Machinery made up of multiple parts needs seamless lubrication to safeguard it against the harmful effects of friction. As equipment works, the surfaces of components meet, causing friction that results in wear. As this friction increases, moving parts will start to move slower and negatively impact a machine’s operating performance. Components that become damaged or worn will need replacement or repair at the expense of the companies that depend on them.
Fortunately, a lengthy list of lubricants is available, produced by world-class manufacturers like Shell, Fuchs and Houghton. Two common forms of lubrication are grease and oil. Both products can provide impressive levels of lubrication, but they are suitable for different kinds of application and suit different requirements. In the next sections, we’ll take a closer look at oil and grease, helping enterprises understand which one provides the best solution for their lubrication needs.
Modern oils are typically formulated using either a mineral or synthetic base oil. To help oils perform their roles, an additive package is often included. Additives can suppress or enhance an existing attribute of the base oil or even add an entirely new property.
Oil works to ensure all mechanical parts can move freely and effectively, and that the heat produced during operation by friction is transferred safely. It also filters out unwanted particles and seals parts from harmful corrosives. It has a wide range of applications, from factory machinery and hydraulic systems to the engines in vehicles among many others.
How does grease work?
Grease differs from oil in appearance, taking on a solid or semi solid look and feel. Like oil, it is typically created with a base oil before additives are included. While many of these inclusions will help the grease perform to specific standards, a key additive is a thickener that gives grease its well-known consistency. These thickeners are commonly soaps like bentonite, a kind of clay, or the mineral known as molybdenum.
Greases see common use with gears, tools, bearings and heavy-duty mechanical equipment. For businesses with equipment that requires infrequent lubrication or spends considerable time in storage, grease can be ideal. Low maintenance operations will find that a coat of grease added to equipment before it is stored will ensure it’s ready to operate effectively when it returns to active service.
Using grease has multiple benefits. It has low degradation levels that ensures that continuous applications are unnecessary. This can lower maintenance time, but also lubrication costs for companies. Mechanical equipment that works at a low speed can be well-served with grease, along with machinery operating in extreme temperatures.
When should you choose oil instead of grease?
Oil is advised rather than grease in specific applications and operating conditions. It has greater efficient at transferring heat than grease, and suits systems that require a central oil supply that serves many different components, lubricating them concurrently. Oil is also the best option if equipment needs frequent and seamless lubrication and in mechanical systems are difficult to access and move rapidly.