journal of Organic Chemistry. 62 (21): 7512–7515. doi:10.1021/jo971176v. PMID 11671879.
  8. ^ http://reedmaster.com/Merchant2/Newsletter3-06/V4N2March2006_files/page0001.htm. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links

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Aniline point

The aniline point of an oil is defined as the minimum temperature at which equal volumes of aniline (C6H5NH2) and lubricant oil are miscible, i.e. form a single phase upon mixing..

The value gives an approximation for the content of aromatic compounds in the oil, since the miscibility of aniline, which is also an aromatic compound suggests the presence of similar (i.e. aromatic) compounds in the oil. The lower the aniline point, the greater is the content of aromatic compounds in the oil.

The aniline point serves as a reasonable proxy for aromaticity of oils consisting mostly of saturated hydrocarbons (i.e. alkanes, paraffins) or unsaturated compounds (mostly aromatics). Significant chemical functionalization of the oil (chlorination, sulfonation, etc.) can interfere with the measurement, due to changes to the solvency of the functionalized oil.

Krytox

Krytox is a registered trademark of The Chemours Company. It refers to a group of colourless synthetic lubricants (oils and greases) with a variety of applications. Invented by researchers at DuPont, Krytox oils are fluorocarbon ether polymers of polyhexafluoropropylene oxide, with a chemical formula: F−(CF(CF3)−CF2−O)n−CF2CF3, where the degree of polymerization, n, generally lies within the range of 10 to 60. These compounds are collectively known by many names including perfluoropolyether (PFPE), perfluoroalkylether (PFAE) and perfluoropolyalkylether (PFPAE). A unique identifier is their CAS registry number, 60164-51-4.

In addition to PFPE, Krytox grease also contains telomers of PTFE and in fact was designed as a liquid or grease form of PTFE. It is thermally stable, nonflammable (even in liquid oxygen), and insoluble in water, acids, bases, and most organic solvents. It is nonvolatile and useful over a broad temperature range of −75 to 350 °C (−100 to 660 °F) or higher. Its high resistance to ionizing radiation makes it useful for the aerospace and nuclear industries. Formulations exist able withstand extreme pressure, resist outgassing in high vacuum, and operate under intense mechanical stress.Other companies manufacture PFPE lubricants, such as Solvay's Fomblin range, with some formulations having comparable properties.

Lubricant

A lubricant is a substance, usually organic, introduced to reduce friction between surfaces in mutual contact, which ultimately reduces the heat generated when the surfaces move. It may also have the function of transmitting forces, transporting foreign particles, or heating or cooling the surfaces. The property of reducing friction is known as lubricity.

In addition to industrial applications, lubricants are used for many other purposes. Other uses include cooking (oils and fats in use in frying pans, in baking to prevent food sticking), bioapplications on humans (e.g. lubricants for artificial joints), ultrasound examination, medical examination. It is mainly used to reduce friction and to contribute to a better and efficient functioning of a mechanism.

Lubricant (disambiguation)

A lubricant is a substance introduced to reduce friction between surfaces in mutual contact. For the general article about the topic, see lubricant.

For related pages, see:

Dry lubricant

Grease (lubricant)

Personal lubricant

Rust and oxidation lubricant

Social lubricant

Surgical lubricant

Warming lubricant

Paul Pietzschke

Paul Pietzschke, or Paul Pietzschke NautiChem, is a German corporation that produces sealants, coatings and lubricants for shipbuilding. Its main office is in Norderstedt, North Germany. It was founded by Paul Pietzschke in 1889 in Hamburg, Germany, as a chemical and technology company.

Porsche Intermediate Shaft Bearing issue

Most models of the 996 generation of the Porsche 911 sports car were afflicted with a vulnerability in the intermediate shaft (IMS) that drove their engines' camshafts. Failure of the ball bearing of the IMS generally leads to varying degrees of engine failure. Generally, after IMS bearing failure, the engine internals are contaminated with debris from the failure that requires the engine to be stripped and rebuilt. In severe failure modes, cam timing may be affected, leading to valve-piston impact, necessitating replacement of the entire engine.

Royal Purple (lubricant manufacturer)

Royal Purple is an American manufacturer which produces lubricants for automotive, industrial, marine, motorcycle, and racing use. It is known primarily for its line of synthetic Royal Purple Motor Oil products used in gasoline and diesel engines. They also produce other fluids including gear oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and industrial gear, bearing, engine, and hydraulic oil. Other products include chassis and bearing grease, lubricant aerosol, aerosol chain lubricant, and firearm lubricant.

Soap

Soap is the term for a salt of a fatty acid or for a variety of cleansing and lubricating products produced from such a substance. Household uses for soaps include washing, bathing, and other types of housekeeping, where soaps act as surfactants, emulsifying oils to enable them to be carried away by water. In industry, they are used as thickeners, components of some lubricants, and precursors to catalysts.

T. Raumschmiere

Marco Haas (born 1975) is a punk techno DJ known by the stage name T.Raumschmiere. He has released two albums of aggressive electropop and has worked with Miss Kittin and Ellen Allien, and helped found the Shitkatapult record label. He is also partly responsible for the mid-2000s resurgence of the schaffel beat.

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