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Components and Characteristics of Grease

4/30/2012 10:29:55 AM | by Anonymous


Grease is applied on equipment when there is a need for continuous supply of oil. It is formed by a thickener dispersed in a liquid lubricant. The lubricant is composed of base oil and additives wherein the semi-solid state of oil is retained when combined with a thickening agent. There are various oil, thickeners and additives that can be used. The characteristic and capability of grease would depend on what substance it contains.


Most of the greases today are made of mineral oil. Lubricating grease containing this substance is suitable for industrial applications. There are lubricating oils that can withstand extreme temperatures. Light viscosity oil is utilized for low temperature while heavy viscosity oil is appropriate for high temperature. The thickness of these two substances is characterized by the percentage of oil they contain.


There are soap and non-soap based thickeners. The commonly used grease thickeners are metallic soap such as lithium, aluminum, barium and calcium soap. When a soap thickener is combined with a complexing agent, complex grease is produced. It is usually composed of a lithium soap thickener and a low- molecular-weight organic acid as the complexing agent. Complex greases are gaining popularity in applications where temperature resistance and excellent load-carrying abilities are required. Non-soap thickeners like bentonite and silica aerogel are also great to use in high temperature environments.


The role of additives is to provide desirable properties to the lubricating grease. The most common additives are oxidation inhibitors, anti-corrosion, and anti-wear agents. Oxidation inhibitors lengthen the life of grease. Anti-corrosion agents protect metal against corrosion caused by water. Anti-wear agents, on the other hand, prevent abrasion and friction.


The mixture of oil, thickener and additives are what made grease advantageous over oil. This combination gave grease characteristics such as extreme temperature and water resistance, pumpability, consistency and et al., which makes it suitable for different applications.

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