Most people know that parts and machinery must be lubricated to reduce friction, ensure problem-free operation and increase maintenance intervals and lifespan. But what really is the difference between the different lubricant types? Here is a short guide.
Oils effectively conduct heat away from the lubrication point. In addition to this, oils have a good creep ability and wetting ability, which affects the lubrication effect. Oils are therefore often used for lubrication at high temperatures and/or high speeds. Depending on the type of application, there are different base oils to choose from (mineral, synthetic PAO, silicone, ester, polyglycol).
Typical areas of use: Gears, chains, friction/sliding bearings, compressors and in hydraulic systems.
Grease consists of a base oil mixed with a soap (thickener) that gives the grease its consistency. The grease thus remains at the lubrication point where it ensures safe protection against friction and wear and at the same time protects the lubrication point against the influence of external media such as moisture, chemicals, etc. Depending on the type of application, there are greases with different base oils (mineral/synthetic) and with different thickeners ( lithium, calcium, aluminum etc.).
Typical areas of use: Roller and friction/slide bearings, valves, seals, chains, gearboxes, spindles.
Paste is used to facilitate assembly and disassembly. A paste is largely structured in the same way as a grease, with the difference that the pastes contain a higher proportion of solid lubricants (PTFE, MoS2, aluminium, copper, etc.). In addition to a very good lubricating ability, a paste provides very good protection at high temperatures and in applications with high stresses. The pastes' good adhesion and chemical resistance also protect against corrosion (rust) and attack from aggressive media. Special screw connection pastes are available to achieve precise friction in the threaded connection (constant friction).
Typical areas of use: Lubrication of threads/screw connections, spindles, splines.
Dry lubricants, can be divided into solid lubricants in powder form, wax-like sliding films and sliding varnishes.
Typical areas of use: In dry lubrication without oil and grease, clean lubrication without dirt sticking, requirements for very low friction, high temperature resistance, in vacuum applications, at low speeds, long-term/lifetime lubrication.
Tribotec has a comprehensive range of lubricants in all these areas through our world-leading supplier and partner OK. Contact us or our dealers in Sweden for more information. Read more about the products in our maintenance/industry brochure.